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
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
I’ve gone commercial! Well, no I didn’t. But I did make a commercial. Okay, not exactly. Filmmaker Alec Bernal just finished making me an awesome YouTube video promo for my book Plastic-Free. All I did was show up… and bring along the plastic sea monster. Check out the transformation…
Feel free to share this video and embed on your own website if you want to.
Happy Thursday!… Read the rest
This past Sunday, I had the honor to be a guest on MCNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show. It was my very first live national appearance, so as you can imagine, I was just a little concerned with getting everything right. As instructed, I put on way more makeup than usual (usual being none at all most days) and was grateful for finally having found plastic-free mascara this year! I got a haircut (probably the first in over a year), plucked my crazy eyebrows (couldn’t deal with mixing up a batch of sugar wax) and slathered on so much eyeshadow and mascara that Michael kept staring at me and going, “Wow. Your eyes.” And of course, for several days, I went over and over in my mind what I wanted to say.
The theme of the show was environmental justice, and the main guest for the segment was the amazing Majora Carter, environmental justice advocate and founder of Sustainable South Bronx. I was to join the conversation, happening live in New York… Read the rest
The Plastic Pollution Coalition scored a win two weeks ago when they were donated a cute PSA video by the top 11 finalists of last year’s American Idol that contained messaging against single-use disposable plastics. You can watch it here, along with Haley’s Wish (as long as it remains up):
Now, 19 Entertainment, the company that produces American Idol, is demanding that PPC remove the video from its Youtube channel and web site immediately. Why? Because the sponsors didn’t like it. The company wouldn’t say which sponsor complained, but I’m guessing it’s the one that provides the big red plastic cups that sit beside the judges each week. (Read: Coca Cola.)
Forbes ran a story yesterday asking whether the pressure to take down the video will backfire and bring more attention to the cause. Daniella Russo, the executive director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, says she has no intention of removing the … Read the rest
Over a year ago, we ranted here about the idiocy of plastic-wrapped bananas and then posted them to the Plastic Crap Wall of Shame. Now, it seems, Stewart’s got a Pantry of Shame, and guess what’s in there? Plastic-wrapped bananas, which, he says, “are for people who love bananas but hate their biodegradability.”
I love this man and am wondering if I was too quick to cancel my cable. Nah. I can watch The Daily Show online:
In other news, I gave a 30 minute interview on Heather Lounsbury’s Live Well Live Natural radio program yesterday, during which I made a few confessions. Click above link to listen.
… Read the rest
Finally! The videos from the TEDx conference in L.A. last month have been posted. Here is my talk on living la vida sin plástico, as well as links to/descriptions of all the speakers and performers that day. Learn how plastic affects people across the globe, animals on land and sea, and what individuals, businesses, and communities can do about the problem.
Topic 1: Plastic Pollution and Ocean Health
Captain Charles Moore: Ten Years Later, the Gyre is All Around Us
Dianna Cohen (filmed at TED Mission Blue Voyage): Tough Truths About Plastic Pollution
Fabien Cousteau: Ocean Animals and Plastic Pollution
Ben Lear: song performance
Topic 2: Plastic Pollution and Terrestrial Animals
Bharati Chaturvedi: Not Just the Ocean — A Report from India (pre-recorded video not posted yet)
David Wernery: In The Desert – A Report from the United Arab Emirates (pre-recorded video not posted yet, but read the article about camels eating plastic… Read the rest
Yesterday, L.A. County voted to ban single-use plastic bags. And this morning, Green Sangha — an organization I’ve been part of since 2007 — released an awesome new video by filmmaker Ben Zolno of New Message Media. Watch, enjoy, and please pass it on to your friends. The message is serious. The medium is total, addictive fun.
For those who can’t hear or who can’t understand the lyrics, the whole thing is conveniently titled, and the lyrics are also printed out on the Youtube page.… Read the rest
The International Plastic Quilt Project encourages people to live plastic-free and to make art from the plastic waste that they do end up with.
I met up with Oakland resident Amy Chovnick last month to be a part of the following video, explaining the idea behind the project and how you can get involved. It’s simple!
I got a chance to see part of the quilt a few weeks ago at the Mini Maker Faire in Oakland. What I loved about it was the variety of designs, from simple to complex. See for yourself. (Click images to see larger.)
And here are some fake plastic fish…
… Read the rest
One of the strategies I use to acquire less new plastic is to fix stuff that breaks instead of replacing it with new gadgets and to use resources like Craigslist, Freecycle, and thrift stores to get it secondhand. So I get really irritated when despite my best efforts, I find that my broken gadgets are not designed to be repaired. I’ve ranted about the HP Monitor and the digital scale that I tried to have fixed. I bragged about working with my dad to fix my old hair dryer, but lamented the fact that it wasn’t made to be repaired and that only the fact that my dad is an electronics technician allowed us to open it up and replace the broken part.
Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff Project in conjunction with the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and Center for Environmental Health have just released a new video today: The Story of Electronics. And it explains in 7 minutes the entire toxic life-cycle of gadgets designed for the dump and what we as consumers… Read the rest