Girls for Glaciers

going green without turning our lives upside down

Making Up For Lost Time: BYOB Edition March 4, 2008

Filed under: paper nor plastic,small victories,uncategorized — Jenni @ 1:10 am

Most of you have probably already heard about this, but given my slew of plastic bag posts, I thought it was worth a mention.

As of… well… now, the Whole Foods in my ‘hood is no longer distributing plastic bags. This change should be national by the end of April. Good news for landfills and sea creatures everywhere!!

They are encouraging BYOB but still carrying paper. Here’s what they say about that: “We aren’t trying to settle the ‘paper vs. plastic’ debate. We say ‘reuse!’ instead. But when you don’t reuse, we provide 100% recycled (and recyclable) paper bags.”

I would love it if all grocery stores made this move. The other day I went to a Star Market, short on cloth bags (my own fault), and they tried to give me 10 plastic bags for $30 worth of groceries. Yuck! I hope they get on board.

Is the end of “paper or plastic?” happening in anyone else’s part of the world?
byob.jpg

 

Making Up for Lost Time: Clairol Edition March 1, 2008

Filed under: cosmetics,paper nor plastic,water — Jenni @ 5:26 pm

Hello wonderful people! Thanks for hanging in there with the empty space that has been this blog for the past few months. I’m feeling rather lame for not posting in a while. But I think perhaps the blog and I have needed some winter hibernation, to juice up for the next round of inspiration. Shelly’s excuse for not writing is much, much better than mine though. Random thoughts forthcoming over the next couple of days, and hopefully GfG will have a little more life in it come spring.

For starters: I am sitting here writing with a towel on my head because I’ve just colored my hair – one of those semipermanent, 16 washes, do-it-yourself-from-a-box deals. I do this every 4 months or so. (I’m sure I’m not to confess that, but this IS a blog after all). And THIS TIME the crisis of conscience hit. Not only does this little project involve a paper box, paper instructions, plastic gloves, and 3 plastic bottles, but at the end of it I dump a good-sized puddle of toxic chems down my sink and shower drains. What did the planet do to deserve this? Or the people miles away who probably end up with this stuff in their soil? Personal vanity – not a pretty sight.

I know this opens a whole can of worms about women, cosmetics and the beauty industry. In the spirit of small steps that this blog represents, I’ll be going to back that old college stand by, henna. Anyone else have any small changes they’ve made in the world of hair color or other beauty products?

Also there’s this: Why does the crisis of conscience hit when it does? What is the X factor? This was the nth time I opened that box of hair color, and THIS time the penny dropped. This time I SAW the chemicals, paper, plastic and FELT their origins and destinations. And now I don’t think I can go back. As a frequent observer of my own brain, moments like this fascinate me. Anyone else have a “penny dropping” story to share?

clairol.jpg

 

From a fan… December 7, 2007

Filed under: good vibes,guest blogger — Jenni @ 5:01 am

thank-god-for-gfg.jpg

 

Pine or PVC? November 28, 2007

Filed under: holidays,paper nor plastic,research dept — Jenni @ 2:39 pm

I’ve always had an instinctive aversion to plastic Christmas trees. I grew up in a solidly pro pine family. I’ve never really grasped how any hassle saved by assembling a plastic tree could outweigh the joys of having a real tree in your house! The soft needles, the true Christmas scent (especially potent when blended with the smell of oil heat)…

When my family moved from the ‘burbs to New York City, I was initially concerned about our Christmas tree future, there being no immediately accessible tree farms to which we could tramp. But there they were – lining the sidewalk on every third block down Broadway – real Christmas trees bundled up and ready to be dragged off to elevators and up to good homes.

Whether technically alive or not, real trees FEEL alive. I pick out a tree the way I would pick out a pet from the pound. I walk around their pens for a long time, stroking their branches and trying to get an intuitive feel for which one is my tree. (I choose my halloween pumpkins the same way.) Eventually I get that tree “click” and that one comes home with me. A PVC tree? No soul to click with.

