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Some fabulous products there! So great to see so many alternatives which are healthy, eco, and yummy sounding. 

I did not know that shea butter is so important in Africa, both as a skin-care product,, and for the women:  "In Africa, Shea Butter is considered the number one most important product to keep in your personal apothecary, for everything that ails the skin. Shea butter production is mostly a women’s industry, so purchasing it supports small businesses in an important way. "

esrsbb@yahoo.com

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic-Free Vegan Lip Balm from Juniperseed Mercantile

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Ditto to everything!  2013 was a bad year for health for me as well, and I've been doing more research into Ayurvedic healing and preventive medicine.  So far, the herbal combinations for winter have helped me avoid whatever nasty thing's been going around here.  A very simple, non-commercial website which I found helpful is Joanna Webber's:  http://www.ayurvedicyogi.com/

For colds, she says:  Mix 1 tsp each of ginger powder, turmeric and black pepper and take ½ tsp of this mixture with warm water or honey twice a day.  Turmeric is a potent natural antibiotic and can be used all respiratory tract infections. Boil half a cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, add a little milk then use as a gargle. Its also great for helping to prevent hay fever and other allergies by reducing the body’s inflammatory response.

Cast iron skillet & dutch oven are my main cooking pans - the only thing I'd add to Frances' comment is that, instead of leaving out to dry, I turn the heat on for a few moments, then wipe with a greased cloth I store in my freezer (yeah, it looks pretty gross, but an easy way to keep the seasoning going). 


9 months, 2 weeks ago on Reducing Plastic by Staying Healthy

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Eve

esrsbb [at] yahoo [dot] com

Would love the Juniper Seed moisturizer products or the muscle balm

This year I'm (1) not using any tape in wrapping presents, (2) not purchasing anything made of or wrapped in plastic and (3) making only nearly all plastic-free foods to bring/serve at all parties to show my friends it CAN be done and providing the recipes to encourage them to try.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic-Free EcoEtsy Holiday Gift Give-Away

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So excited about this, I'm relegating my unused old dentist giveaways to my travel kit (where they will last for years) and hopping right over to the website to order a pack.  And the 4-pack is on sale right now, with free shipping as well!  Gosh, I love a plastic-free bargain!!!

1 year, 2 months ago on Brush With Bamboo is my new favorite toothbrush

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I was such a heavy user of micro-bead shower gels and facial cleansers, until  I adopted a nearly Plastic Free Life, thanks to Beth. Then I switched to natural goat's milk & olive oil soaps (made locally) and have found that honey is a great facial cleanser (thank you, Crunchy Betty!). My favorite exfoliator, though, is as follows. Save an avocado pit, cut it up into small pieces and let it dry out in a sunny window.  Then grind it up in your spice grinder (or mortar & pestle) into a fine powder.  A little mixed w/water on your face as you shower (it does get a bit messy rinsing) is super moisturizing, and surprisingly gentle. Wish I could remember where I got this from, to give credit...

1 year, 4 months ago on Take Action -- No More Plastic Micro-beads in Facial Scrubs!

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Thank you for this. It comes at a time when I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle among my circle of family and friends, and have been backsliding.    When faced with the "what difference can I make" frustrations, something like this is just the uplift I need.  Most definitely supporting their film!!!

1 year, 5 months ago on From the Waste Up - A Movie About Learning to Live Plastic-Free

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@RuaLupa Best & cheapest way to store homemade bread: Cut side down on a cutting board, with a brown paper bag covering the loaf.  Keeps the cut side fresh/soft, while the crust stays, well, crusty! 

1 year, 6 months ago on Win a Plastic-Free Book! Take the Quiz & Make a Pledge

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@Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator @Eve Stavros Cheesecake is one in particular, and ice cream (w/o a special machine). I do buy all flours, sugars, spices, coconut, etc. in bulk.  Here's a link to thre recipe, w/mascarpone included.  http://myplasticfreelife.com/forum/plastic-free-alternatives/plastic-free-nearly-tiramisu/

And then there's the lady fingers...sigh...which I've had mixed results with, but keep trying. They're easy, but not consistent!

1 year, 7 months ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!

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@hannah @Eve Stavros Thanks, Hannah.  I make mascarpone, which I guess I could use instead of cream cheese, since it's pretty thick.  My homemade yogurt I end up eating before I can strain it for baking use!

