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
I haven’t been posting much recently because I’m hard at work on the Plastic-free Book. But I had to take a break to fill you in on a pretty cool story about what happens when enough of us speak up. As many of you know, I attended the annual BlogHer conference in early August. I brought my usual travel supplies (reusable mug, reusable utensils, Lunchbot container, etc.) so I wouldn’t get stuck with any unexpected plastic waste. In previous years, the conference venue has provided real china and silverware, so assuming this year would be no different, I didn’t think to bring my stainless steel container with me to the actual conference center. I left in my hotel room. I gasped when I got to the lunch buffet line, starving after having missed breakfast, and encountered black plastic plates. And not just any kind of plastic, but polystyrene — a particularly toxic kind that is rarely recycled.
What should I do? I could go … Read the rest
Molly de Vries lives just across the bay from me in Marin County and is the owner of Ambatalia, a company producing beautiful cloth to-go bags, napkins, and other reusables. Her story is inspiring. Please enjoy her story in her own words.
My name is Molly de Vries, owner of Ambatalia, textiles for a non-disposable life, and The Fabric Society Shop.
I grew up amongst 7 brothers and sisters in downtown Mill Valley, California…
and am now raising my own three kids with my husband Willem in the original house my mom and dad bought back in 1955.
Mill Valley was much different than it is today. Lots of artists, musicians, and incredible places like the unknown museum, a magical spot filled with what some people might call junk or garbage. It was inspiration to me.
I grew up with a kitchen wall filled with beautiful old utilitarian hand tools and a large house furnished with found objects collected by my mom and dad. Also shopping at the Marin City… 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
BlogHer is about community, the power of women’s blogs and the promotion of women’s voices. It’s also about corporate sponsorship, commercialism, and the tradeoffs made to create a platform and conference experience for 2,400 women. I LOVED my BlogHer conference experience this year. It was a rockin’ good time. Nevertheless, I am troubled by some of the fundamental values of the organization, and I won’t be participating on the Green Team for future conferences.
But first, the good stuff…
1) Connecting with other women bloggers.
The BlogHer conference gives women bloggers a place to come together, to meet up in person, and to let our diverse voices be heard. According to Gloria Feldt in the Closing Night keynote, BlogHer is ranked as the #4 most powerful social media outlet. It promotes women’s voices in a time when men are still the loudest in the blogosphere. Here are just… Read the rest
Last year, I ranted about feeling overwhelmed at the BlogHer conference. In my post, Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff, I asked how BlogHer could move away from the commercialization of the conference and how we as bloggers could get back to our roots and avoid getting swept up in the barrage of swag and parties pushed by conference sponsors. I also revealed that I spent all of the first night drunk off my butt and that because I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted going in to the conference, I failed to make the most of the educational tracks offered.
BlogHer 2010 will be different from BlogHer 2009
I’m hoping this year will be different. But the difference will be inside of me… not the conference itself. From the program guide, it looks like there are even more sponsors this year — big companies like Procter and Gamble, Pepsico, Walmart, and McDonald’s. But BlogHer has made one important change, and that is that vendors … Read the rest
In the comments on my post about toxic food packaging labels, the subject of fruit and vegetable labels came up, those little plastic stickers affixed to almost all grocery store produce these days so cashiers don’t have to memorize the codes.
Back in the day when I was a kid, produce didn’t come with stickers. There were codes ink-stamped on some of the citrus, as I recall, but nothing like the plastic stickers we have today that are especially annoying when attached to soft-skinned fruit like ripe pears and peaches. Don’t you hate when the skin rips off with the sticker?
But what about the adhesive and the tiny bit of plastic the sticker represents? Is it something that should keep us awake at night? My feeling is that no, it should not, and before you crucify me, please let me explain why.
Stickers Differentiate Organic from Non-organic
Devised by the International Federation for Produce Standards, the PLU (Price Look-Up) … Read the rest
Just say no to those little plastic pizza savers. Is saving a little bit of cheese more important than saving the environment?
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
Three years ago, I took the red pill and swore off plastic.
Last year, on my hands and knees sopping up a spilled glass of wine, I found another red pill under the couch and, mistaking it for a vintage M&M, popped it in my mouth. I haven’t had a drink since.
This February, a third red pill fell out of a book I was reading, and I swallowed it before I realized what I was doing. I think you know what happened. I just can’t look at meat without seeing the living animal it once was.
So, I was just wondering if there were any more red pills I should worry about finding because all this “Wonderland” is getting to be a drag. For example, last night, I was out having drinks and … Read the rest
They said they’d do it, and now Urban Village Farmers Markets has finally banned plastic bags! Originally scheduled to go into effect on October 1, the ban was pushed to January of this year to give vendors time to research their options and prepare for the change over. Beginning this month, a sign greets patrons as they enter the market informing them of the change and encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.
How do I feel? Um… just thinking about it makes me dance a little jig and channel KC & the Sunshine Band: “That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh!”… Read the rest