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@BethTerry Don't mess with me. I'm upping the ante to a retrofitted repurposed SOLAR POWERED COOLER!!!
1 year, 3 months ago on Plastic-Free Burning Man -- The List, Part 1
My best ice idea:
When I had a place with electricity and a well on a rive, my friends next door with none of that luxury rotated large bottles of water in & out of my freezer. They used them in their cooler until all the ice melted, then they drank the water! I bet SOMEONE on the playa has a working freezer you could sneak bottles in and out of to keep you in ice!
@Eco novice I think we need to live a lot more like our ancestors if we are going to save our environment. We've forgotten the hassle of disposable and easy to break items. We need to reorient. I don't want to consume a new toaster every year, whether it's made of metal or plastic. I want the old school 10 year toaster that can then be repaired.
1 year, 3 months ago on When is Plastic NOT Moop?
First off, thanks
for posting that photo of me! It was a great honour to get to tell your audience that plastic-free business is possible. And thanks for letting me be an Earth
Guardians groupie. You know you're an eco nerd when your best times at
Burning Man are hanging out...
My vision of a better world includes:
1. Durable goods made of the ideal materials for their purpose, and made with the whole life cycle of the materials in mind. So maybe fridges would be made with low toxin plastics, or even stainless steel. They'd cost more, but they would be made to last 20-40 years instead of 10. My first energy saver fridge lasted 30 years. So I'm not dreaming.
2. Laws and regulations that require localities to absorb, reuse or recycle their own waste.
3. Returnable bottle programs that pay a truer value for materials to be recycled. Thus glass, paper and metal would be perceived as valuable again versus plastics.
4. People and businesses reoriented towards local, package-less, refillable goods. Think 14th century Europe going to market with a basket and some cloth, maybe a jar for honey. Or I charge you $3 for a glass jar, so you bring it back every time for me to refill. Or I tell you how to find someone local to you who makes toothpaste, or I sell you the workshop notes, because it doesn't make sense to post glass jarred toothpaste to you.
5. Last but most importantly, a school system where every kids learns how to make body care products throughout their education, building skills and concepts related to health, science, math and social science.
I just asked Ramin of www.NoPlastic.ca if he would carry EcoJarz. If not, I will.
1 year, 3 months ago on I wish I'd known about EcoJarz when I wrote my book
As a child I got Baby Alive AND The Sunshine Family VW Camper.
This year my sister sewed us towels and aprons.
Saint Nicholas brought metal scooters, a bicycle and renewable energy toy kits. Not plastic-free but close. Stockings were filled with coop special foods (smoked gouda in wax) and handmade goodies. We gave each other experiences. A family trip to the zoo. A coupon for a party with 5 friends. A coupon for a sleepover party. Soap and candle making workshops. We got two "This is the best day of my life, ever!"s.
* And the kids happily tossed in the giveaway bag the plastic stuff my aunt maliciously bought us at the dollar store and wrapped. This is for me a triumph of parenting!
1 year, 11 months ago on Holiday Buying: More Pressure Today Than 40 Years Ago?
To clarify, I give back new new ziplock bags. I get excited when I get a new used or reused ziplock bag.
2 years ago on Are Plastic Ziploc Bags Suddenly Green or Greenwashed?
1) No. People who throw them away still will. People who take responsibility for them now will still do so, perhaps by recycling them instead of reusing them. Which means more ziplocks sold, not less...
2) No, they should not be at the festival so long as other all-plastic packaging is also banned. Yes, it greenwashes plastic. Boo.
3) Never! They will et the support of the middle ground folks. It's our job to shout out "hey! Think about it! This company still just wants you to consume more! The bags are going to end up non recyclable "lumber! The communities that host the recycling plant are going to get sick. The nurdles and garbage will still kill wildlife! There is no solution that does not begin with reduce or refuse!
I hoard ziplocks bags. Beth has seen this in action. They last about 3 years with me. I use them for dry goods only. To be honest, I get a little excited when someone gives me a big juicy new ziplock bag. And I "score" grounders from my daughter's school. I wipe them out rather than wash them. I have really limited freezer space and they work really well for freezing produce. I have tons of other containers, but the flexibility of plastic - the plastic of plastic! - means I can stack without gaps. This year I am dehydrating produce, so lots more dry soup mix and chips, less gone into the freezer.
@BethTerry Thanks, Beth. I have 6 copies. The book costs $15 to post o the US by Air Mail, though because it's over 500g! Write a lighter book next time!
2 years ago on Black Friday: To Buy or Not to Buy?
