RIP Recycling

Growing up, sorting the recycling wasn’t a chore; it was something that one did automatically. I don’t remember a time when our household didn’t recycle, so I was horrified when I grew up and found out that I moved among people who put their bottles and cans in the trash along with their spent tissues,…

Forget everything I ever said about Package Free.

When I first heard about Package Free, a store that sells household basics and staples without (you guessed it) packaging, I was intrigued. Sure, I already had a large cache of supplies to help me wend my way toward a zero-waste lifestyle—reusable bags, glass jars, travel mug, bar soap, white vinegar, safety razor and gazillion…

This is why I’ll never achieve a zero waste life

Ceci n’est pas une tasse. This is not a cup. I requested a cup at the coffee shop, one of the ceramic cups on the shelf sitting underneath the tea display, but I was given this thing, which is not a cup. And it’s not anyone’s fault (except that it is a lot of someones’…

Shopping Waste-Free in New York

The first step to creating less waste is to change the way you think. And to do that, you need to change the way you shop. And that usually means changing the way you eat, too. So many changes, I know. I say nothing revolutionary when I say that Americans eat a diet full of…

Growing Your Own Fruit Tree Without a Backyard

I would love to have a sunny yard lined with berry bushes and apple trees and dotted with raised beds full of spinach, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, corn, pumpkins, herbs, and strawberries. Such a life is not to be. I live in an apartment in a city, and the nearest community garden doesn’t get enough…

These are the young people suing the US government

Last night didn’t go exactly as planned. After work, I headed to the New York City Society for Ethical Culture on the Upper West Side. My intention was to attend the Food and Water Watch New York chapter’s monthly meeting, where we would discuss how to stop the Williams pipeline that is supposed to carry…

How hard could it be to shop the zero-waste way?

Very hard. But you probably already knew that. I’m not living a zero waste lifestyle but it’s my goal to get close without burning out, alienating my friends, or driving myself insane. A recent evaluation of my grocery shopping waste shows where I’m at in the journey. I had Saturday free, which is rare for…

The Power of Produce Bags

The best move I ever made was to transfer to a different university. The second best move I ever made was to stop eating dairy. And the third best move I ever made was to start using reusable produce bags. Seven or eight years ago, I bought a set of reusable produce bags from the…

The Awakening

Sooner or later, all good sleeps must come to an end. And so, although the hour is late, I’m waking up. You know those mornings when you open your eyes and the sun is already in the sky? It’s on these mornings that I’m filled with a kind of dread. “I’ve already wasted half the day,”…