Monday, August 3, 2015

Another Update from Life Less Plastic

Here's a quick update on my life these days. I still haven't gone back to living plastic-free, but I'm proud of some of the environmentally-friendly parts of my lifestyle.
  • I'm still living in Yosemite, and my apartment is only a few minutes by foot from my office so I walk (or bike) to work everyday. Not only is this good for the environment, but it is also good for my soul. I know it's hard, but I hope more people can figure out ways to live closer to where they work. 
  • Because my employer provides composting throughout Yosemite, I'm able to compost all of my food waste, which is amazing.
  • I live in a very small studio apartment so heating is less energy-intensive, and I don't use an air conditioner.
  • Because my apartment is tiny (and because I know it's bad for the environment), I also don't buy much in the way of material possessions.
  • I have a small refrigerator that requires less energy to run and also prevents me from wasting food (I have limited space and need to use that space for food I'm actually going to eat).
  • I still eat meat, but I've recently started eating beans made in the slow cooker several times a week. It's hard to admit, but since raising animals for meat is so bad for the environment, this has probably reduced my environmental impact more than cutting out plastic ever did. I should cut back even more.
Anyways, I just wanted to share a little bit about what's been going on with me lately. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Send Me Your Ideas (and Encouragement)

Hey Friends! As I mentioned in my post a while back, my life has changed drastically in the past year--I'm now living and working in Yosemite National Park. When I first arrived here, my lifestyle wouldn't really have allowed me to make efforts to be environmentally-conscious (it's a long story), but now I am staying in a lovely apartment where I can live like a regular person again.

This means it's time to get back to being eco-friendly. But where to start? I don't think I can go back to giving up plastic entirely, but I know it's time to cut back. I also want to reduce the waste I produce generally, including plastic, and cut down on how much meat I'm eat.

But what do you recommend? What should be some first steps as I get back on the bandwagon?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Update on Life Less Plastic

Hey Everyone! It's been almost three years since my last post, so I figured I'd provide a quick update on what I've been up to.

First off, I totally fell off the band wagon in terms of giving up plastic. It's sad but true. After two years of living almost completely plastic free, I just couldn't keep up with it anymore. I was starting to feel the weight of the project more and more heavily, and I eventually decided that I needed to live like everyone else for a while.

Unrelated, I also wanted to mention that I did a 365 blog last year, which was was all about my quest to make something every single day last year. It went really well and I ended up learning a ton about art, photography, and myself. You can take a look at

Anyways, I just wanted to provide an update and also say that I'll be making some changes this summer that might allow me to live a bit more plastic free. If that happens, I'll be sure to post again!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Facebook Fan Page for Life Less Plastic

Dear Readers,

I've finally created a Facebook fan page for Life Less Plastic!

The page will serve as another venue for learning about and discussing the idea of using less plastic.

If you get the chance, please become a fan today! And don't forget to tell your friends!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Worm Composting: I've Finally Gone and Done It

That's right. I've finally gone out of my noodle and started vermicomposting!

What is vermicomposting, you ask? According to it is "a system for turning food waste into potting soil with the help of worms."

I know it sounds a little crazy, but indoor worm composting means producing less waste and using fewer plastic garbage bags--two things I really want to do to help the environment. For apartment dwellers, it may also be less likely to annoy your landlord than other composting methods, like the compost tumbler I tried to use, since he or she will probably never know about it.

To create my bin, I bought a few used, plastic bins off of Craigslist and used the following great instructional video by the Compost Guy.

After creating my bin, I started collecting my food scraps in a cut-off milk carton and storing them in the freezer. I also put in an online order for some red wiggler worms to the Compost Guy, the creator of the video.

The worms arrived to my office several days later (my apolgoies to our receptionist!).

When I opened the box, I was happy to see that they were still alive and wriggling around, despite spending a few extra days at the post office due to the rather strange workings of the Chicago postal service.

Once I got my worms home, I added my food scraps to my recently created bin, dumped in the worms, and closed up the bin (all according to the instructions, of course).

And that's it. Now I've got an active vermicomposter that is turning my food waste into soil. It's amazing.

And so far it doesn't smell or have any fruit flies, although, on occasion, it probably will in the future. But that's okay. There is tons of information on the internet on maintaining and troubleshooting worm bins, and working through the problems will be well worth it in the end.

For now though, everything is perfect, and I'm hoping it stays that way, at least for a little while!
(Note: For the small amount of garbage I produce, I use Seventh Generation bags made from 55% recycled plastic).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Toxic America: I'm on the CNN Homepage

I'm on the CNN homepage! Unfortunately they spelled my name completely wrong (as Jean Healge), but that's okay. I'm so excited!

Update: They fixed the spelling of my name on the homepage and within the video. Those CNN people or responsive! Thanks CNN!