May 7, 2012
by Peggy
Comments Off on Marin’s Catchy Zero Waste Campaign

Marin’s Catchy Zero Waste Campaign

Marin County, California, situated just North of San Francisco on the San Francisco Bay, is well known for its natural beauty, its vast parks, protected coastlines, preserved farmland, and the passionate conservationists who fought for, and continue to defend, its … Continue reading

April 10, 2012
by Peggy
1 Comment

FDA Holds Off On Final BPA Decision

Recently we posted about new research on endocrine disruptors  and urged our readers to sign a petition circulated by Environmental Working Group to encourage the FDA to ban the chemical BPA (bisphenol A) from food packaging. The FDA was required … Continue reading

March 30, 2012
by Peggy
4 Comments

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Common in Packaging for Food and Drink

One of our biggest concerns is the array of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, much of it from the disposable packaging in which prepared foods and commercial beverages are provided. A recent interview on NPR’s Living … Continue reading

March 10, 2012
by Peggy
3 Comments

Confusion Over “Green” Plastics Abounds

Everywhere you look, packaging and products proclaim they are green. But unfortunately the claims are often untrue.  There are two categories that are especially confusing to consumers: conventional fossil fuel plastics claiming that they are in some way eco-friendly, perhaps … Continue reading

March 8, 2012
by Peggy
1 Comment

NYC Considers ‘Conversion Technology’ to Deal with Massive Waste

I was surprised to read this headline in the New York Times today: New York Seeks Waste-to-Energy Proposals. I calmed a little when I read that the city is looking for the most cutting edge, green methods of turning waste into … Continue reading

Contraception Counts

February 29, 2012 by Peggy | Comments Off on Contraception Counts

This blog is not about politics; it’s about managing the Earth’s resources mindfully  and responsibly.  But recent political debate in the U.S. about contraception has me mystified, so I want to get a few words in. The debate has focused almost exclusively on women’s rights vs. religious freedom.   May I take a moment to remind everyone that there is another important reason to embrace contraception?

A few short months ago, on or around October 31st, 2011, human population hit  7 Billion. It’s stunning to think that world population has doubled in my lifetime.

Given that:

  • 2.6 Billion people live on less than $2 per day (worldbank.org)
  • 1 Billion people lack access to safe drinking water (water.org)

I find 7 Billion+ (we’ve added 24 million since October) a concerning landmark.

A good video from Science Magazine  illustrates the growth trends:

The United Nations has judged the 7 Billion threshold a wake up call to humanity, and rightly so.  I think we humans should use our big brains and foresight to plan for alternatives to a looming catastrophe.

Looking at the future that could be, don’t you think contraception is essential? Leave us a comment.

February 18, 2012
by Peggy
2 Comments

Mexico City’s Landfill in Transition

NPR featured a story recently about Mexico City’s dump closure and the effects of 12,600 tons of trash building up on city streets with each passing day.  Just imagine what your city might look and smell like if garbage pick-ups … Continue reading

Plastic’s Getting Old

January 5, 2012 by Peggy | Comments Off on Plastic’s Getting Old

As we begin the New Year, we look forward to starting afresh. Perhaps we have in mind developing better habits, achieving a particular goal, or experiencing new things. I’ll be working on shedding plastic from my life. First a novelty, then a convenience, and now a plague – throw-away plastics have become (for me, anyway) an emblem of what ails us. The Guardian published a piece this week on the “wave of revulsion” that plastic bags have triggered globally, noting that a growing awareness of plastic pollution is resulting in worldwide efforts to ban or tax the plastic bag.

The Impact of Plastic Bags – from ‘Message in the Waves’ by Rebecca Hosking.

The Guardian’s article credits the efforts of a single person, Rebecca Hosking, with getting the ball rolling on plastic bag bans.  Hosking, a British filmmaker who co-produced a nature film about  the Hawaiian islands for the BBC in 2006, visited the Midway atoll, and was appalled by what she found there. (You can see her entire 48 minute documentary, Hawaii: Message in the Waves, online).  When she returned home to her town of Modbury, she successfully committed herself to ending the distribution of disposable plastic bags by every retail establishment there.

As it happens, the Hawaii County Council just this week voted to ban plastic bags used at all check-out stands on the Big Island. Kauai and Maui counties already have bag bans in place. If Hawaii’s Mayor Billy Kenoi signs the bill into law, Honolulu will be the only county in the state that has yet to enact similar legislation.  Go for it, Hawaii, trashy plastics have no place in paradise!

UPDATE:  On January 18, 2012, The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported on Mayor Kenoi’s decision to “ok” the plastic bag ban.  The law, authored by Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, will go into effect in 2013, allowing for transition time and further education on the issue.  Wrote Mayor Kenoi, “In the end this bill is not about plastic bags, politics or the Hawaii City Council.  It’s about protecting our beautiful island.”

UPDATE: March 25, 2012, Honolulu enacts legislation to ban single-use plastic bags which will take effect July 1, 2015.  This makes the state of Hawaii the first to have statewide restrictions on plastic bags.

January 1, 2012
by Peggy
Comments Off on January 1st: Bag Ban Ordinances In Effect in Bay Area

January 1st: Bag Ban Ordinances In Effect in Bay Area

Today marks the day that grocers in the unincorporated areas of Marin County will no longer be able to distribute single-use plastic bags. Recycled paper bags may be purchased for a five cent fee per bag.  The goal is to … Continue reading