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As always, a thoughtful and inspirational post, with thoughtful and inspirational responses. The Gandhi quote is wonderful, and speaks so beautifully on the topics of doing our dharma and offering service. If we cannot walk the path with love then what is the point. If we become eco-perfectionist-terrorists (to others as well as to ourselves!), then haven't we missed something? I find with many things in my life I move and change in stages. I make changes and leaps forward, and then I plateau off. Sometimes I even take a few steps back, only to move forward again when I am ready and able. As many others have mentioned, our choices send out ripples that effect the world around us. Even if one of us was able to in some way embody this idea we have of "perfection," it would not save the world. But when many of us can keep coming together and informing and inspiring each other, well then, we become a movement, a wave of change. So if you'll indulge me here for a moment, I am inspired to share this little bit of the lyrics at the end of Arlo Guthrie's song Alice's Restaurant:
And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is
a study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I'm
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk
into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get
anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's
an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.
And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement,
and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around
on the guitar.
4 months, 1 week ago on Is It Cheating to Stock up on Restaurant Burritos?
Thank you, Beth!! I did buy a Vita-Mix several years ago, despite my disappointment with the plastic pitcher. At the time I did not think about finding a used one. I use mine a lot, and would be so much happier if I could get a stainless pitcher to replace the plastic one. I have signed the petition.
9 months ago on Quick Action: Ask Vita-Mix to bring back the stainless steel blender pitcher!
I don't travel and stay in hotels a lot, but the rare times I do I have noticed the poor choices for serving the hotel's "complimentary continental breakfast." I often choose to forgo them to search out better food elsewhere, and also because of the yucky disposables. I am sure that they do this because they are trying to streamline the process as much as possible meaning that they want one person to be able to quickly set up an easy breakfast and have minimal clean-up. In smaller motels/hotels that person is often the same person that is on the front desk at that time. The last time I was in a name-brand hotel and encountered styrofoam plates I did take the opportunity to go to their website and fill out a feedback form and suggest they look into better alternatives.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Plastic in Austin Hotels and Restaurants
Okay, I've got no idea who Adam Levine is (a nice Jewish boy by the sound of it!), but I think you are the cats pajamas Beth! I love the pic of you two Jedis with stainless water bottles. Completely awesome!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Dear Adam Levine – You Would Be So Much Hotter Without the Plastic Bottles
Last year I started making my own toothpowder, which is mostly baking soda. I tried a few different dispensers, but I settled on a glass bottle with a metal lid usually used for dispensing tamari/soy sauce! It has one single opening, allowing me to shake it more directly onto my toothbrush. I'm pretty amazed that I have come to be very happy with this and don't miss commercial toothpaste at all!
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Aquarian Bath Handmade Personal Care Gift Set
This past Friday here in Bozeman, we had the great delight of having Annie Leonard (creator of The Story of Stuff) come to give a talk. She was brought here by a group of local organizations that support sustainable business practices, and gave her talk at our Emerson Center for Arts & Culture that has a small auditorium. Before the talk they had drinks and some food available in the lobby so that folks could mingle and network. When the group was first planning this they were told that plastic cups were always used at such events there and they had nothing of their own to offer. So the organizers began looking into renting glasses for the evening. The price was beyond the budget for the event, so they reached out to the business owners within the organization to see if they would be willing to foot the bill. They did even better than that. They bought glasses to use for this event, and then donated them to the Center so that future events could use them as well! All of this was shared with the audience prior to Annie's talk, and they finished by saying that when the "City" heard about this they were thrilled and said it would make such a difference by not having all those cups go to the landfill. The power of community! (And Annie's talk was great and very inspiring -- she is a force of nature!)
1 year, 2 months ago on Tips for Creating Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Events
First, just gotta say: I love you, Beth! You are awesome and always inspiring! My energy and inspiration waxes and wanes in keeping myself going in my personal life and speaking up about plastic use in groups, events, situations, etc. that I am involved with. But a post like this boosts my determination immensely and helps me to not feel so alone! For example, a festival that I work with uses those plastic badge holders and I have tried to aide in getting folks to turn them back in when they are done with them -- even donating bins where they can be dropped off. It heartens me to hear of others doing just that. At a recent meeting a presentation was made about a new merchandising item, a commemorative Christmas tree ornament. I hesitated, but finally spoke up and asked if they knew how the items would be packaged. They were pretty sure it was just in a cardboard box, and I expressed that I hoped they would make a point of there being no plastic used in the packaging. I was happy to see that a few others were nodding their heads in agreement with me. It can take a lot of energy to keep at it! So, thank you, as always for doing what you do!
