I came to see you last night at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. I bought my ticket in April and have looked forward to our little visit for months. I’m not embarrassed to admit that despite having the most awesome husband in the world, I get all squishy feeling inside when I see you on TV or hear a Maroon 5 song on the radio. You are my 2013 version of Donnie Osmond, Shawn Cassidy, Andy Gibb. (Yes, I’m that old.) I have been known to tell my friends I would walk across the floor on my tongue for you. Only sort of joking.
So last night, I joined all the other straight or bi women and gay men who feel the same way about you. And when you first appeared on stage, I was thrilled.… Read the rest
01/29/2013 Update: Richard Branson responds to my letter on his blog today: Plastic On Our Airlines.
Dear Richard Branson & David Cush,
This letter serves two purposes. First, to express my sincere gratitude for all you have done to make Virgin America the only airline I can fly without crying the whole time, and second, to ask you to address the issue of plastics on your flights. First, the good stuff.
I’m a nervous flyer. On takeoff, I’ve been known to cut off the circulation in my partner’s hand from gripping it so tightly. And years ago, I had flight attendants offering me free alcohol even before the plane took off (and even though I was sitting in coach) just to calm me down. But nowadays, after a little hypnotherapy and the advent of Virgin America, I actually enjoy flying. Which is fortunate, because after the release of my book last year, I’ve found myself sitting on planes probably more often than … Read the rest
One obstacle to carrying our own water bottles can be the difficulty finding water fountains or other sources for refilling those bottles when we’re out in the world. Since today is World Water Day, I thought I would give you a rundown of some of the strategies I use, as well as tell you about an awesome new Android app.
WeTap Water Fountain Mapping App
WeTap is a project developed by Evelyn Wendell, one of the inspiring activists profiled in my upcoming book, in conjunction with the Pacific Institute. One of the project’s goals is to create a database of the world’s water fountains, including their locations and operating conditions, and to provide the information to the public and relevant decision makers. To that end, WeTap has created a smartphone app to allow users to search for nearby water fountains and also–and perhaps most importantly–add water fountains to the database.
The app is super easy to use. … Read the rest
I love Ellen, but I want her to dump her bottled water advertising contracts. Please join the new Facebook Group (appropriately named Tell Ellen Degeneres To Dump Bottled Water Advertising!) created by Julie Borst of PlasticlessNYC and tell Ellen that bottled water sucks. Then, ask all your friends to join the group.
In addition to joining the group, check out Juli’s list of ways to contact Ellen and make your voice heard.
Ellen is not the first celeb to promote bottled water. Jennifer Aniston’s been doing it for years. The Filtered Files, the blog from the air and water filter company Filter Fast, has a list of other celebs with bottled water contracts. But Ellen’s support of Vitaminwater Zero is particularly disappointing to me because of her pro-environment, pro-animal lifestyle.
In fact, Ellen’s reasons for going vegan are the same reasons she should shun bottled water:
1) Living a Cruelty-free Lifestyle
Eating… Read the rest
While traveling, I bring my stainless steel travel mug or water bottle with me for everything from water to soda to coffee. On the cross country trip with my dad, I ended up with some plastic, but none of it was plastic bottles or cups. In 7-Elevens and mini marts across the country, I brought my reusable mug and asked if I could fill it up with coffee or water or soda. Not one person refused. And sometimes, if they were available, I’d fill up from free water fountains.
At the airport, you can bring your mug or water bottle through security empty and fill it at the water fountain on the other side. I make this suggestion regularly when asked about staying hydrated on planes. But lately, I’ve been getting questions about whether or not water fountains are safe to drink from.
Elizabeth Royte, author of the excellent book, Bottlemania, which I highly recommend, wants to know what you think on the issue. On the web site, Adventures in Climate… Read the rest
Sharing Tim Minchin's Bring Your Canvas Bags video, Werner Herzog's Life of a Plastic Bag video, and Annie Leonard's The Story of Bottled Water.
Filling up your bottle from the kitchen sink is easy. But how about when you’re out in the world and need a drink? With water fountains disappearing and restaurants reluctant to fill bottles without a purchase, it’s sometimes frustrating to find drinking water for free.
Enter a couple of web sites that can help.
TapIt was begun in New York City and is spreading across the U.S., now with locations in the Bay Area. Partner eating establishments commit to providing water to us in our reusable bottles at no charge.
If you have an iPhone, you can download the TapIt app. If you have a SmartPhone, you can simply browse to tapitwater.com and you’ll be directed right to the search page. I tried it on my Moto Q9c. It works.
If you don’t have one of these fancy Internet-capable phones, check the web site before leaving the house to find out where the TapIt partners are in your destination. And don’t forget your bottle.
While there are… Read the rest
Jackson Browne doesn’t appreciate the bottled water industry pumping millions of dollars into advertising to convince us that bottled water is better than tap water. He also happened to be sitting right behind me during the screening of Tapped Friday night at UCLA, one of the events organized by the new Plastic Pollution Coalition this weekend. So after the film, I asked if he would mind saying a few words to Fake Plastic Fish readers about his stand on bottled water. He said he could only give me a minute, but as you’ll see in the video, once he got started, his passion kicked in and he gave a lot more.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uD5gZ7yBZc
For those who are unable to hear the video, here’s a summary of his main points:
Tap water is more highly regulated than bottled water.
Often, bottled water is just tap water that bottlers extract, bottle, and sell back to us at an exhorbitant price.
Jackson carries his own metal… Read the rest
I just finished watching the new documentary, Tapped, a polemic against the bottled water industry. As regular Fake Plastic Fish readers know, I’ve written extensively against bottled water myself, providing a multitude of reasons to avoid the stuff: Bottled water is not as strongly regulated as tap water; it requires more energy to bottle and ship than tap water; it negatively impacts local community water supplies; it turns over control of a public trust to private companies; and of course, the plastic bottle lasts in the environment virtually forever.
Tapped covers all of these points and even some that were new to me. View the trailer:
The film begins with the statement,
By the year 2030, two-thirds of the world will be lacking access to clean drinking water. This is a problem every single person will be dealing with regardless of where they live in the world.
Many of us think that taking shorter showers and neglecting our lawns will… Read the rest
As a member of the #Blogher09 Green Team, I had the privilege of participating in a conference call with one of the Blogher Conference’s largest sponsors: PepsiCo. Why did the Green Team want to speak with Pepsi? Because in addition to peddling sodas and other flavored drinks, Pepsi has gotten into the bottled water business. Its brand is Aquafina. And we felt that Pepsi’s bringing Aquafina bottled water to the BlogHer conference would undermine the steps the Green Team had taken to encourage attendees to carry their own reusable bottles and to drink the local tap water.
In preparation for our meeting with Pepsi, the members of the Green Team as well as several members of the Green Moms Carnival wrote posts about the problems with bottled water. The conference is over, but bottled water will continue to be an ongoing issue, so I thought I would share with you the other posts these highly intelligent and articulate women came up with.
Green… Read the rest