The following is a guest post from Balaka B. Ghosal who contacted me last year to share her zero waste, plastic-free journey. Enjoy!
Most big journeys in our lives start with a story. Mine does, too.
Right after coming from India to Houston, Texas, with a six-year-old in tow, I was excited about the amazing systems and processes that worked like a well-oiled machine (or at least so it felt to me, as a new immigrant).
Interstate highways intersecting this megacity’s inner loop freeways without signals or snarling vehicles, disciplined queuing up at any checkout counters, kids’ activities planned days or weeks in advance, office supplies to organize the messiest studies, tools for all kinds of creativity and problem-solving impresses me even to this day, in spite of their carbon and water footprints. I could see why America is ahead of the pack in the industrial revolution.
Serving-size packaging for every snack, fancy party supplies, and Styrofoam… Read the rest
13-year-old Cambria Bartlett contacted me last year to do a phone interview about living plastic-free. She and a group of other homeschoolers, calling themselves Heirs to Our Oceans, were creating a video about caring for our oceans, and Cambria’s personal focus was on plastic.
Since then, I’ve met Cambria in person and learned what exceptional kids she and her friends are: committed, passionate, and dedicated to preserving the planet for future generations. I asked her to write a guest post to describe what they are doing and how you can help. Please read and enjoy!
Beth Terry is such an inspiration! In being aware of the changes she made to better our planet, I have come to care too and have made changes in my own behavior. Seeing Beth live her life with only one bag of plastic waste in a year made me realize that making change is possible. She is such a great role model! Beth’s blog and book have helped me so much in the last year. I have… Read the rest
Hannah Testa, a 14-year-old student in the state of Georgia, has joined the ranks of other influential kids raising awareness of the plastic pollution problem. In fact, she’s managed to get the State of Georgia to declare February 15, 2017, Plastic Pollution Awareness Day. Here’s her story, in her own words.
People always ask me how I ended up getting February 15, 2017, declared as Plastic Pollution Awareness Day in the state of Georgia. After all, this is a major eco-event and I am just a 14-year-old teen. So here is my story.
When I was 4 I realized that the actions we take today can have an impact on our world. One day, after leaving a store, I said to my parents, “No one cares about our planet except for us”. I told my parents that no one brought their own reusable bags except for us. From a young age, I knew that protecting the Earth started with us. Around the age of 10, my parents started exposing me to issues that … Read the rest
The following is an email I received from reader Susan Siu about how much she loves having to take her recycling to the local transfer center instead of having curbside pickup. I loved it so much, I asked her if she would send me pictures and let me post her email here. Don’t get me wrong: I still want curbside recycling to be made available so that people who wouldn’t otherwise recycle will comply, but I love her enthusiasm for her local transfer station. So, please enjoy this post about recycling/reusing in Southern Maine.
I LOVE your book and blog! I am a small-scale vegetarian organic homesteader in Southern Maine currently in the process of going zero-waste and plastic-free, and your book has been extremely helpful as well as fascinating. I have been watching many of your film/video recommendations with my kids, and they are sharing what they’ve learned with all their friends.
After reading your story about… Read the rest
Last week, I received an email from a new blogger who calls herself Little Urban Greenie. She’s a mom and “homesteader in the making.” She’s also expecting a new baby in the next month or so and plans to significantly reduce the amount of disposable products and plastics used in the birthing process this time around. She asked if she could share her plans here to help others who might be concerned about the amount of waste they generate during the childbirth process, and I thought it was a great idea.
Please check out Greenie’s post and follow her blog to find out how successful she is and to learn more about her crunchy ways.… Read the rest
The following is a guest post by two German students, Laura and Sophie, who tried an experiment to live one week without plastic trash. Please enjoy, and if you know of good resources in Germany, please be sure and leave a comment for them.
The first plastic-free shopping
The first plastic-free shopping was not that easy. Once you enter the supermarket, you notice that there is almost nothing you can buy as you would normally do. Usually, I am going to the supermarket and buy the things I like the most and which are affordable. But now there is a restriction: no plastic package. Here in Germany, they do not offer the vegetables I am always buying without plastic package. So I have to take another salad and different apples and put them into my reusable bag. Somehow I think it is better to put them into different plastic bags. But why? Actually, I do not know why and it is senseless as well. Now I know: the vegetables are the same and do not break if they … Read the rest
Last year, I received the following email from blog reader Melliny:
Hi…I recently began converting plastic to glass in my kitchen. It has been such an exciting experience to me that I took photos along the way to inspire my family to hopefully do the same…. The fact is that storing good food in glass is very beautiful, which is inspiring.
Please enjoy these gorgeous images, as well as Melliny’s explanation of how she stores fruits and vegetables in glass in her refrigerator. At the end, I’ve added a few of my own ideas.
I got rid of the “vegetable bins” in my refrigerators where plastic bags filled with rotting produce are most likely to live and use glass jars to store almost everything. You don’t need veggie bins when each type of produce you have has its own transparent glass container. It is also more convenient sometimes to lay tall jars on their sides, such as when you have soft, heavy fruit … Read the rest
Do you have a hard time letting go of things because they might be useful one day? Are you reluctant to give away your old plastic kitchenware for fear that someone else will be harmed by it? Or that they won’t dispose of it properly when they’re done with it? Do you resist tossing things into the recycle bin because you know the truth about what happens to most of our plastic recycling, and it’s not pretty? Do you feel compelled to bring home items left on the street even if you have no immediate use for them?
Are you turning your own home into a landfill?
These are questions many environmentalists deal with. Ever since June of 2007 when I put a bag under my kitchen table and vowed to acquire no new plastic, I’ve been collecting my plastic waste. And one day, a friend of mine looked at my boxes of years of collected plastic and said, “You know Beth, they have a word for this behavior, and it starts with an H.”
But I have an … Read the rest
Photo Restaurante Praia Arrifana ©
Michelle Cassar is a long-time reader of this blog and committed anti-plastic activist, although I’m not sure she would actually call herself an activist, nor anti plastic. She’s also a surfer, photographer, and world traveller who has been living in Portugal for quite a while. Back in 2011, she sent me a list of the over 10,000 plastic items she had refused since beginning her plastic-free life. And now, she’s helping others to refuse plastic by working with a local restaurant to eliminate plastic cups. Here is the story in her own words. Read, enjoy the beautiful photography, and be inspired!
(Por favor, vá para baixo para a versão Português.)… Read the rest
I love meeting people from around the world who are taking the plastic-free challenge in a very public way. The more people do this, the easier it will become for others to get started. I especially enjoy learning about how people around the world see the issue of plastic and what challenges they face. Here is a guest post from Tina Ngata, an indigenous Māori woman living in New Zealand who calls herself “The Non-Plastic Māori.” I hope you will be as inspired by her as I am.
Here, in Aotearoa (New Zealand), we enjoy a relatively high environmental profile, for a long time coined by the phrase 100% Pure. We are the land of pure, deep lakes fed by springs, of pristine environments and virgin forests.
Here’s the thing… it’s sortakinda not true – at all.… Read the rest