Last month, the City of Berkeley, CA, unanimously passed the nation’s most ambitious, comprehensive ordinance on disposable plastic foodware to date. The new law requires that:
Disposable items like utensils, straws, lids, and sleeves may only be provided upon request or at a self-serve station, not automatically.
Food vendors must provide compost bins for customers.
All disposable takeout foodware must be 100% BPI certified compostable
by January 1, 2020.
All vendors must charge $0.25 cents for hot and cold takeout cups by January 1, 2020.
All eat-in customers must be served foods in reusable foodware by July 1, 2020.
This ordinance is a big win for the plastic-free, zero-waste movement, and it will require big changes for some Berkeley restaurants. But there are restaurants, whether in or outside Berkeley, that are already ahead of the game. Last year, I hung out with Heather Clapp of Jules Thin Crust pizza restaurant just… 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
The theme of the Green Mom’s Carnival this month is Eco-Confessions. And I have a big one. I love fast food. Every time I pass a McDonald’s I have to close my eyes and count to ten to keep from going in and ordering a double cheeseburger. This fact probably grosses some of you out. And when I think about what a McDonald’s double cheeseburger is made of, it grosses me out too. But it’s hard to think about the cows and environmental degradation wrought by the meat industry (and the mono-culture GMO corn industry) when I catch a whiff of those burgers sizzling on the grill.
But that’s not really my confession. Because mostly, I manage to resist that McDonald’s urge that was instilled in me as a child through no fault of my own. I resist and resist. And the few times a year I succumb, I get out with no bag, no napkin, no cup or straw or ketchup pack. I do try to mitigate the damage as much as possible because I’m always prepared… Read the rest
Michael was terribly excited last week to tell me that a new shop had opened in our neighborhood combining two of our biggest passions: ice cream and zero waste. “You have to come see and bring your camera so you can write about it!” He’s not often so emphatic about what I post on my blog, so I figured this must be serious!
We joined up with a couple of other ice cream-lovin’ friends on Sunday and headed up the street to Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, which just opened a week ago on College Avenue (near where Safeway wants to build its mega monstropolis.) And sure enough, the boy was right! The ice cream is awesome, certified organic, but even better, the shop offers only durable or compostable containers and utensils.
The spoons are metal (for eating in the shop) or made from potato starch (for taking to go.)
Even the little tasting spoons are made from metal.
The bowls and containers are either durable dishes, like this one that … Read the rest
As I mentioned in Part 1 of My Disney Adventure, I rushed to reserve transportation and accommodations at the last minute without planning ahead. This is not recommended.
If I had done some research, I might have found a more eco-friendly place to stay. Instead, I went for availability and price, booking a room at the Alamo Inn & Suites on Katella Ave simply because it had the best rates through Hotels.com.
On the plus side, the hotel is located just across the street from Disneyland, so no driving is required to get to the park. As far as I can tell, that is the only environmental plus. And since there are so many other hotels also within walking distance, there’s sure to be another with a better eco-philosophy.
Now, here are a few negatives:
Coffee service in the lobby with Styrofoam cups and plastic stirrers.
Plastic drinking cups in the room.
Plastic-lined waste cans in the rooms and no means of recycling.
Plastic packets of shampoo… Read the rest