Congratulations on selling out!
I'm still decluttering. Nothing new for us for Christmas if we can convince the relatives. We have decided to have an Experience Christmas. We are going to give each other experiences. Except the kids get new Canadian made Kamik rain & snow boots. I use frecycle lists to locate new-to-us toys and liberate ones we are done with.
When people threaten to give me an object I ask for artisan made earrings. At least they are small and likely metal. We go shopping for stocking stuffers at our food coop - splitting a few hundred dollars between us and buying everyone at least one food item for the stocking.
I am really bombarded this year with "Black Friday" messages. We don't have Black Friday here. It sounds aweful.
If you have any Canadian readers who need your book, I have a few copies here! http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1502
The fact that you are 99% perfectly plastic-free is the charm. Don't sweat the occasional can.
Hallowe'en has burdened my household with two 6-year old's worth of plastic candy horrors. I don't want to stop my child from tick or treating. I just don't. My kids already feel that I make them live like freaks by with holding normalcy in the form of plastic toys, plastic wrapped crackers, store bough granola bards etc. So while I'd love to get invited to some fabulous all-inclusive plastic-free Hallowe'en party, it hasn't happened yet. Maybe never.
Speaking of parties, how's this for plastic-free failure? I offer to provide the plates and cups for a party at my daughter's daycare where they serve snacks in styrofoam disposables. I bring my stainless steel cups, mugs bowls and plates. I am prepared to bring them home dirty to wash. The principal breaks open a plastic bag of plastic cups and for some strange reason offers the people asking for juice a choice. ALL BUT TWO PEOPLE ALL NIGHT CHOSE PLASTIC!!! I went home with two cups and two bowls to wash. The bowls were used by Xana and Bram - I was in charge of them so they had no choice. And everything went in the garbage. Food, Recyclables. Trash.
2 years, 1 month ago on Confession of an Anti-Plastic Activist Caught Red-Handed With a BPA-Lined Can
YAY!!! I wat to make rice paste. I just haven't. Yet.
2 years, 2 months ago on Want Plastic-Free Glue? Make Homemade Wheat Paste.
Awesome! The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto puts solid lotion and soap and shampoo bars in their rooms - only a little paper band around them, with all ingredients disclosed. To my delight, they are made by a crafty cohort from our pre professional maker days, www.honeypie.ca
Here is the Gladstone Hotel's Green Policy page: http://www.gladstonehotel.com/about/philosophy/green-policy/
A lot of our waste as a society comes from what we IMAGINE "people" want. Of course, people don't want explicitly to create tons of plastic product waste. What they really want is something that looks and feels luxurious and that is clean. Dispensors give people what they want just as much as single use bottles.
2 years, 2 months ago on Luxury Hotel Says No to Single-Sized Shampoo Bottles
ARRRRRsome! May I repost this entry on my website linked to your book? I often sign off "Love & RRRevolution" and enjoy your explanations of the ARRR words!
2 years, 2 months ago on The Reuse Alliance Wants You to Talk Like a Pirate
That was one of the most perfect videos I have ever seen! Annie Leonard is right on and so of course are you. No one ever won any rights or protections by gently asking. It was always a fight. And now we need to fight for our personal and planetary health.
2 years, 2 months ago on Annie Leonard: Don't Just "Be the Change." Make Change!
@BethTerry @TraceyTief Yes, please!
2 years, 3 months ago on Plastic-Free Sunscreen that Passes the Burning Man Test
Awesome post, Beth! So nice to see photos, too. I especially appreciate your message that sunscreen can be simple. I'd love it if everyone could make their own, or buy it in bulk and refill their containers locally.
Using microbes to dispose of waste is otherwise known as composting. = Brilliant!
When I trouble to ask makers and distributors of so called "compostable" plastics what exactly the plastics break down into, I never get a satisfactory or believable answer. Blicut let's say these petroleum products can be broken down into non polluting substances. Are municipalities and therefore the public responsible for inventing digestion plants and for implementing collection, separation and "compost" distribution?
Make companies take back their own waste and they'll figure something out if they have to pay for it.
2 years, 6 months ago on Plastic-Eating Fungi: Environmental Salvation or Distraction?
@BethTerry Ban plastic cookie wrappers anyhow!
2 years, 7 months ago on Don't Be Fooled by Reusable Bag Norovirus Scare
@BethTerry Ban plastic cookie wrappers!
Kudos on the shelf!