In recent years it has been brought to my attention that maybe chopping down a bunch of trees just so humans can have a couple weeks of Christmasy pleasure is not so good for the environment. This is hard to deny, but in my heart I have been denying it. But this morning – oh joy! – an article appeared making the case that real trees are greener than plastic trees. The highlights:

*Most plastic trees are made from PVC – toxic to produce, contains lead, difficult to recycle…
* Cut, farmed trees are a renewable resource. They can be returned to tree farms where they are recycled into mulch to nourish the next crop of trees.
* Live trees (with roots) are pretty ecofriendly, but also not very practical.
* Greenest option: a cut tree from a local farm (zero to no fuel spent on transportation) and returned to a farm for mulching when the season is over.

Okay, my source is Yahoo! News. Not the most thoughtful or reliable source. If anyone has heard differently or has further thoughts on the Christmas tree issue, please let me know. I doubt I will be dissuaded from getting my pine, but it’s good to have all the facts. Happy holidays everybody!

 

I Love the Smell of Oil Heat in the Morning November 9, 2007

Filed under: oil,paper nor plastic — Jenni @ 12:46 pm

I really do. It’s the smell of Christmas, of comfort, of family, of adventures in old college dorms, of cozy sweaters, of cups of tea… However in the current climate, (ahem) it has become the smell of war, of environmental decay, of empty bank accounts.

My body is having difficulty recognizing this change. On mornings when my radiator wakes me up with a gentle hiss and clang, and that warm, half-burnt smell wafts through my room, I wake up in a GOOD MOOD.

Nonetheless: “Use less oil heat” is a major goal for me this winter. My roommate is already covering our windows with plastic sheeting – a plastic purchase I have decided I am all good with – and I’m mulling over how low the thermostat can reasonably go during a New England winter.

Cuz here’s the thing: I am COLD most of the time. I wear a down vest around my house. I wear hats to bed. If it is below 66 degrees my brain turns off. During the winter I crave a steady stream of hot tea and hot showers. Under wildly different circumstance, I would have no problem cranking the thermostat to 75 degrees all winter.

Which brings me to my question – what do ya’ll think of electric space heaters? In terms of energy consumption, more/less efficient than radiator heat? More/less cost effective? Because in addition to reducing oil heat, I am paying attention to my electricity drainage.

If I got a space heater for my room, or to put at my feet while watching TV or cooking or whatever, would I just be swapping one problem for another, or making a smart environmental and financial choice? Suggestions appreciated!

 

Win-Win October 11, 2007

Filed under: mess-phobia,paper nor plastic,spending — Shelly @ 8:17 pm

Remember when practically the only catalogue around was Sear’s, and it only came once a year?? Now I feel like I get about a dozen a day. However, thanks to brooklyngal’s fantastic suggestion, I’ve been deleting my name from catalogue mailing lists. It’s quick and easy and has a lot of positive trickle down effects:

1. I’m cutting my personal paper consumption.
2. I’m making my mailperson’s life a little easier!
3. I’m sending a message to retailers—BACK OFF, MAN!!
4. I’m cutting down on consumption of stuff in general because, let’s face it, the bombard ‘em with pretty pictures routine really does get me to buy more.
5. I’m also cutting down on carbon heavy shipping procedures by not using mail order services. (I think, though if you buy from factory direct catalogues I guess this is not really true…)
6. I’m cutting down on the accumulation of junk mail in my living room.

Anyway, thanks for the great suggestion!

 

It’s International Blogger’s Day for Burma October 4, 2007

Filed under: free burma,off topic — Jenni @ 1:43 pm
Tags:


Free Burma!

Please click the image for more about the Free Burma blogger movement. Oh, and as if we needed one more reason to reduce our oil consumption:
Chevron Supports Myanmar’s Brutal Regime
Oil Lures West to Troubled Myanmar