On Blog Action Day, bloggers around the world all post articles on a single topic. This year, the topic is human rights, and as I sit here typing (or Swyping) this post into my Android mobile phone, I’m acutely aware that having a smartphone is very definitely NOT a human right. (Okay, this is going to be one of those weird, winding, philosophical posts that may not end up where we think it will. Let’s just see where it goes, okay?) So yes, human rights. But first, let me explain why I bought this phone.… Read the rest
I’ve seen this picture of Kamilo Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii a million times in the past six years. It’s shocking. But not as shocking as seeing a plastic-covered beach up close live and in person like I did yesterday during Kokua Hawai’i Foundation’s Coastal Cleanup Day event at James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Oahu.
When I first entered the area, I didn’t see much…
Then I looked down and started noticing microplastic particles in the sand…… Read the rest
This will be my penultimate Burning Man post for the year. I think. (I have one more in mind, but who knows if I’ll get a burning desire to say even more after that? Or less?)
I have a discussion question for you, but first, a little background and lots of pictures. (I don’t think there is any nudity in these photos, but let me know if you see some and I’ll remove it. This blog is rated PG even if my life isn’t always.)
Reducing our plastic footprint was the theme of the Earth Guardians camp this year. Toward that end, we had Annie’s plastic footprint sculpture…
I gave two talks on plastic-free living on and off the playa…
Karima from the Plastic Pollution Coalition was there, taking pictures and working on quantifying Burning Man’s plastic footprint.
Several people came up to me during the week who … Read the rest
I only had two hours sleep last night after driving 12 hours, but I want to post these pictures and give you the list of ways I’m de-plastifying my Burn this year.
I’m staying with the Earth Guardians… which is part of the Burning Man infrastructure tasked with making the event as green as possible.
If you’re on the playa, stop by and say hi, leave me a message in the little notebook attached to my tent, or come to one of my workshops, either Wednesday at 1 or Saturday at 2.
Here’s the outside view of my little home on the playa:
The tent is a Springbar Traveler 5, which is made of heavy duty cotton canvas. I put it up this morning with the help of an expert named Kearce. But it was me who pounded all 18 twelve-inch steel stakes into the hard playa.
Here are the pros and cons of a Springbar tent. Pros:
*Mostly heavy duty cotton instead of synthetic material. *Super strong, stable, and durable. According to comments online from Burners,… Read the rest
Last year was my first trip to Black Rock City and the annual Burning Man festival of art, fire, and radical creativity, as well as dust storms, cracked feet, and dry, bloody boogers. I can’t wait to go back. This year, I’ll be part of the Earth Guardians’ Plastic Footprint project — combining art and education about plastic-free living. Today, I’ll tell you about the art and associated workshops we have planned. Tomorrow, I’ll share all the new plastic-free solutions I’ve discovered for Burning Man this year. I’ve been researching my head off. Really, my brain hurts right now.
Plastic Footprint Project — At Burning Man and Incline Village
SCROLL DOWN the page for the list of our Plastic-Free Workshops and events next week. But first, the art…
I attended the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Think Beyond Plastics Competition conference two weeks ago and have been trying to find the time to sit down and write about it ever since! There were so many cool plastic-free innovators and activists there, I barely know where to begin. If you will recall from my previous post, the competition sought to reward and support creative start-up entrepreneurs working to be part of the plastic pollution solution. Such as…
Pulpworks was one of the grand prize winners. The company wants to replace the frustration of the plastic blister pack with a more eco-friendly option made entirely from recycled paper. Instead of this…
wouldn’t it be nice if, in situations where packaging is necessary, that packaging was made from compostable, 100% post-consumer waste paper?
As you can see, there isn’t even any glue in this package. Just paper pulp and … Read the rest
Since I’m not a mom myself, I rely on the wisdom of other parents who are working to reduce plastic in their families’ lives. Cloth diapering is one way to cut down on the amount of plastic contacting your baby’s skin and ending up in landfills or incinerators. Here are a couple of guest posts: one is about a cloth diaper event coming up this month, and the other is about a project to donate cloth diapers to families in need.
The Great Cloth Diaper Change
by Janice Roodsari of Momma Words
Have you heard about the Great Cloth Diaper Change? All around the world people are learning about how using simple, reusable, cloth diapers can make a BIG impact on a family’s finances, environmental waste and pollution, as well as the health of your baby. To help spread the word about the benefits of cloth diapering, an event called The Great Cloth Diaper Change was dreamed up and the Real Diaper Association turned this dream into a reality.
The … Read the rest
You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging super regularly. That’s because I’ve been traveling around giving talks on plastic-free living in lots of cool places and meeting some amazing people.
Last week, I got together with Danielle Richardet (of the blog It Starts With Me), who cleans up plastic trash on her local beach with her kids and worked on getting smoking banned at the beach, and Bonnie Monteleone (of The Plastic Ocean Project), who has taken several trips out to the Pacific Garbage Patch to see ocean plastic pollution for herself. The three of us gave a couple of joint presentations on plastic in the ocean and ways to reduce plastic in our homes and on our planet. I discovered that presenting with other people, especially local people, is way more fun AND way more effective than simply doing it myself.
We talked to folks at the library in Greensboro, NC:
And we talked to folks at UNCW in Wilmington, NC:
The video from… Read the rest
I realize Talk Like a Pirate Day is over for 2012, but there’s a certain piraty expression that’s good all year round: Arrr! According to the official website, it means “variously, ‘yes,’ ‘I agree,’ ‘I’m happy,’ ‘I’m enjoying this beer,’ ‘My team is going to win it all,’ ‘I saw that television show, it sucked!’ and ‘That was a clever remark you or I just made.'” But that definition fails to mention that Arrr! also sounds like “R,” the first letter of a string of very important words… words with which the Reuse Alliance would like us to become intimate and in particular, the “R” that comes before “Recycle”: Reuse.
What is the Reuse Alliance?
“Reuse” encompasses a whole lot more “R”s, which I plan to have fun with in this post. … Read the rest
I’m a virgin. A Burning Man virgin. Ever since I learned about the annual tribal celebration of fire and self-expression back in the mid 90’s, I have wanted to go and hang out in the Black Rock Desert and express myself. But I’ve never had a friend who wanted to go with me, until recently, when I met Tracey TieF through this very blog. And that’s appropriate because this year when I go, I’m going to be thinking of ways to do it as Plastic-Free as possible. And what’s more, I’ll be teaching a Plastic-Free class through the Play(a)Skool!
At Burning Man, participants are required to bring their own water to the playa, which is a very hot and dry place, with temperatures reaching into the hundreds and chances of dust storms (which I hear we will be having this year.) You can imagine, there are a lot of plastic water containers at this event. Many people… Read the rest