I just got back from a week on the East Coast doing book promos and visiting family, and all I got was this stupid Facebook photo…
Two days ago, my sister Ellen posted that photo and caption and tagged me. It would have been funny, if it weren’t my Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup can. My first reaction was utter embarrassment (for being caught eating out of a can lined with BPA or some other mystery chemical and even more, for eating Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup in the first place), and I asked her to untag me. Instead, she posted a comment: Just kidding! That’s my soup.
But it wasn’t her soup, it was mine. Granted, I didn’t buy it — I found it in a cupboard in my dad’s house — but still… how can I go around advising people to avoid BPA-lined cans if I can’t always resist them myself? So, after untagging myself and then feeling all weird and guilty, I suddenly realized…… Read the rest
I spent Thanksgiving week in Maryland with my family.
Here’s a picture of my dad. He has questions.
(Okay, that photo was taken in Hawaii in 2006 — not Maryland in 2011. But it’s nice, isn’t it?)
So we were at the local Giant Foods grocery store last week, and after I whipped out my handy ChicoBag reusable bags from my purse, the cashier said she thought Maryland was going to start charging a fee for plastic bags, similar to the fee in effect in Washington D.C. Turns out she was almost right. Prince George’s County (where my dad lives) wants to impose a bag fee but must get authorization from the State General Assembly. There will be a hearing this Saturday.
When we got home from the store, my dad looked at my ChicoBags and asked, “So I would need to get twenty of those to replace the twenty plastic bags I bring home from the store?”
I explained that reusable bags are stronger than disposable plastic bags, so… Read the rest
Dad and I set out on Thursday from Oakland, CA and headed east. I’m trying my best to avoid plastic while traveling, but some things seem unavoidable and others are just accidental.
First of all, we need to carry a cooler for snacks and drinks. Dad likes to have lots of soda. And we are bringing our own snacks (bananas, nuts, bread, etc.) to avoid buying a lot of junk food on the road, although we are not completely avoiding it. In fact, ice cream makes frequent appearances in our itinerary. So anyway, we’re using a plastic foam cooler that I already had, and we bought a bag of ice in a plastic bag to fill it. In the future, we’ll refill the ice from motel ice machines to avoid additional plastic bags.
We also bought.. wait… wait… oh my god…
Okay, now let me clarify. We bought two 2-1/2 gallon jugs of water to keep in the car in case we break down in the desert. We don’t plan to open it except in an emergency.… Read the rest
Hi everybody. Writing this post sucks. But then, so do a lot of things in life.
I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be leaving tomorrow for a 2-week trip and may not blog much while I’m gone. As many of you know, my parents have lived part-time in Hawaii for several years, and I’ve written about visiting them (and the plastic in Hawaii) more than once.
01/21/2008: Plastic in Paradise
01/23/2008: Some Things About Hawaii That Have Little To Do With Plastic
01/16/2009: Cutting Waste While Traveling: It’s Not So Hard
01/19/2009: Aloha! Plastic Tally from Hawaii and Visiting Sea Turtle Beach
08/18/2009: Visiting a Plastic Paradise
Tomorrow, I leave to visit my parents’ condo in Waikiki for the very last time. My dad’s there now, selling all their furniture on Craigslist and cleaning up. I’m going to help him finish. My mom is with my sister in Maryland. And my sister is just trying to hold … Read the rest
On January 2, I reported about my broken plastic hairdryer and how I was hoping to fix it during my visit to my electronics technician (not “electrician,” there’s a difference I’m told) dad in Hawaii. Well, I’m happy to report that it’s fixed. He was able to figure out what part was bad and knew just where to go to get a replacement. Then, he also knew how to attach the replacement part once we found it. He’s my hero.
After using a screwdriver to take it apart (which I’d already done in the end of December), you need an ohmmeter or multimeter to test the circuitry. As I was attempting to write this post last night, I realized I didn’t know how to explain how my dad used his multimeter to test the wires. So I asked him to send me an explanation, and this is what he wrote:
Switch the multimeter to measure ohms. (â„¦)
Two leads (a ‘hot’ and a ‘common’) attach to the plug, the common… Read the rest
I jotted these words in my notebook on the plane yesterday flying home from O‘ahu as Diamond Head receded in the distance, clouds and water took over the view, and a lump started to form in my throat.
My mom and dad lived in Waikiki in the early 60’s, my dad working for the phone company after completing his stint in the navy and my mom having taken a teaching job on the island. Both were recovering from failed first marriages. They met, married, and conceived me. Nine months later, I was born in Maryland, the place to which they moved to raise a family in closer proximity to their parents.
Somehow, although I never actually saw the islands with my own eyes until I was nearly 30 years old, Hawai‘i is inside of me. Maybe it was the Hawai‘ian music my parents played in our house while we were growing up or the photos of my mom performing a hula in her beautiful mu‘umu‘u or their friends from the island who would visit us on the mainland… Read the rest
Up early this morning because of the 3-hour time difference, I had nothing better to do than snoop through my parents’ cupboards and refrigerator forgaging for food. Determined to get through this trip somewhat plastickly unscathed, I’ll have to stick to a banana, a glass of water, and a piece of my sister Fran’s homemade apple pie until she arrives later today with unpackaged food for making dinner.
Here’s how my dad feels about the whole plastic reduction project. And yeah, that’s his middle finger in the corner:
And here are a few more choice finds:
I’m not picking on my family. They are not so different from most Americans. They like convenience. And now that my parents are retired, they would rather use disposable tableware to avoid having to wash dishes. Plastic cutlery, styrofoam ice cream bowls, styrofoam or paper plates…. My dad seems to understand the problems of plastic, but I think he feels… Read the rest