Innovation in a Plastic World: How Government, Companies and Individuals are Driving Change

Let’s be honest – plastic bags are not easy to recycle. Many programs specifically say to NOT recycle the plastic bags.

Recycling Made Easy!
Recycling Made Easy!

That’s likely the biggest reason why 90 percent of plastic bags in the U.S. are not recycled. Yet an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, with 380 billion of those in the U.S.

So how are government, businesses and individuals moving to reduce their waste and plastic consumption?

Governments have been slow-moving at best to do anything about all the waste we produce. However, the city of San Francisco is on track to be the first zero waste city by 2020. I’m eager to watch how a top-down approach works. Watch and learn about what San Francisco is doing to become a zero waste city here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/climate-change/jan-june13/recycling_01-25.html

If you do use a plastic bag, you have to pay an additional charge. If you fail to properly dispose of other types of garbage and compost, you could be fined.

According to this article, http://www.no-burn.org/san-francisco-zero-waste-by-2020-on-the-road-to-zero-waste-blog, there’s a few drivers for moving towards a zero waste city.
“One reason for these laws is a citizen base that demands commitment to environmental sustainability. San Francisco has activated and empowered civic leaders, including advocates from the environmental field.

Another driver for passing these waste reduction laws is the cost associated with dumping garbage into a landfill in Livermore, 82 km away, where San Francisco hauls its waste daily.

Increased diversion and hitting zero waste goals will create real savings in landfill costs.

The city government, which produces 15 percent of the city’s waste stream, is committed to lead by example.

Part of the city’s success can be credited to consistent funding – not from the city, but directly from the rates paid for garbage collection. The overall budget for the Zero Waste Program is approximately US$7 million annually, which funds come from the collection revenues of the city’s private waste-management partner.”


The East Coast has some interesting innovations happening in the private sector. In Cambridge, Metabolix is creating growable bioplastics: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/08/12/cambridge-company-developing-biodegradable-plastic-that-grows-from-ground/zHwQ9OmW3PEpfDq9HpFGbI/story.html

http://www.metabolix.com/

It’s easy to spot the noticeable campaigns that many companies have included in their marketing. Companies make a point to mention how they are going green. Individuals are paying attention and are spending on products that they agree with. (whole foods has new ‘responsible’ plastic packaging. Hey, it’s a start)

According to this industry report, The global biodegradable plastics market in terms of volume is expected to grow from 664,000 metric tons in 2010 to 2330,000 metric tons by 2016, at an estimated CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.24% from 2011 to 2016.

Oh and there’s a bioplastics magazine, if that’s your thing: http://www.bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/index.php


How about for individuals and waste reduction?

This morning I talked with Rui who helps run the Hope Street Farmer’s Market here in Providence, and he’s seen a big increase in the amount of reusable bags that buyers are bringing compared to a few years ago.

A bottom-up approach will work just fine when government is slow moving in the direction of zero waste. The vendors at the farmer’s market, and businesses in general, will start paying attention when customers are voicing their concerns, or simply choosing not to buy something that is wasteful.

We are waking up to the destruction that oil based plastics are causing. With changes coming from the government, our citizens, and from companies with a mission to innovate and profit from sustainability, the [insert your own awesome motivational closing line here]

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Eco Conscious Beauty and Why LUSH Rules

I care about beauty just as much as the next guy with a beard, BUT this post is not written by me. It is written by my girlfriend Erin, who is somewhat obliged to live the year without plastic, else face a raised eyebrow of skepticism.

Here’s Erin’s post about being an eco-concious beauty 🙂


Hi readers!

Erin here, coming to you from the outdoors of the Southern USA. This is my first post as a new member of the Year Without Plastic team. What I will be providing is a female perspective on life without plastic.

When Danny started this blog, I was immediately inspired to take on the challenge since I noticed that females are large contributors to plastic usage and waste. Just look around your bathroom!