1 year, 7 months ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!

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Welcome Ericka!  I'm sure Beth is stoked to have you on board and I look forward to your posts & "meeting' you through the blog.  As a dessert maker, perhaps you can give us some plastic-free tips for desserts.  I find some ingredients, like chocolate, cream cheese, most flavorings, are hard to find plastic-free alternatives.  I have managed to make a plastic-free tiramisu & posted it somewhere around here... Anyway, welcome!  Eve

1 year, 7 months ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!

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Amanda - I wash & reuse my plastic zip-storage bags, but only for raw veggies now, and haven't bought any new ones in almost four years.  BUT, I've made some lightweight cotton bags which I use for the same purpose and they work as well, so when the zip bags die, they're not getting replaced.  Tupperware, or other hard plastic containers are not good for food - yes, they keep it fresh, but then you've got the problem of chemicals leaching into the foods and that's not good.  The best option is glass  - for free, save and use wide-mouth jars from olives, mayo, spaghetti sauces, etc.  For cheap, you can sometimes find covered glass casseroles (large & small) at thrift shops.  Beth & plenty of other posters have ideas on this, if you search the site for "storage" or "glass".  Also, see the Zero Waste Home Blog to see how one woman does it all in glass, from shopping to storage, even fresh meats & fish!  http://www.zerowastehome.blogspot.com/search/label/Kitchen

  Good luck.

1 year, 7 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Amanda, Week 1

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Aric,  I think reusable dog "business" pickup bags would be sort of yucky to clean.  I have two suggestions, both of which I use for cat litter disposal, and cheaper than biodegradable (which I'm still suspicious of):

1. "Reclaim" used plastic bags from the recycle bins at your grocery store, or set up a collection point yourself at work (I did this when I noticed people would bring their lunch in a plastic bag, then toss the bag in the trash, like every day!). Newspaper bags, frozen veggie bags, cereal box liners.  I snag them from my less green friends. At least you'll be taking ones that have been used.

2. Make yourself some newspaper bags - I do this for my small trashcan.  Because of how it's folded, it would give you flaps which would protect your hand under when scooping.  You could make it out of half-sheet newspaper for smaller size.  Here's a two-minute video that shows a 9-year-old girl making one, it's that easy!

1 year, 8 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Aric Bickel, Week 1

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Welcome Emily!  It's so great to see young folks getting on board - gives us more hope for the future.  Bathroom products are surprisingly easy to reduce.  You can find shampoo & conditioner in bulk at some local health food stores (New Leaf is one in your area) or use a shampoo bar like Lush or J.R. Liggett.  As for shavers, I followed Beth's lead and bought a metal double-edge vintage Gillette razor with stainless steel blades for refills.  Makes me feel like I'm shaving in a 50's movie and I love the weight of it.  Just search this blog for the things you want to replace, and I guarantee you'll find a plastic-free alternative that someone's written about.  Good luck!

1 year, 8 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Emily Stollmeyer, Week 1

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Thanks, Leander!! Yeah, I used to live in NL actually (Lisse, then Amsterdam) and one thing I certainly miss are the great candy shops.  Here, I don't really eat much candy, it's just when I travel that I get tempted by the local treats, like chocolate-covered licorice in Icelend! Yummy!  Thanks for the encouraging words.

1 year, 9 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 20

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Just when I thought I'd gotten the message out to family & friends...I get a giant box of gourmet international cookies, each in its own little plastic sac...sigh...nothing to do but take one for the team and eat them, I guess! 

Beth, in #2 above, the link to the ReUse Alliance doesn't work - takes me to a secure log-in window...

1 year, 9 months ago on What to Do with All That Holiday Plastic

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Last year I gave everyone (but the wee kiddies) charitable donations in their name, given as hand-made cards or paper items which represented their gift, and it was a big hit with family & friends. With so many people in the world (esp. my home state of NJ) not having any sort of Christmas at all this year, I feel selfish buying into the whole consume, consume, consume especially when I don't NEED anything!  So, expect more of the same this year. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Black Friday: To Buy or Not to Buy?