I think that government penalty and incentive models applied to manufacturers would be effective in the same way as fees for plastic bags are. Drive up the cost of packaging in non renewables/compostables, and make non waste packaging attractive. Of course they'll lobby and tie up the courts before they take responsibility for vtheir wn mess, but it would be worthwhile.
As far as convincing real people goes, I think setting an example and showing what IS practical and possible is effective.
Me: I only buy dried peas in bulk.
The Other: Where can you get peas in bulk?
Me: At my coop.
The Other: Oh that's near me.
Bingo! A convert.
In this way, being a retailer provokes some social change. What I carry and do not carry, and my reasons why, make change palatable and satisfying for people.
2 years, 7 months ago on What Can Environmentalists Learn from Bad Kitties?
My no-plastic "frontier" for personal change has been pens and markers. I'm using second hand now, and pencils. Still, the post office sometimes makes me write over pencil in pen!
I still can't stop relatives from buying plastic gifts.
I used cloth diapers with both my children. I found that after they could crawl onto a potty, they preferred that at home. I kept a second hand plastic potty in the bathroom, and downstairs, so they were diaper-free at home. I used 26" flannel squares folded into kite-triangles with a cut towel tongue and water proof velcro moisture wraps. These cleaned up and dried quickly. The tongues allowed me to drop poop into the toilet. I did not soak. Just washed the diapers on their own in 1 part borax, 1 part washing soda & 2 parts soap flakes.
I teach DIY cosmetics bath & body care. Most of it is super easy to do.
For nut milks, simply blend nuts in water. Seriously! If you are feeling fancy, soak over night, add salt and/or sugar etc, but in a pinch, I just blend nuts in water and ta dah!
2 years, 7 months ago on Plastic-Free Progress Report: Sarah Schmiechen
I blew it. When I saw their defense I wrote: "I think your product is stupid and wasteful." That's why you are a published author, Beth, and I am the person people are afraid to talk to.
2 years, 7 months ago on This Summer... Go to the Beach but Leave Your Turtleback and Other Plastics at Home
I can't help but say this.
The CRAP people give you when you have a baby is OUTRAGEOUS. Of course we set out rules when we had a baby shower: no plastic, nothing new, please, coupons for help welcome etc. What did we get? An entirely plastic new wheeled toy. Plastic packaged Johnson & Johnson poison. Some things for cars, and we don't have a car. A plastic "fabric" thingy to attach to a shopping cart except we shop at a coop. An entirely plastic player "piano". Plastic (poly whatever) fire proofed with poison stuffed animals, puppets etc. Am I ungrateful? Yes. Give me an up-cycled used sweater toy any day.
2 years, 7 months ago on Give-Away: Cate & Levi Toys and Puppets from Recycled Sweaters
Buy paper taper at Uline. ca in Canada, Uline.com in the US.
unless you are sending super big and gheavy boxes, you don't need reinforcement in it.
I mail out 5 packages a day of glass & metal packaged cosmetics and it works just fine!
2 years, 7 months ago on Green Shipping Materials, Including Plastic-Free Paper Packing Tape
This post gave me chills, too! I really mean that. And I just skimmed the last few paragraphs because I am tearing up. I am reminded that my most important tool as an activist is my heart.
I come from a place that quietly banned "inter racial" dances at high schools, hotels, conferences, wherever, because people of different races "mixing" meant violence to so many people. It is a "get a bag and a receipt" place. It probably still is. It is heartbreaking, and I am not on the receiving end of that pernicious human degradation that is racism - although I was once trailed by my fellow high school mates in a jeep yelling "N@#$%r lover" and throwing glass bottles at me. As a mother, Trayvon's murder horrifies me.
World we need to talk. We are broken. Together.
The bottled water thing in places where water isn't drinkable pisses me off, too.
Thank you always for your compassion and insight.
2 years, 7 months ago on Get a Bag and a Receipt: When Social and Environmental Justice Collide
@BethTerry If I only had the time, a skeleton and an albatross lying around! Artists with the inclination are welcome to take up the idea...
2 years, 7 months ago on What I Should Have Said to Melissa Harris-Perry: We Are the Albatross
First of all, you rocked. You were authentic, believable, humble, passionate and compassionate. You are someone to listen to! Your eyes were great, too.
Now I have an art inspiration:
An image of a dead human skeleton whose belly is filled with plastic debris
An image of an albatross with a shaved head, a bottle of chemotherapy drugs in its wing , an IV drip and a poppy pin.
Because we are the albatross.
I'm going to try to capture my tweet, too.
3 years ago on Do You Believe in Happily Ever After?
I'm going to try to capture my Tweet.