So many products are mass produced/marketed for females in ridiculous amounts of plastic. Even worse is that most of these products contain unnecessary, harmful-to-your-skin ingredients often tested on animals. Aluminum in deodorant, micro-beads in exfoliating washes (for more on that see this previous post: Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes and the Fight Against Corporations) and parabens (used to preserve products because of it’s low cost despite it’s links to skin irritation and breast cancer) to name a few.

So, not only will I be participating in lessening my use of plastic and reusing already purchased plastic containers etc, I’m going to stop purchasing beauty products that are not natural and not packaged consciously. I will not not be supporting any mass marketed, corporate companies telling me that their products are magical (the irritation most creams give me is no mere illusion). I will only be purchasing my beauty products from LUSH, a super amazing gift to the beauty needs of all (men, you should try the soap called Dirty). [editor’s note: this is NOT the same as the artist known as Lush]
(Lush does some awesome art with his old paint cans)

Here’s a bit about LUSH the cosmetics company:

Founded in Vancouver Canada in the 1970s with it’s first store opening in 1995, they use only fresh, handmade, vegetarian (and sometimes vegan), cruelty free ingredients! Not only that, but they are conscious about their packaging, using recycled plastic bottles and pots, recycled paper wrapping and bags. They even allow customers to bring in their used plastic pots where they then go to LUSH’s very own recycling facility.

I could go on forever about how much I love LUSH for being a well-known, popular company being CONSCIOUS about so many issues, but instead I’ll send you to this link. It has some great info on how LUSH participates in the fight against product testing on animals, ethical buying and what (fresh!) ingredients they use.

I would love to hear about what you’re doing to reduce, reuse and be a conscious individual in the comments section. Thanks for participating with us!

xx
Erin

Footnotes from wikipedia on their ingredients and ethos:

Ingredients

Lush products are 100% vegetarian, 83% vegan, and 60% preservative-free (though these numbers fluctuate, as the product range changes frequently) and feature grapefruit juice, vanilla beans, avocado butter, rosemary oil, and fresh papaya and coconut. They also contain more traditional soap ingredients, including glycerine, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens.
The safety of these parabens have been subject to recent speculation.

Ethos and campaigning
Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing.[11] Lush tests its products on human volunteers before they are sold.[12] Lush has also begun to phase out its use of sodium palm kernelate. Sodium palm kernelate is derived from trees in the natural habitat of orangutans. Since 2008 all Lush soaps have been made with palm-free soap base. Lush is currently working on removing all traces of palm oil from the products.[13]
Lush is a supporter of direct action, animal rights operations including Sea Shepherd, a group that works to protect whales, seals, and other aquatic animals.[14] Lush has also been a supporter of anti-tax avoidance grouping UKuncut and its protests which have resulted in criminal damage.

In 2007 Lush started openly supporting campaigning groups by sending a dozen cheques for £1000 each, including road protests groups such as Road Block and NoM1Widening, Hacan Clear Skies (anti-aviation group), and Dump the Dump (which is fighting against an incinerator)[15] They introduced the “Charity Pot” body lotion, each pot promotes a different small charity on the lid, and the full purchase price (except for VAT) goes to charity.[16]
In 2011 Israel advocacy groups StandWithUs and United With Israel launched a campaign encouraging consumers to boycott Lush products on account of the company’s decision to promote OneWorld’s Freedom for Palestine initiative.


Thanks for that, Erin!

LUSH is great because you can go to the mall and purchase from a company with a great mission. Many people do not have LUSH nearby, but you can still purchase from their website. It’s kind of pricey, so we’ll ideally get around to finding cheaper alternatives. More on that (and features on other eco-conscious companies) to come.

If you have alternatives to all the soap, shampoos and beauty products that come packaged in plastic and harm our skin + the environment, please let us know here in the comments, via email (yearwithout [at] gmail.com], or on twitter.

Hanson will Save the Earth

I saw Hanson last week at the House of Blues in Boston…and I liked it. Don’t tell any of my friends though.hanson thinkin bout something high five

Those guys are truly inspiring: they’ve been a band for 21 years, hold records like being the 2nd youngest guy nominated for a grammy (Zac Hanson), and do some incredible things outside of their music careers.

