Last week I promised that if enough people would join me for the Lunchbox Project Earth Day Action, I would don the fake plastic sea monster costume and walk around Crocker Galleria in full getup. Well, it turns out I’m easy because it only took one person — Deb Baida from Liberated Spaces — to convince me to do it. She even helped me get into my costume, carried my stuff, and took most of the pictures in the slideshow below. Thanks, Deb!
The day was unseasonably hot, and it was like a sauna under all that plastic. Still, I took one for the team. The event was great. A crowd gathered at the Crocker Galleria and heard inspiring speeches by representatives of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, SF Department of Environment, Clean Water Action, and of course me in my finery. Then, we all fanned out to eat lunch, bringing our own reusable containers with us and asking restaurant employees to serve our food in our containers instead of disposable… Read the rest
From my experience, feeling fear means something is worth doing.
You all know about the TED Talks, right? The annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences bring together leading thinkers and doers giving the talks of their lives. And these talks are accessible to the public via the TED web site, a fantastic repository of ideas and inspiration. (Check out talks by Captain Charles Moore and artist Chris Jordan on the TED stage.)
TEDx: Great Pacific Garbage Patch
In less than a month, I’ll be joining oceanographer Sylvia Earle, activist actor Ed Begley, Jr, environmentalist David de Rothschild, and many more experts and visionaries on stage at TEDx: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in Santa Monica, CA.
My topic: Leading by example.
And yes, I’m nervous.
In keeping with the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” TEDx was created “to give communities, organizations and individuals… Read the rest
The Green Festival… this weekend was my third and probably best experience attending. I’ve read negative reviews of the Green Festival from green bloggers bemoaning that the vendor floor is so consumption-oriented and there is still so much plastic packaging and plastic products. Those comments may be valid. But you know what? The experience of The Green Festival is what you make of it. Here are some tips:
1) Meet up with your friends — the folks who create the products that you do love. I hung out with Jay from Life Without Plastic, the company that sells the airtight stainless containers I reviewed a year ago, on Friday afternoon and toured the vendor floor with him for a bit. He had just spent the previous days at the Green Business Conference and his enthusiasm was contagious.
2) Be a little outrageous. It’s the Green Festival. It’s your chance to sparkle. Walking past the ChicoBag table with Jay, I spotted a huge … Read the rest
350.org has released this fantastic video showing actions all over the world that took place on October 24.
So where was I?
The best-laid plans sometimes go awry when unknown locations and strange parking fee machines are involved. By the time I got to the beach in Santa Monica for the 350 Day Blogger Beach Cleanup, the event had already begun. Not to miss out, filmmaker Jan Vozenilek and I ran across the sand as fast as we could toward what we thought was our group. (Click images to see larger size on 350.org website.)
We arrived huffing and panting to a beautiful sand sculpture on Santa Monica Beach, only to realize we were at the wrong event! Who cares? This group was fabulous.
So I hung out on the beach for a while with Jan (who just returned from filming dead albatross chicks on Midway with photographer Chris Jordan) and enthusiastic plastic pollution activist Sarah Kornfeld,
took pictures of my own boobs (in a “Plastic Is Washed Up” T-shirt),… Read the rest
Monday began with me in a classroom in Benicia, teaching children about plastic, and ended in a cheesy piano bar in San Francisco’s Union Square. In between, a phenomenal global event.
Sitting in a Century movie theater in downtown San Francisco, I was taken over by waves of grief for our planet and especially its people. As I emailed to a friend, I think I must have held my breath for the entire length of the Age of Stupid premiere, a film event broadcast to 440 cities in 63 countries.
View the trailer:
Set in the year 2055, after the effects of global climate change have basically wiped out most humans and other animals on earth, a lone archivist records a message, illustrating it with a handful of the billions of stories he’s collected in a massive database he calls the Global Archive, before transmitting the entire collection into outer space as a cautionary tale to future civilizations. The big question: Why didn’t we save ourselves… Read the rest
Despite the impression I might have given in my previous post, “Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff,” the BlogHer conference was not only about swag and vendors and overconsumption. The experience had a huge impact on me, bigger than I can properly articulate at this point. But for right now, here are my photos and a few thoughts, in chronological order, beginning with Thursday night.
