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!

Monday, June 7, 2010

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!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Toxic America: Life Less Plastic Makes a Visit to Your Living Room

On June 2 and 3, CNN will air Toxic America, a two-part special hosted by Sanjay Gupta that focuses on the unregulated and dangerous chemicals that we come in contact with on a daily basis.

I'm very excited about the special, first, because I think it addresses a topic people really need to hear about and, second, because it is supposed to include a segment about me! Craziness!

As far as I know, the segment about my experiences giving up plastic is supposed to air on Thursday, June 3rd as part of the Toxic Childhood portion of the show. Please tune in!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Storing Vegetables Without Plastic in the Refrigerator

When I store veggies in the fridge, I typically just toss them on the shelf or put them in a glass container. Recently, though, I was wondering if there are better ways that would keep my veggies fresher. Lucky for me, Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish recently did a post on this. And just in time for farmers' market season.

The post links to an awesome little flyer done by the Berkeley Farmers' Market. It's called How To: Store Fruits and Vegetables: Tips and tricks to extend the life of your produce without plastic.


p.s. This isn't in the brochure, but to store parsley or cilantro, I just put them in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and put them in the fridge. It's a plastic-free solution and it helps them keep for a long time.