Here’s where my good times and dancing clashed with the House of Blues (and what I think all artists can do to help):

  • Entering the venue, the door guy confiscated all bottles (plastic and any other forms of liquid containers), requiring all patrons to shift to the convenience mindset of use and throw away cups. All in the pursuit of profit. Don’t believe that it’s for your safety. It’s never for you. I snuck in a plastic bottle in my back pocket and filled it up with bathroom sink water during the show. Question: is this water any different than tap from the bar? Please don’t tell me if it is…
  • To drink a beer originally from a can, the bartender was required to poor it in a plastic cup. Sure I can understand the danger in giving a crazed Hanson fan a glass bottle, but an aluminum can DOES NOT pose a danger to anyone’s well being. Again, they say this is for your safety. It’s not. Remember, with corporations, it’s never for you. It’s to prevent lawsuits and further protect profits by reducing their insurance bills.
  • There are NO recycling intentions: bins, signs, pleas to reuse your first cup. In fact, I had a cup sitting on the bar from my beer, and the bartender without asking grabbed it and threw it away, then asked what I’ll have. HoB could employ someone to overlook the recycling for the venue…oh yea, that costs money doesn’t it. Let’s just toss everything out.

So here we are, contributing to two businesses: House of Blues / Live Nation, a typical corporate setup that doesn’t give a damn about anything except profits. Maybe they will hire a PR firm to increase their goodwill with environmentally minded fans at some point. Maybe. And the other, Hanson, who are activists and forward thinkers, much like other artists.

The coolest thing about Hanson: they do this thing called Take The Walk.

From the website:


“Take The Walk is about giving you simple tangible ways to take action against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and poverty in Africa. A small donation, the purchase of a pair of shoes, the download of a song or simply taking a one-mile walk.
The initial launch of the Take The Walk campaign began with one mile barefoot walks staged across the US and Canada to help inspire individuals to make an impact through simple actions. Thousands of individuals participated in these walks, lead by the band HANSON in partnership with TOMS Shoes, providing thousands of shoes to impoverished children in South Africa.

Now, through TakeTheWalk.net, you can join a walk on HANSON’s The Walk Around The World Tour, a walk hosted by another individual or host a walk in your town. Every mile walked will raise funds to support one of five real causes that will make a difference, with one dollar donated by the Take The Walk campaign for each walker. You can support: access to medical care, medical treatment, shoes, clean water and education.”

Hanson and other artists are leaders in environmentalism and activism. They always have been. It’s exciting to think how much power famous people have over our society, and to know that they are doing great things. All hope is not lost.

My Plog entries increased by 2 cups and a straw on this night. Was it worth it to see Hanson, stay hydrated and slightly buzzed? I think we can have our cake and eat it too.

It will take the help of the performer. Hanson: you have control over the VENUE you play. Ask the venue to make sustainable choices. You sold out the HoB and have hundreds of thousands of screaming (mostly) female fans that will follow your every move. Now exert your influence over the venue that you support.

In further Hanson news, they are debuting their new beer, appropriately called Mmm Hops:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57586161/mmmbop-singers-hanson-debut-mmmhops-beer/.

This will be amazing. More to come.

More classic pics [here].(http://members.tripod.com/~I_Love_Zac_Hanson/pics.html)

That’s it for this rant. Do you have ideas on how artists can use their influence for the greater good? Let’s get the discussion started and take these ideas to our favorite bands. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to be in contact with famous people through social media and the like. It’s definitely feasible that our ideas will be heard and implemented by our favorite artists and celebrities.

The No Plastic Diet

Antiplasticarian – noun
1. A person who refrains from eating foods which are wrapped or bagged in plastic.

I realized that if I make up words for not using plastic, like antiplasticarian or sustainatarian, people think it’s a “real thing” and accept it.