1) It doesn’t really matter if I order my martini with “no plastic spear” for the olives…
if I drink so much that I end up sick and needing a plastic bottle of this…
2) When we ask for “greener” sponsors, “organic” is not enough.
How organic is a product that is more plastic than food? And that is promoted with a ton of paper waste?
3) Green moms party by hanging out at cocktail parties testing their purses for lead. Thankfully, Jennifer’s XRF Analyzer did not find any lead in my organic hemp… Read the rest
What have you heard about #BlogHer09 so far? Stories are circulating around the web that the conference is no longer about connection and content and community and is instead all about sponsors and swag and greed. Check out this damning video by a Chicago writer who worked at the Pepsico booth for a few days. Read Jessica Gottlieb’s followup interview with him. Another blogger asks, “BlogHer ’09: Does Swag Pervert the Purpose?” and a disenchanted blogger I met at the Saturday night cocktail party posts a crazy photo of all the plastic swag she picked up.
Here are just a few of the big vendors represented at BlogHer09:
But lest you think I’m above all this, let me tell you a little story.
A (Fake Plastic) Fish Out of Water
For two weeks before BlogHer, I was staying up late and running around like mad trying to finish up projects and prepare for the trip. Finding out I had won the style consultation with Tim Gunn only accelerated… Read the rest
I’ve bragged about how green we are here in the Bay Area before, right? Well, leave it to Marin County to host what it called “The Greenest County Fair On Earth” this past weekend. Powered by solar and biodiesel, providing compostable containers and flatware as well as recycling and compost stations to collect them, offering many opportunities for environmental education throughout the fair, and actually becoming a Bay Area Certified Green Business last year, the Marin County Fair is the last place you’d expect to see a lot of plastic, right?
Well, as great as it was, nothing is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. Plenty of fairgoers were drinking from disposable plastic bottles which had been provided by a few of the vendors. Enter the Plastic Sea Monster! I was actually invited to come and hang out with fairgoers, educate them about plastic, hand out some small flyers, play with the kids and accost… Read the rest
Friday, June 5, is World Environment Day, which has received a lot of deserved attention, but did you know that a few days later is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated since its inception in 1992, but 2009 is the first year it’s been officially recognized by the U.N. A plethora of events will be held in the world’s coastal regions all next week to observe the day and learn about our connection to and effect on the world’s oceans. From beach cleanups to film festivals to educational presentations, there are many ways to get involved.
This Sunday, June 7, 10a-12p, I’ll be joining the Ocean Beach cleanup in San Francisco (Judah Street Entrance), wearing my Plastic Sea Monster costume. This event is sponsored by Oceanhealth.org and San Francisco Surfrider Foundation. I’d love to see some of you Bay Area folks there!
June 8, Monday, 6:30p-9pWorld Oceans Day Film FestivalMontara Lighthouse,… Read the rest
If Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake,” back in the 18th Century, I wonder what she’d say now confronted with sea birds and turtles starving on our plastic waste. Such were the kinds of thoughts I had last night viewing the new exhibit, SMART Art — Trash Into Treasure, at the Lincart Gallery in San Francisco. A project of David de Rothschild’s Adventure Ecology Sculpt the Future Foundation, the SMART Art competition invited artists to show the world how discarded objects could be reused and reimagined into works of art. Tim Dey’s “Ghost of Versailles” was one of those entries. Made from used plastic packing supplies, bubble wrap, drop cloths, aquarium tubing, and soda bottle bottoms, his costume put my Bay to Breakers Sea Monster to shame.
But personally, I was rooting for the work of plastics activist surfer and new friend Kathleen Egan’s “Plastic Wave.” Made from… Read the rest