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Yeah,  totally guilt ridden when my friend brings home a Sweet Frog's frozen yogurt, peanut butter flavor, home just for me in a (ugh) styrofoam cup. But I eat every spoonful anyway! Trying to get her to switch to another shop that uses paper cups.

1 year, 12 months ago on Confession of an Anti-Plastic Activist Caught Red-Handed With a BPA-Lined Can

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Funny, I never worry about microbes on soap dispensers  because, oh yeah, they diispense soap, which destroys them...

2 years ago on Luxury Hotel Says No to Single-Sized Shampoo Bottles

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Just thought you should know, I received an email from my library that they have ordered My Plastic-Free Life based on my recommendation!  In such a green-minded community as Charlottesville, how could they not? 

2 years ago on Plastic Free -- How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too

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Good news - the Florida EPass responded to my email and said I could send the transponder back to them.  I hope they re-issue it, but at least maybe my action will get them thinking that perhaps the issue of how to dispose of these devices should be their responsibility. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 4

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Welcome and good luck!  As for the toilet paper, I've found a few solutions.  Last year I ordered tp online from Restockit (96 rolls, yup, shoulda seen my linen closets!) made from 100% recycled paper, wrapped in paper, shipped w/only one strip of plastic (on the shipping label).   It was cost comparable to local purchasing.  The other option, since now I've moved I don't have room to stock up that many, is to look for individually wrapped rolls in paper.  Walgreens and Rite-Aid both carry those in my neck of the woods. For the most environmentally friendly (ie no BPA used during the paper recycling manufacturing process), check out Bumboosa, made from bamboo, also packaged plastic-free. 

I understand tofu is really hard & time-consuming to make. Check into if any local Asian markets  or health-food stores have it in bulk; I've found two in my town, and bring my own container. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Cedar, Week 1

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I wish I could offer some help with your question; I just really wanted to commend you for your efforts and encourage you.  Keep up the good work and good luck finding a solution to the food packaging problem for camp.  You young ladies are setting such a great example for others!!!

2 years, 2 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Camp SEA Lab- Girls Love Science Too, Week 1

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I was lucky enough to find a crystal totally unpackaged at a small natural foods store when I visited a friend in Madrid two years ago.  Not the usual souvenir to bring home, but I like poking around in local groceries, natural shops, etc.  especially in Europe, where it seems easier to find healthier, more enviro friendly choices.  The rock hardly looks worn - should last for years!  I plan to look for more alternative goodies when I visit a friend in Italy later this year. AND find a plastic-free pasta maker!

2 years, 2 months ago on Great Big Plastic-Free, Non-Toxic Deodorant Review

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Hi Christina!  I know about stockpiles...still using up a lot of things I bought, mostly personal care items like razors, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc.  About the cheese, one thing I found I could do was go to the deli department of my grocery store and bring my own paper for them to wrap it in.  I would ask first if they could just cut me a 1/2 or 1 lb block, which they ALWAYS could, and wrap it in their own paper. If all they had were those dang plastic bags, I'd hand them a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and ask them to please use that. They always obliged, though it took some getting over the funny looks from other customers.  Good luck!

2 years, 2 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Christina S., Week 2

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I have reduced tremendously since I started reading your blog and learning about the ill effects of plastic!  But, I still slip up, and I know that taking the challenge now will still help me improve. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 1

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I make my own small trash bags from newspaper - one every couple of weeks is usually enough to handle the trash I can't compost/recycle.  So simple, even a six-year-old can do it - and she does!  http://retrohousewifegoesgreen.com/2010/01/no-more-plastic-bags-what-now/

2 years, 3 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Logan, Week 1

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Homemade tofu is really hard, as I understand.  I have found tofu in bulk in a couple of places where I live - a small Asian grocery and a non-chain natural foods store, so I can now bring my own container.  You might check the same type options in Denver - gotta believe that progressive city's got similar options if my little town does. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Paul Kane, Week 1

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 @msdavis6

 Keep plugging away - you're doing great! There are lots of recipes for hard candy out there - even found one for the microwave!!! http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=119330

2 years, 3 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Marianne Davis, Week 2

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Done!  And I hope to see as many responses here as I do when you post a giveaway!!! Time for us to give back.