I’ve also realized there are immense health benefits that result as a side effect of simply not buying food that comes wrapped in plastic, in the same way vegans benefit from strictly denying any products that come from animals in any way.

Sticking with the No Plastic Diet, aka being antiplasticarian, gives you many health benefits, including:
– avoid meats, except fresh from the docks fish, or straight from the local butcher.
– avoid most manufactured foods
– avoid most foods intended for long shelf life
– and about everything else in the modern supermarket.

It’s easier to list what IS available. It’s easy to see the positive health effects that not buying plastic could have:

  • Antiplasticarians can ONLY buy in bulk, from the vegetable and fruit aisle and from farmer’s markets.
  • We usually must buy from the source, unless the product is shipped in a cardboard or paper container, such as milk, eggs and other boxed or canned goods. Some boxed goods have plastic bags inside them, so we are aware to watch out for those.
  • We usually cannot indulge in quick to-go baked goods or foods. Try going to a Starbucks or gas station and easily turn down the junk food temptation by simply remembering that you do not eat things wrapped in plastic.

    We are forced to make meals from scratch and using fresh, local ingredients.
  • We must remember not to over order so that we are not in need of a styrofoam to-go container.
  • Forget drinking sodas. You can also forget about starring in a diabeetus commercial Wilford Brently
  • Starring Wilford Brimly.

 

  • No solo cups or plastic cups means less alcohol consumption at bars and parties.

Now you can be the coolest person at the bar and drink from a flask.

  • You have to buy (or make) fresh baked bread. Awful, I know.
  • Basically everything big food corporations want us to consume is off limits to antiplasticarians. Sorry, we won’t become addicted to junk food.

The Year Without Plastic encompasses more than just food, but eating is the most difficult habit to change, since we have the impulse to consume multiple times of day, and usually stop at nothing to get a quick bite.

If you are giving this diet a try, let me know how it goes!

Engaging and Spreading Awareness

All we can hope for is that people become conscious of their actions.

I haven't seen much activity on the "Take the Pledge" comments section, but am just starting out don't really know what to expect with this, either. Here's another plastic reduction promise I came across when browsing the 5 gyres website.

THE 5 GYRES PLASTIC PROMISE:

I promise to:

•Bring my own water bottle, mug, utensils and reusable bag.

•Say ‘No Plastic Straw Please” when I dine out.

•Buy what’s in the least amount of plastic packaging.

•Pick up 5 pieces of plastic pollution I see littered whenever I’m out.

•Engage family, businesses and co-workers to make this promise too.

This is a great list, as it tackles the most common plastic encounters (scary!), and asks that you engage family and friends.

Engaging others brings amazing results. Some people are really interested and are immediately more conscious of all their plastic consumption. Others laugh it off, which isn't demotivating to me or anything, but does make me wonder what the underlying cause of this anti plastic insecurity is.

One of my co workers, let's just give him a cool name like Valdez, who knows that I'm doing the Year Without Plastic blatantly used 3 plastic cups yesterday for water at lunch. He remarked that because the cups were so small, he had to return and get a new one, twice. I think he was just pushing my limits to see how I would react. I asked him pretty calmly if he really thought it was necessary, and he shrugged off the question. Regardless of the outcome, I am sure he thought twice about the actions. I on the other hand asked the bartender for a glass instead of a cup and avoided an entry into the Plog.

We must take the extra step to make ourselves (and others) conscious of their actions. Don't overdo it until you have no friends (I think I still have a few), but find the right mix of logic, guilt and leading by example that works for you. Here in the US, the results of using or not using a sustainable resource are never going to be right in front of our faces. Companies make sure that we feel comfortable and at ease when buying their products, and they will go to great financial and moral lengths to do whatever is necessary, to make sure we don't second guess that all important purchase (the recent BP oil spill cover up using Corexit comes to mind). It's when we forget there's a problem that we slip into the habits of our throw away society.

