As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to reduce the number of supplements I take (and hence, supplement packaging) by getting my nutrients from whole foods instead of pills. So a few weeks ago, I was wondering aloud (apparently, I’ve started talking to myself a lot lately) about how I could get more calcium, and Michael, whose mind goes all sorts of random places, said, “You eat an egg every day. Why not eat the shell, too?” He wasn’t serious. But I wondered if eating eggshells was a thing. You know, a thing that people do. So of course, I turned to that trove of wisdom called Google, and lo and behold, there were lots of posts about how to do just that.
Before I go further… once again… I am not a doctor. I am not suggesting that you or anyone else should eat eggshells. I’m simply reporting my own experience.
Okay, so first I found this discussion, which lists several different studies… Read the rest
New Year’s Resolution #2: Generate less plastic waste from medicine and supplement packaging.
Okay, before I continue, I have to give the usual caveat: I am not a doctor and nothing I write in this post or anywhere on this blog should be construed as medical advice. I’m writing about my experience only. Your mileage may vary.
Now that that’s out of the way, check out my stash of health-related plastic waste from 2013:
Let’s examine it row by row.
Boosting My Immune System
Top 2 rows: With the exception of the ibuprofen (which I used over several years), all are cold/flu related products. Like I mentioned last week, I got sick a lot in 2013. … Read the rest
So, I kind of screwed up. I brought a tin of Chagrin Valley bug repellent with me to Hawaii, intending to use it and review it on this blog. (We don’t really have too many biting bugs in the Bay Area, so I hadn’t had a chance to try it.)
It seems great. Comes in a metal tin and contains only Organic Virgin Shea Butter; Organic Jojoba oil; Organic Unrefined Beeswax; Organic Neem oil; Organic Essential oils of Lemon Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Citronella, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Basil, Thyme.
Yesterday, Michael and I were only planning to hang out in town, so I didn’t bother applying the bug repellant, … Read the rest
Adding to the continuing series of posts on gardening without plastic, here is another guest post from Ro Kumar, who gave a few tips for avoiding plastic in the garden back in April.
It’s been said by environmental leaders like Michael Pollan that one of the best and easiest things we can do to reduce carbon emissions is to start a garden. Starting a garden can also help to dramatically reduce our use of plastics and improve our health. Here are two great benefits of growing your own food and herbs:
The supermarket in your backyard has no plastic packaging
Everything we buy at stores tends to involve plastic packaging. By growing your own food, you effectively step outside of this plastic supply chain, and enter into your own plastic-free one! I currently have a bounty of sugar snap peas growing on a trellis in my front yard. I use a stainless steel bowl to collect the peas — there is ZERO plastic involved in this process.
Grow your own herbs to
… Read the rest
So, two weeks ago, I was out of town staying in a hotel with friends and looking forward to a much deserved vacation, when I started to feel the tell-tale signs of a cold coming on. My face hurt, my head throbbed, and by the second day, I had a sore throat. I’ve written before about plastic-free traveling as well as plastic-free cold remedies, but I wasn’t prepared for the eventuality of both happening at the same time. Crap. What was I going to do? My neti pot was at home. So were most of my cloth handkerchiefs. And I had no idea how to get soup or cough remedies without plastic in this unfamiliar place.
At first, I tried to manage the symptoms without plastic. I drank a lot of water (due mostly to my friend’s helpful nagging.) I found a glass jar of honey and some lemons at the local grocery store. And I found Woodford Reserve bourbon–which comes with a wood/cork stopper instead of a plastic cap or BPA-lined screw cap–at… Read the rest
Cotton balls come packaged in plastic. So do cotton facial rounds. And even organic cotton balls come in plastic. So I’d pretty much given up using either of them after my last bag ran out a few years ago.
And then, in March, I discovered cotton balls in a cardboard box at CVS. I checked inside the box to make sure there wasn’t a plastic bag hiding in there. Nope. A paper bag. I got all excited and bought a box.
But as I walked home, I started to think. And the more I thought, the less excited I got. First of all, the packaging might not have been plastic, but there sure was a lot of it. Double packaging — box AND bag. It didn’t seem like such great alternative to the plastic after all.
The problem with cotton
And then I started thinking about the cotton balls themselves. I could get organic cotton balls in a plastic bag, but the cotton in this box was not organic. And, according to the Organic Trade Association:
Cotton is considered the world’s… Read the rest
In my last blog post over a week ago (yeah, I’m still sick) I listed my favorite plastic-free cold remedies and pleaded for some cloth hankies to relieve my gushing nose. Thanks to all of you who chimed in. Reader Plastic-Free Citizen left a comment about HankyBooks, ingenious little organic cotton hankies bound together like books that are much neater (and cuter) than large handkerchiefs. So I contacted Leslie from HankyBooks to ask for a sample to review. Of course, I requested no plastic packaging or tape, which she happily complied with.
A HankyBook fits in the palm of your hand.
Its pages are stitched together like a book, which makes it much neater and easier to carry than a single hankie that you unfold and refold, or wad up and stuff in your pocket, as is often the case. And the book system keeps the snot inside instead of all over your stuff.
To use it, you open to a clean page and pinch the middle together to fit around your nose, as you would a … Read the rest
Hacking cough, running nose, body aches and chills… these are just a few of the souvenirs I brought home from my trip to Florida last week. Fun times. So, anyway, I thought I would recap some of my favorite plastic-free cold remedies.
Vegetarian hot & sour soup in stainless steel tiffin
When I have a cold, my favorite treat is Chinese hot and sour soup. Living plastic-free, though, means that I can’t just pick up the phone and order it to be delivered. Lucky for me, Michael is usually on hand and willing to run down the street with our stainless steel tiffin and fill it up for me. We’ve never had any hassle from either Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood — Great Wall or Becky’s Chinese — when we bring our own container, although the staff at Becky’s once tried to put the tiffin in a plastic bag. It’s got a handle. It doesn’t need any bag!
Spicy virgin bloody mary
The alcohol is unnecessary. I … Read the rest
I’ve been with my family in Maryland since Thursday. It was meant to be a happy trip to celebrate my and my mom’s birthdays, but in the last two weeks, my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that she can no longer even speak to us. We can’t tell if she knows who we are anymore. My heart is breaking, and all I know is that I want to be near her as much as I can this year.
Mostly my attitude this weekend’s been “screw the plastic.” Not for myself. I’m still refusing single use disposables for me. But when it comes to all the plastic necessary to take care of my mom (disposable diapers, wipes, medicine bottles, pads, creams, gloves, etc), I just can’t go there. It just doesn’t seem important in the scheme of things.
But then again, what if everyone with a sick loved one felt that way? Mountains of plastic trash are generated in home care, and those mountains are only… Read the rest
Plastic-Free Living Discussion covering pantyhose alternatives, bulk foods packaging, plastic kids' toys, plastic-free fishing bait, and other fun stuff.