2 years, 3 months ago on Midway Journey: A Personal Plea for Your Help

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Like most of the commentors, I shop at thrift shops.  But I'm trying to follow Bea Jo'hnson's (Zero Waste Home) wardrobe approach and only have a limited number of items (Bea's tally: 9 tops, 5 sweaters,  5 bottoms, 3 dresses, 6 shoes, 3 bags, 5 jackets, plus accessories).  If I take everything else "out of circulation" and wear only these selected items for a year, I'll be able to "shop" from my own closet for years!!!  Think of all the money I'll save!  She's trying an amazing fashion $$$ saver this summer - wearing a men's shirt for two months:  I'm inspired. https://twitter.com/#!/zerowastehome

 

Here's a cool idea for what to do with those old flip flops -  make them into slippers:  http://www.craftynest.com/2009/02/old-flip-flops-bath-towel-slippers/

2 years, 3 months ago on Feelgoodz natural rubber and hemp flip flops

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So excited to receive my copy! If I should be lucky enough to win one, I'm donating it to my library; if not, I'll buy another one for them!   I've liked the Facebook page, plus posted a review on Amazon, and tomorrow I'm off to the local "eco" shops with my copy to encourage them to stock it!

2 years, 4 months ago on Plastic-Free Book Officially Launched. Help Spread the Word!

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Growing my own food has been something I've wanted to do for a few years, but Florida was such a gardener's nightmare it wasn't much fun.  Since I moved back to Virginia this year, I've been fortunate to have space in a neighbor's garden up the hill.  Every couple of days when I walk up there (also getting good exercise this way) I find something ready to pick and eat.  Nothing like fresh-picked anything!  But I'm so jealous of that cilantro - I've been coddling my few tiny seedlings along in a pot for what seems ages with little progress. 

2 years, 4 months ago on Growing food and herbs to avoid plastic

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This one really hit home with me.  I just returned from a trip to Kenya and witnessed first-hand the way people live without electricity, running water, indoor toilets.  The plastic litter & trash I saw everywhere was a sad reminder that the western concept of disposable everything only works where you have trash pick-up, but leaves millions of people with no "away" to throw things, but their own backyard.  But with incomes of less than US equivalents of $300 a month, the cheapest, most easily obtainable goods are, unfortunately, plastic.

 

Water & food, according to our Kenyan friend, the #1 challenge daily for his people.  We simply turn on a tap; the daily effort to walk up to 5 miles to fill a 5-gallon jug with a day's water for a family from a local well can take hours of a woman's time, in addition to everything else she does by hand. Seeing small children scooping water out of a muddy creek to drink far outweighed my plastic-driven conscience in passing out all the extra bottled water we had daily.

 

I knew this trip would challenge my "values" in more ways than one.  I was happy to have water in plastic bottles and happy to give it all away.  Happy to buy individually wrapped candies to pass out to the smiling children whose only English word appeared to be "Sweets".  Happy to gather up all the hotel trial size toiletries and pass them on to our guide's wife & 6 children. Happy I had purchased nylon ponchos and mosquito netting to take with me and so I could leave them behind with the tall Maasai who pulled us into his dance so graciously. 

 

And now that I'm home?  I guess I've learned to bring a sense of awareness to the simple actions that we're fortunate enough to do without thought on a daily basis.  I really do turn off the water if there's nothing under the tap, even for a few seconds.  I'm more conscious of not wasting food.  And I've stopped whining about walking 500 yards up the hill to the community garden.  I hope I'm less self-righteous about whatever values I choose to champion and how I express those to others. 

 

Will my actions here make a difference 8500 miles away?  I don't know, but I do believe in the butterfly effect. 

2 years, 6 months ago on Get a Bag and a Receipt: When Social and Environmental Justice Collide

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 @BethTerry

 Some might, but others need the drying out process to keep them viable and free from mold.  I'm no expert, however, so just enjoy whatever you've got going on! 

2 years, 6 months ago on 3 Cool Tips for Plastic-Free Gardening

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The good news about your garden literally going to seed is that, if you planted heirloom varieties, you can collect the seeds (or roots), dry them, and have what you need to get started, if not this year, then next season.  Seed Savers has tips of planting and saving all sorts, in a searchable database:  http://www.seedsavers.org/Content.aspx?src=sseresources.htm 

2 years, 6 months ago on 3 Cool Tips for Plastic-Free Gardening

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