Plastic Landmines and Family Time

I've started a Plog (plastic log) on my phone to track all the times I use plastic and defy the rules I've set out to follow. I think of them as plastic land mines. They happen when I least expect it. Things got kind of ugly last week while I was visiting my family in Atlanta.

Here's the usage breakdown: 1 bag, 1 salad container, 2 forks, 3 dressing packets and a straw.

There's a few things to watch out for in the anti plastic crusade. Things people hand to you when you least expect it and walk away before you can give it back.

The following items sneak up on you, even when you are trying to be fully aware of your plastic usage:

  1. Salad Dressing containers
    remedy: ask to share a salad dressing with someone else or just have them put it directly on the salad (usually half as much as they normally would think to use)
  2. Plastic forks
    Remedy: this is definitely out of the ordinary, but carry a fork around. I'm going to start carrying a fold-up fork / spoon / knife combo (if I can find it…I was saving it for a camping trip).
  3. Straws
    Remedy: ask for no straw, or have a metal or reusible straw on hand.
  4. Plastic bags
    Remedy: double check that you have your reusable bags. Carry things in your hand.
  5. Styrofoam cups
    Remedy: bring your own mug / cup
  6. plastic lids
    Remedy: ask for no lid or bring your own mug / cup
  7. plastic cups
    Remedy: ask for a real cup or bring a travel water bottle
  8. Styrofoam and plastic to-go containers
    Remedy: order smaller portions or share a meal if you are eating out.

The easy remedy for all of this stuff is just don't eat out or eat fast food. When you do, ask before you order and clarify you are getting reusable materials. Remember that waiters are working for your tip and are glad to accommodate you.

I am totally fine with cutting out fast food. That stuff nasty anyways. Mmm hmmm.


Artist Toge-nyc crafts a plastic utensil dragon

It was a tough week in the fight against plastic, being in a group of people who offer to buy me things on the reg. But all hope is not lost. When someone says it's impossible to live without using plastic, remember that just means it takes a little planning and persistence.

Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes and the Fight Against Corporations


Plastic is not just invading our oceans, but is finding it's way to our fresh water lakes as well. One recent discovery made by the 5 Gyres Institute in Lake Erie found more than 450,000 micro polyethylene beads per square kilometer. Please excuse my switching from mile to KM in these articles. We are going through a transition here in the US to the metric system, and it's one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

The amazing thing about this discovery and the 5 Gyres Institute? The findings lead the institute to launch a massive grassroots campaign asking producers of these products (personal care products which contain plastic beads as an exfoliant) to eliminate plastic micro-beads in favor of natural alternatives.

"After reporting their scientific findings to companies that utilize micro-beads, the 5 Gyres Insitute has won several key victories that will help protect the Great Lakes ecosystem. Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, The Body Shop and Colgate-Palmolive have all pledged to remove these synthetic beads from their products by 2015. The 5 Gyres Institute has also received a pledge from Proctor & Gamble to phase out these beads by 2017, but the campaigning for an earlier phase-out continues." – http://ecowatch.com/2013/5-gyres-sets-sail-study-plastic-pollution-lake-michigan/

This is awesome! Corporations are paying attention to their findings and the grassroots campaigns. Here's a blog update from the 5 Gyres celebrating Victory #2 against Johnson & Johnson: http://5gyres.org/posts/2013/06/04/victory_2/ – Johnson & Johnson will phase out the use of plastic micro-beads.

Check out this video the 5 Gyres Institute put together. Over the course of four weeks, students and researchers lived and worked aboard a 200 year old sailing ship, conducting surface trawls and beach transects. They made the startling discovery that plastic pollution is not limited to our oceans: 5 Gyres Institute video

You Have The Power To Change The World


This week is Ocean week here at Year Without Plastic. Let's all take a moment and think about how awesome the ocean is, and how we all want it to not turn into a pile of sludge that only breeds three eyed fish and radioactive monsters. While that would be cool, let's save it for The Simpsons and sci fi movies.

