June 2010

My Grey Water Adventure

Last night, while my daughter had a bath, I was once again dipping into one of my favorite books, Above All, Be Kind. Though I still don’t allow her to be alone in the tub at age four, I also respect her desire to play alone in the water, so I usually bring a book or some writing to work on while she’s playing with her bath toys.

As I was reading again about Gandhi’s lovely quote—“My life is my message”—and Weil’s sage advice on leading by example, I was thinking about how I always drain my daughter’s water out as she exits the bathtub. It’s just an unconscious, automatic response to what I’ve done my whole life. But how could I waste so much water?

The Greenest Gadget Is The One You Already Own

I wish I could pretend that the following statistic surprised me, but it didn't.  77% of people who bought the new iPhone last week were upgrading the iPhone they already had.  Apple has done the unimaginable: convinced people to throw away a perfectly good thing, in order to get a slightly newer version of that same thing.

This is an ode to my old cell phone, and to old cell phones everywhere.  

Green My Parents

Do you ever wish you could just turn your parents green?

I don’t mean, of course, to change them into the color green, like Irish Smurfs or leprechauns, but green in deed—that is, an eco friendly lifestyle. Every time I visit my own parents and witness the paper plates and packaging tossed away, my little heart frowns a little. Of course, it’s easy for me to recycle since my city happily comes to pick it up from my house and makes money off of it; it’s harder for my parents, who live in a more rural area.

Are Hair Booms A Scam?

I assume you've heard about the hair booms by now.  Hair and other natural fibers like feathers and animal fleece are excellent at sopping up spilled oil.  After the Deep Water Horizon spill, a non-profit organization called Matter Of Trust began collecting hair clippings to stuff into nylons, to make floating booms that would soak up the oil.  But is it even happening?  The information is conflicting, to say the least!

The Most Important Film You’ll See This Year

A third of our world’s resources have been wiped out in the past three decades. In the U.S. less than 4% of our original forests are left—and 40% of our waterways are not unfit for drinking. And while we only have 5% of the world’s population in the U.S., we use 30% of the world’s resources—and creating 30% of the world’s waste. 80% of the plant’s forests are gone—and in the Amazon rainforest alone, we cut down 2,000 trees a minute.

And that’s only the tip of the iceburg.

If you think these statistics are disheartening at best, you are right. I just finished watching The Story of Stuff, created and narrated by Annie Leonard. This twenty-minute video is essential for any consumer—particularly anyone living in the United States—to watch.