1 year, 3 months ago on Tips for Creating Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Events
I read this post about an hour ago, and just heard this on NPR. I just had to share! http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/11/01/164117125/tuna-noodle-casserole-a-hot-dish-in-need-of-an-update-gets-one
1 year, 8 months ago on Confession of an Anti-Plastic Activist Caught Red-Handed With a BPA-Lined Can
Thanks to the brave employee who shared this. We don't have a Starbucks in my town, though I do patronize them when I travel. But much of what is shared here I see to be true in other coffee shops. For Starbucks in general I can see us all writing to them and encouraging others to do the same. (Rather than general e-mails, it might be more effective to wait until you visit a Starbucks and can then write something regarding the specific location you were at and very specific things you saw there.) I am a strong believer in each one of us having to speak up and stick our necks out. If you go into a coffee shop and are staying, ask for a ceramic mug. If they don't have them, then tell them, "okay, no thanks, I'll go somewhere else!" Or if it is a place you go to often, ask for the manager and say that as a regular customer you'd like to see them make certain changes. I pick and choose my times for speaking up and taking a stand -- I don't always do it. But when I have the time and energy, I do (much to the dismay of my 11 year-old!). The other day I went into Home Depot in search of large compostable paper trash bags to use for our garden waste (the twiggy stuff that doesn't work in our compost pile). I asked the two young employees stationed by the front door where they might be. They looked at each other and both said that they hadn't had those in a few years, they only had plastic bags. I told them that, during the summer in our town, there is city compost pick-up, and if you put your yard debris out in a paper compostable bag it will be picked up with the compost. They both raised their eyebrows and said, "really?" I suggested they mention this to their higher ups as I didn't want their plastic bags and then walked out of the store. I don't expect that will change anything at this point, but if enough people did it. . . (I did find the bags I was looking for at our locally owned Ace Hardware store.)
2 years ago on Starbucks Trash: Behind the Scenes
One thing I love about this site is hearing from other people who do seemingly weird things, just like I do! I have also taken plastic out of trash cans and moved it into recycling bins! My thanks to you for doing that! Have you ever tried to talk to the manager at the store and requested that they make some changes with signs, placement of bins, etc. to encourage more proper disposal? Truly, I think there is so much we can do just by being willing to speak up and make a stink!
Over the last few years I've been shopping more and more at thrift stores for my clothes and my daughters. Not much luck with shoes, but I just love the great recycled clothes we've picked up!
2 years ago on Feelgoodz natural rubber and hemp flip flops
Love it! I'm posting it on my facebook page now!
2 years, 1 month ago on Kicking the Plastic Addiction Video Promo
Yippee! Thanks for sharing all this with us. I requested my library purchase a copy and I am first on the waiting list for it, but I am so excited that I imagine I'll be getting a copy of my own anyway. Congratulations! It's a book! :-)
2 years, 2 months ago on Compost this Book. But first, check out how cool it is!
Beth -- A very powerful post that shows serious reflection and contemplation on your part. You touch on points I have thought about myself as a middle class, middle aged, white woman: the use of my own bags without being suspected of stealing (though I do usually take receipts just for that reason), being able to buy a nice filter for our sink, being able to choose a higher grade of food, buy a nice stainless steel water bottle, choose to buy a house not next to a toxic dump, etc., etc., etc. I agree with what someone else spoke about that the raising of awareness is a huge part of all this and it is an extremely important part. But I also see that those of us that are able and willing to take on this battle in our individual lives are paving the way for things to change and become easier for everyone to be doing them. I was just thinking the other day about how there are many out there who haven't spent any time in their lives thinking about these issues and may never. Yet I hope that having enough of us take action will create enough change that even those folks will eventually be living greener and healthier lives without even realizing it! But we also need to make those important connections and speak out on issues where those less fortunate are not able to make those choices for themselves. We are all connected, that is what this is all about. Thank you for speaking on this topic.
2 years, 2 months ago on Get a Bag and a Receipt: When Social and Environmental Justice Collide
@BethTerry Thanks, Beth! I've already got my library (where I work!) to order a copy of the book when it comes out and I shall (hopefully) be the first to snag it!
2 years, 2 months ago on “Bag It” — It’s About WAY More Than Plastic Bags
Okay, I've liked "Bag It" on FB and shared it on my wall, I had already liked your FB page some time ago and just now shared it as a great resource on my wall. Here's one of my current questions about plastic -- I want more clear information about these new compostable, biodegradable, and other alternative plastics that are popping up. Businesses are trying to do good by using them, but when I encounter them I don't know what to do with them! I avoid them when possible, but what is the real scoop about them? I hear that some of them only work in industrial composting sites, what does that mean!? You get the idea. Thanks for all you do!