I'm posting a bunch of facts on Twitter, a few infographics here on the blog, and I'll hopefully conclude the week with some nice photos of the ocean in Boston and Rhode Island. It's really spectacular. Beauty as far as the eye can see. Nothing matters when you're at the beach. Life is perfect. But a little beyond the horizon, we all know there's a little problem that we are adding to every day, known as the 5 gyers. Just because we can't see the filth doesn't mean we should ignore.

I'm going to repost something I found that's pretty spot on. These posts are not intended to bring on depression. Depression doesn't lead to action. These posts are meant to anger you, because anger is healthy in that it leads you to action. You take a stance. You draw a line in the sand and you stand for what you believe in.

tl;dr: If you use plastic, you have the power to change the world in one easy step.

Step 1: Stop using so much plastic. Go with reusable shopping bags and drinking bottles, instead.


Here's the post written by Phil Kramer, originally published on March 25th, 2010

Phil Kramer is the director of The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean program. The Conservancy is working with countries across the region to meet the promise of the Caribbean Challenge. If successful, the Challenge will place more than 21 million acres of ocean, beaches, coral reefs and mangroves into national parks and protected areas.

After so many years as a marine scientist, I’m no longer surprised at the things that wash ashore on beaches around the world.

Unfortunately, 90 percent of those things are man-made and shouldn’t be there.

Most of it has – unfortunately – come to be expected: derelict fishing equipment, disposable plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarette butts, bits of unidentifiable plastic, Styrofoam.

All of it is deadly to marine animals – whales, sharks, sea turtles and sea birds.

Some of the trash is ironic (a child’s backpack I spotted, emblazoned with Marlin and Dory from the move Finding Nemo, comes immediately to mind). Some of it is famous, like the Nike shoes (swept overboard from a cargo ship) that were still wearable after bobbing in the ocean for 3 years. (The average athletic shoe can float for 10 years.)

Much of our trash seems to end up accumulating in large gyres in the Pacific Ocean. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” between Hawaii and California is the size of Texas and the biggest threat to nesting albatrosses and their chicks on remote atolls of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Imagine: The entire state of Texas as a landfill. (Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas.”)

National Geographic recently reported the discovery of the “Atlantic Garbage Patch.” It covers 1,000 miles off the East Coast of the United States. Much of the debris is tiny bits of discarded plastic and trash; most of it weighs less than a paperclip and floats near the surface. Imagine what it must be like for a baby loggerhead sea turtle making his way out to the Atlantic and having to come up for air in that plastic soup.

Are you depressed yet? I’m not. Sad, yes. Depressed, no.

For one thing, depression rarely motivates people to actually do something about the problem that’s depressing them. They watch TV instead.

For another, I don’t think we have to live like this. Sometimes when a problem seems so, well, global, we think there’s nothing we can do.

But this is actually a problem where every individual’s actions matter. So, good news: If you use plastic, you have the power to change the world in one easy step.

Step 1: Stop using so much plastic. Go with reusable shopping bags and drinking bottles, instead.

It’s a simple matter of volume:

Consider all of the people in your neighborhood who shop.
Now consider what would happen if everyone committed to using reusable bags and drinking bottles.
Now think of everyone in your town, your city, your state, your country, your continent, your world — all of them doing what you’re doing….That is a tremendous amount of disposable plastic that never has the opportunity to escape and wreak havoc on marine life.
All because people made a simple change to their daily lives. Our choices matter. Each of us has more power to affect our world — for good and for bad — than we know.

I know, because I’ve seen it.

Flying Without Plastic

Some people go to extremes to stay true to their beliefs, like this ultra orthodox Jew flying in a plastic bag.

Orthodox Jew flying in plastic

 

I have utmost respect for people who put their traditions and beliefs before comforts and social norms, but realize sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

With my pledge to live without the convenience of plastic containers, wraps and bags for the next year, I am still formulating my rules. All the while I am following a mantra that stays true. The mantra will guide me in my decisions. If the plastic I am considering using is not intended to last and be useful to me for a long period of time, then I should not consume it. However, obviously if I’m in a situation where there are extreme risks, I’ll bend these rules. Maybe even light risks. I’ll figure it out when I get there. A potential example could be: buying a fresh bottle of water in Peru vs filling up my canteen in a sink. I really hate South American stomach sickness aka Montezuma’s Revenge.

