The last cotton ball

Let’s not strike up a conversation about cotton unless we’re both ready to talk about forced labor in Uzbekistan. Or the drying up of the Aral Sea. Or death to cotton farmers by pesticide. Soft and luscious on the outside, cotton is produced in unsustainable and often cruel ways that have not propelled humanity far…

Zero waste mistakes

Listen. We all make mistakes. And here’s one I made this week. I bought a $15 jar of hummus. Here’s how it happened. I like hummus. I don’t want to make hummus. Ready-made hummus comes in a plastic tub with a plastic seal and a plastic film over the hummus. It’s a lot of plastic…

Today’s tea: compostable packaging

Today’s Tea: Your compostable packaging is only compostable if you actually… compost it. Sure, we can applaud companies who use compostable plastic cups and compostable paper bowls but the praise is meaningless if we put those compostable items in the trash. When we put compostables in the trash, they go to the landfill where they…

Goodbye, bags. Thanks for the litter.

It’s a big deal: New York state has banned plastic bags. The ban will take effect next March. So, prepare to say goodbye to bags in the trees, bags in the gutter grates, bags in the park, bags on the beach, bags tangled around a pigeon’s leg. We’ve had a good run plastic bags (have…

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,…