My friends Jay and Chantal, owners of the online shop Life Without Plastic, are brand new book authors! Their book, Life Without Plastic, was just released today, and I’m very honored to have been asked to write the foreword. Here’s what I wrote:
Ten years ago, I read an article about ocean plastic pollution – a problem I’d never heard of — and saw the shocking image that changed my life. The photo revealed the decayed carcass of a baby albatross who’d starved with a belly full of plastic, plastic it had been fed by its mother who mistook lighters and toothbrushes and bottle caps floating in the ocean for food. My heart broke as I realized that my personal choices could be causing harm to creatures thousands of miles away, and that very day, I embarked on a mission to see if it would be possible to live without plastic. I created a blog to report on my progress eliminating everyday plastics: disposables like single-use bottles, bags,… Read the rest
Since writing my book Plastic-Free, I’ve had multiple requests for a condensed version with just the basics for getting started. My answer is usually, “Great idea. How about you write it?” Because seriously, we need as many plastic-free voices in the media as possible. And to be honest, I get tired of hearing my own voice. Well, now someone else gone and written the shorter guide that people have been clamoring for.
In her new, brightly illustrated digital ebook That’s a Wrap, Australian blogger Lindsay Miles includes basic information about problems with plastic (as well as the drawbacks to recycling and plant-based plastics) and why you’d want to reduce your use of it. (Scroll down for purchase link at bottom of page.)
After getting the problems out of the way in the first 25% of the book, Lindsay goes on to offer a wealth of plastic-free tips and solutions,
highlighted throughout… Read the rest
Do you ever feel like you have a little Beth Terry sitting on your shoulder whispering into your ear things like, “Remember your reusable bags. Do you really want raw, organic cashews packaged in plastic? See if you can find them in bulk. Does that water bottle have BPA in it?” Well, now you can listen to my voice for real. (I think you’ll find my actual voice may be kinder and gentler than the one in your head.)… Read the rest
I just watched Annie Leonard’s Latest Video from The Story of Stuff Project: The Story of Solutions. And I have a few thoughts that might not be entirely popular. Here’s the video: http://act.storyofstuff.org/page/s/growing-solutions
In it, Annie argues that not all “solutions” to our environmental and social problems are created equal. Some solutions simply promote the status quo, while others are “game changers.” And I’m excited to see that she has decided to use plastic pollution solutions as an example. According to The Story of Solutions:
Plastic Bag Ban = Game Changing Solution
Plastic Recycling Incentive (such as gift cards for putting stuff in your recycle bin) = Status Quo
You’ll have to watch the video to understand her reasons for classifying these two kinds of “solutions” this way. But I’d just like to offer my take on incentive programs: I don’t… Read the rest
Among all the depressing environmental films out there, wouldn’t it be great if there were a funny, entertaining one about what it’s actually like to try and live without plastic? Taina Uitto, who has blogged at Plastic Manners since 2010 about her own plastic-free experiment, has been filming her process since day one. And last year, she invited 6 Vancouver families to join her. Now, she is putting the footage together into a feature film called From the Waste Up: Life Without Plastic, which will follow the adventures of these families as they try to navigate modern life without plastic. (There may be a few other people that you recognize in the film!)
But the filmmakers need your support to get it finished!
Check out the trailer:
From the Waste Up – Life Without Plastic from Taina Uitto on Vimeo.
Who Is Taina?
Taina is not just a blogger and activist. She’s also a new mom. And yesterday, she and I had a really fun… Read the rest
I’ve got a conundrum. It’s Black Friday, the day in the U.S. when the holiday shopping frenzy officially begins. Environmentalists decry this day of conspicuous consumption, advocating Buy Nothing Day instead. And normally, I would be one of them. But this year, I actually have something to sell: my book. In fact, I’ve planned a super cute gift pack with a copy of Plastic-Free, a copy of the Bag It DVD (which is packaged in a paper pulp case), and a cute reusable cotton gift bag from Green Planet Parties.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it), I can’t sell this to you today because demand for the book has been so high, it’s sold out! The publisher ordered a second printing, but it has been delayed. The books were supposed to have arrived in the warehouse several weeks ago, but so far, no books. (Keeping my fingers crossed for this week!)
Now, I have a confession to make: … Read the rest
When Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff Project) admonishes us to “make change,” she’s not talking about dimes and quarters. She’s one of my personal heroes and someone I was excited to interview back in 2010. So you can imagine how honored I was this year when asked if she could interview me for her podcast The Good Stuff, a companion piece to her new video, The Story of Change. The premise of the video and podcast is that personal changes are great, but they’re not enough. As Annie puts it, “Conscious consumerism is a great place to start, but it’s a lousy place to stop.” After watching the movie (it’s only 6-1/2 minutes long), do you agree?
In the the companion podcast, Annie interviews me along with people like Ralph Nader and Van Jones about how to go beyond personal lifestyle changes to make change on a more systemic level. I talk about how making changes in my own life led… Read the rest
Five years ago, a photo changed my life. I was just a regular American, choosing double plastic bags at the grocery store, drinking bottled water, living on microwaveable meals and energy bars wrapped in plastic, and buying whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without ever considering how things were made or where they were going to end up. I gave money to Greenpeace, watched environmental documentaries, and had even worked briefly for Clean Water Action right after college, but my environmental actions did not extend to my personal choices.
Images that change lives
And then one night, In June 2007, sitting alone at the computer, I stumbled across an article about the ocean plastic pollution problem and saw the photo that shocked me like no other had. It was a poor quality image of a dead albatross chick on Midway Island–halfway between the United States and Japan and thousands of miles from any civilization–that was full of everyday… Read the rest
When you write a book called Plastic-Free, and your publisher strives to create the book without any plastic materials, you might expect the book will be offered to the public without plastic. But expect the unexpected. Logic does not always prevail. I’ve received a couple of reports of my book being covered in plastic: one situation is truly unfortunate. The other situation is more understandable. Here’s what happened.
Plastic-Free shrink wrapped!
One of my Australian readers emailed me to say that my book had been delivered to the bookstore his mom manages completely shrink-wrapped in plastic. He even sent me a photo:
After a bit of freaking out (on my part) and research (on the part of his mom and my publisher), we learned that the Australian distributor had shrink wrapped all 80 copies after receiving them, in an effort to protect them from… what? Human hands? Obviously, they had not noticed the title of the book… Read the rest
Yesterday was the official worldwide launch date of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Lloyd Alter from Treehugger posted a beautiful review. So many of you have ordered signed copies from me to benefit the Plastic Pollution Coalition, that I keep selling out and having to order more!
That’s fantastic. But there are many more people who don’t get their information from blogs or the Internet and who don’t know there are steps they can take to get plastic out of their lives. I want them to know that, in the immortal words of candidate Obama, “We are the ones we are waiting for!” We have the power to change the world through our personal and community actions, and my mission is to give people tools to do just that!
Please help me spread the message of this book far and wide. There are lots of things you can do to help. Just as I have Action Items Checklists in the book, here is a long list… Read the rest