Posts Tagged ‘the environment’

zero waste home is a blog (and a lifestyle) by a crazy thoughtful woman in california who, along with her family, produces no garbage. whatsoever. hell yeah!

if, like me and many i know, you do not live on your own or do not have a lot of money, the idea of completely eliminating garbage from your life seems daunting. when i think of no waste i think first of food and the packaging it comes in, so alright, i’ll try to buy fresh produce and stuff like that that comes without wrappers. which is impossible unless you buy everything in bulk but even then you need to find something to hold the food in besides the plastic bags they have at the store etc etc. and then you get into the nitty gritty of it all and realize that pens, when they run out of ink, are trash. and so are drinks in plastic cups at parties and the cardboard that paperclips come in etc etc. and if you continue to read the blog you’ll find even more items that bea, the writer, makes sure will never ever enter her home.

so while she’s taken the idea of zero garbage to an extreme it’s still a worthwile read because, at the least, it will lead you to be a bit more mindful in your consumption habits. personally i have a bad habit of always putting produce in a plastic bag at the supermarket, even if i’m only getting like three apples or an orange whose peel i won’t be eating anyway. and if i am aware of every little decision like this (if we are all aware, i mean) then slowly but surely everything is a choice, and you can choose to buy the products you feel comfortable with and the ones which represent companies with the same no-garbage scruples as you.

and then slowly but surely we’ll stop buying from companies who waste energy on excessive shipping and then we’ll all support local food economies and eat cheese from the cows down the street etc etc.

and then lalala we’ll close our eyes one night and wake up the next morning and there’ll be flowers and butterflies and unicorns and no pollution anywhere.

LisaFrankPenguin.jpg image by kroquet


thank you, lisa frank.


[ stefanie ]

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if you listen to


architecture in helsinki,


vampire weekend,


animal collective,


you should download (for free!) esau mwamwaya and radioclit are the very best. it is lovable. it will make you feel musically on-the-ball. and it is free music. at times, the album sounds like karaoke (like track 3, tengazako). other times, though, it is karaoke TO THE MAXXX and we mean that in the best way possible, in that the tunes are familiar but the vibe is new. even other times, the tunes are new and the vibe is new. all in all, it is worth many listens.

oh. and. green owl, the label releasing the aforementioned indiedancepop lovefest, seems pretty kewl. and if their take on sustainable music is intriguing or appealing to you, perhaps you should check out heres to the long haul, a bluegrass-y mountainous sort of band that cares about the terrible effects of coal mining.

good music, and respect for the planet, are a really wonderful combination, no?

[ stefanie ]

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from allison arieff’s blog on nytimes.com:

For a couple of months there, it was sort of exciting to witness how dramatically higher oil prices were affecting human behavior. Ridership of public transit was up, homeowners were swapping exurban houses for urban condos, S.U.V. sales were down, people were walking. T. Boone Pickens threw cash at a wind farm. But in more recent weeks, as oil prices dropped, I started hearing indications of backpedaling on all of the above. With gas back down in the $2 to $2.50 a gallon range, there was talk of this all being less urgent, something that could be addressed later. Pickens even scrapped plans for the wind farm (for now). This is such a strange notion: that an interim price drop somehow solves the larger issue of our dependence on oil.

isn’t that sort of terrible? dependency on oil is always a scary concept, and it shouldn’t only be scary when it gets expensive. whether filling up your tank costs $15 or $50, it is always (always always) a better idea to bike or walk or subway or bus. petroleum is not sustainable, and never will be, no matter how much of an impact it may make on our wallets at any given time.

(not that it should be about style, at all, but we feel obligated to admit, that there is no better way to be kind to the environment while looking positively adorable, than riding a bicycle. just ask scott schuman.)

[ stefanie ]

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first, we heard a few songs by a guy named shugo tokumaru and melted into a rather happy puddle of glittery goo upon listening. especially “slow chair”, we got really glittery when we heard “slow chair”.

AND THEN BARACK OBAMA WON THE ELECTION and come january there is a very legitimate chance that our country will be a place to be excited about again. why weren’t we excited about it before? in case you’ve forgotten some of the irresponsible decisions george w. bush has made in the past eight years, he made two more this past week to remind you why we are no longer a nation the world admires: 3 million acres of federal land in utah is gonna be opened up for drilling (except for that utah has less than 2.5% of our natural gas resources, so why even bother?) which is bad enough by itself and then we find out that this land is around and adjacent to national parks (not that we really think it’s appropriate for any drilling, anywhere in the country, at this point it’s tons more important to look into alternative technologies because we have the resources (like wind, water, and the sun) and need only follow the examples of norway and sweden to see how sweet a fossil-fuel-free existence could be) and is most likely gonna cause harm to these ecosystems our government previously promised to protect; UGH; also, our dear president has decided to scale back on medicaid outpatient services, which really sucks because when the economy is getting bad for everyone that means it’s getting especially bad for the people who depend on medicaid for their medical care, people who are now leaning on services like these even more than they were a few months or years ago, and now they are being robbed of some of that care (the executive vice president of the american hospital association said that the new regulation would “jeopardize important community-based services, including screening, diagnostic and dental services for children, as well as lab and ambulance services” SHIT), and also, the cuts in funding and spending are gonna do nothing but depress the economy further, until it gets worse and worse, and that is a scary scary thought. BUT NEVERMIND ALL THAT because here are some reasons to be pumped about our nation’s (and our own) future: we (duh) think obama is fantastic and feel a lot safer knowing that an intelligent, thoughtful, levelheaded leader is going to be the one making enormous decisions that affect us and our families for the next four years; not only that, the rest of the world thinks the same thing, and this means that we get to be a part of the international community again, which is really very exciting. overnight, we have gone from laughingstock (harsh words, but it’s true) to role model (hmm strong words, but maybe they’re true too) and the effects this role reversal will have on all of our relationships, friendly or unfriendly, are enormous. we are also excited because this means that a majority of the country has the same priorities as obama (sustainable energy and the environment, helping the economy by working with the bottom two levels instead of the top, the idea that everyone should have insurance and healthcare, blah blah blah) and with that many people working for so many important issues it is doubtful that things won’t get better. hooray.

and then we finished reading the omnivore’s dilemma, a super fantastic book by michael pollan that is worth reading if you eat food.

and then we went on a field trip to washington d.c. and visited some super fantastic art museums.

and in just a few hours, we will go and listen to the super fantastic jens lekman strum and sing some tunes. and we will be happy. we hope you are happy, too.

[ stefanie ]

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