During a flight about a month ago to Norway, before taking the year without plastic pledge, I chose to decline all in-flight goods due to the ridiculousness of the products and trash they generate. However, on the return flight from Norway, I couldn’t resist the Biscoff cookies, and then went for a drink as well. In fact, I had coffee and tea. And pretzels. And an inflight meal. Why not? I’m flying, am mildly discomforted, and I need to have small moments of sweet and salty happiness. I found myself using about 6 different plastic and styrofoam cups throughout the trip. And then the stewardess comes around and dumps everything into trash bags. Out of sight, out of mind. Just like the rest of our lives in modern society, someone else comes along and cleans up our mess, and we never see it again. People pay good money to never have to worry about any of their actions.

This past weekend, I took my first flight after embarking on the Year Without Plastic. On my recent flight from Boston to Atlanta,  I  successfully resisted all the temptations. No ginger ale, pretzels, peanuts, coffee, tea or Biscoff cookies (I’ll miss you dearly!)Biscoff Cookies and delta

Can you spend 10-20 minutes to eat a meal before your flight or prepare some in flight food in a container that will not be immediately thrown into a landfill? Can you handle the feeling of slight hunger as you forego the plane food? I’ll admit, we are not used to such constraints in the US. If we are even the slightest bit hungry, we eat. If there’s no food, we complain. We get angry. As a remedy to all these problems that we think we have, all it takes is a little planning.

I’m Officially a Nut

Cashew, to be specific.

I was happy to hear this label applied to me, as it reminded me of this alarming analysis of our society offered on a freegan's website:

quote = <<-QUOTE
Often when you are caught at a dumpster by store owners, you are treated with contempt. What if what we considered contemptible and inexcusable were the waste of our society in a world where millions are starving? What if we considered it contemptible and ridiculous to actually lock up this waste (as most corporate dumpsters are) to keep hungry people from eating, and having the gall to act self-righteous in the process? Notice how corporate authorities almost always tell you it is "for your safety". Notice that tyranny in all its forms all over the world is almost always done "for your safety", "for your security". The corporate tyrant is turning the tables to look like the compassionate one, the intelligent one. The tyrant is telling you you are not smart enough to take care of yourself. Simply because the tyrant is a have and you are a have-not somehow makes the tyrant worthy to treat you like a child who can't take care of yourself.

The tyrant is also not speaking his or her own mind, not speaking from the heart, but is speaking a script programmed into him or her by the corporation that is paying him or her. Notice how the tyranny in humans is not from reality, not from human-ness, but is scripted programming, paid programming. A human running from the heart and not from a program is not going to guard a dumpster from the hungry. A human running from the heart has common sense, because he or she is not motivated by dollars and cents, not motivated from fear of losing a job. This is the secret in human relations, learning how to see the human beneath the scripted program, and appealing to that human. Believe it or not, there is actually a human beneath the facade of corporate managers and cops and their lackeys. We all know what it's like to be a paid employee, compromising who we are so we don't lose our jobs. It's hard. It's hard for the store manager, for the cop, for us. But overcoming what's hard to be authentic is the whole point of life. Learn how to be totally real, totally sincere, with these robots and, as a result, you learn how to wake up the sleeping human within them. I mean, respect them, as humans. Never respect them as robots. You can love a human. You cannot love a robot, so don't pretend. Try it. Be bold, be brave, be real: be wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove.

QUOTE #end multi line string…yea i've been coding too much lately

Please browse the living without money website if you:

1) Have any doubt in our monetary system

2) Want to read some brilliant quotes, FAQs and philosophy on the freegan / living without money lifestyle

3) Want to further your dedication to not judge a book by its cover. It's a pretty ugly website, y'all.

Read more about the author, Suelo, here