Archive for April, 2018

pexels-photo-983988.jpegOn Earth Day, my seven year old daughter and I did a roadside clean up in our small town. Looking around, as you drive down the roads of this idyllic place, you wouldn’t guess that there was so much litter hidden under the leaves and grasses. It was surprising to me. Most of the litter was food and drink containers, especially alcoholic beverages. That’s disturbing on two levels. First, clearly there are lots of people drinking while driving, and disposing of the evidence out the windows of their cars. That’s dangerous. Second, some people care very little about themselves, others, and the environment.

Clearly, we need a paradigm shift so that people care. What is the underlying issue that leads people to not care? What do you think? Or is it something else? Is it just too difficult to care? There’s too many other things to think about, to manage, to accomplish, to handle? Either way, we need to make it easier to care — for ourselves, others, and our earth. (more…)


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As we near Earth Day — tomorrow, pexels-photo-704979.jpegApril 22, 2018 — I’m thinking about how I can make a bigger impact than just in my own home. If everyone made the same changes I’ve made, then the world would have much less plastic pollution going forward. But these changes have been really hard, and not everyone has the time, money, energy, or motivation to make the changes. What we need is a paradigm shift, so that reducing use of single-use plastics is easy.

I’m thinking about plastic straws and cutlery. I’d like to help the restaurants in my town not offer plastic straws and cutlery. Or at least only give them if specifically requested. Instead, straws and cutlery made from paper, bamboo or wood would be the norm.

I think it will take: education, product options, and political support. In my small town, there are three cafes, one pizza place, one deli, one sushi restaurant, and two full-service restaurants. That’s only 8 places. I’m putting together a plan. I’ll share it as it develops and keep you posted on how it’s going. Let me know your thoughts!

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Earth Day is just three days away: Sunday, April 22, 2018. This Earth Day is dedicated to reducing plastic litter and pollution. I’ve been taking the less plastic challenge for the last month, trying to not bring any single-use plastic into my house. I haven’t been 100% successful, but I’ve reduced my plastic pollution significantly, and that’s a step in the right direction.

city-sky-boardwalk-urban.jpgAs we approach Earth Day, I am thinking about additional activities that will help reduce plastic litter. One good idea is to participate in a litter clean-up. My town of Washington, CT is having a town-wide roadside clean up. And we (my daughter and I, and some of our friends) are going to participate and pick up litter along our street. We will recycle any recyclable items that we find, and throw away the non-recyclable items. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does help.

Even if your town is not conducting a town-wide roadside clean up, you can still do it. Grab some friends, some gloves, and some bags, and head out to collect the litter you see. You can start with your own street, or the main street in your town or city, or a local park. Call your mayor’s or selectman’s office, or your parks department, and ask them if there is a particular place that needs clean up.


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This is what can happen to my daughter’s hair if we don’t brush with detangler every day.

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We have a wet brush and a fancy curve detangler brush, and they work well, but good conditioner and an effective detangler are also essential. And I was running out of it. Or course, nearly all of it comes in plastic. So rather than search and search, I opted to make my own.

Here’s how:

  • One part olive oil
  • One part apple cider vinegar
  • Two parts filtered water
  • 10 drops lavendar essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Pour all ingredients into the plastic bottle I already have for the last bottle of store-bought detangler. Voila! Less expensive and I have all those ingredients at home.

Make less rather than more because it doesn’t have preservatives in it. And always shake before using.


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pexels-photo-802221.jpegNot bringing single-use plastics into the house for an entire month, or at least reducing what I’m bringing in, has been very challenging. I am fortunate that I live in a place that has good health food stores that offer bulk items. I am also fortunate that I do not face housing insecurity or food insecurity. I am fortunate that I can afford to buy organic foods and foods in glass containers because they cost more. And I am fortunate that, although I am busy as a mom, lawyer, and writer, I don’t have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. If I was not so fortunate, I might not succeed at reducing my plastic.

Buying items NOT in plastic is more expensive. It also reduces the amount of convenience that I purchase so that I must cook more, prep more, and shop more often. What I am learning is that, while it is important for each of us to make these kinds of changes, what we desperately need is a paradigm shift — a sea change — in the way our world works, especially when it comes to food.

We must think bigger while acting locally. It starts with each individual, but it cannot end there.

I’ve decided that my next action will be to work with established organizations to make changes at the top of the supply chain while I continue making my own changes at home at “the bottom.” Here’s a few places to start:

  • http://www.oceanconservancy.org: They currently have a campaign to end the routine use of plastic straws in restaurants so that you are provided with a straw only if you ask for one.
  • http://www.plasticoceans.org: They work to educate people on the problem of plastics in our oceans.
  • http://www.earthday.org: This is the organization that inspired me to reduce my plastic and try to eliminate it this month. The campaign for Earth Day 2018 is End Plastic Pollution.

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pexels-photo-533360.jpegOne of the side benefits of not buying food items in plastic is healthier food. I can’t buy most pre-made, packaged foods because they are ALL in plastic. No frozen green beans. No crackers. No cereal. So that means I am buying fresh, whole food. Sometimes, this means I am actually saving money. For example, I often buy pre-cut butter nut squash and melons. But they are, of course, wrapped in plastic wrap or in a plastic container. So I had to buy the whole fruit. Same was true for carrots; I bought whole carrots instead of baby carrots in a plastic bag. That’s less expensive anyway, and the food will last longer because it tends to spoil much more quickly after it is cut. So that’s a plus. Whole, healthy foods that actually cost less!

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Earth Day 5K

pexels-photo-347134.jpegIf you are anywhere near Washington, Connecticut, join me and many others for the Washington Environmental Council’s and Steep Rock Association’s Earth Day 5K on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Here’s the info direct from the WEC’s website:

Please join the Washington Environmental Council and the Steep Rock Association in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 21st with a great 5k and shoe drive! This beautiful 5k begins at 9 am and meanders along the Shepaug River through the Steep Rock preserve on a dirt road with beautiful scenery. This mostly flat run is a great course for beginners and veterans alike. Join us at the end of the event for snacks, conversation and prizes. In honor of Earth Day we ask all runners to bring their own water bottles. The event will also offer a sneaker drive. Please bring your gently used sneakers tied together by the laces. All shoes will be donated through Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield to the Rerun program. Rerun sends all donated sneakers to Africa to live a second life. To find out more go to http://www.rerunshoes.com/

Same day registration for this event begins at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 8:45 a.m.. See you there! Or register in advance here.

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So we used a plastic bottle to make a game last week. We didn’t use the top of the bottle, so I saved it. As I go through our daily lives, when I “need” something, I first think if I already have something that I can use, or if I can create something with items that I have.

In my kitchen, I didn’t like the way my daughter’s iPad cord was always hanging off the counter and getting in the way. I “needed” a cord holder. So, I thought of the bottle top left over from our game creation. Materials: top part of plastic bottle, craft knife or box cutter, colorful duct tape, a rubber band. Process: Cut hole in back; wrap with duct tape; stretch rubber band around from top to bottom; tape rubber band in place. And, voila, a cord holder!

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So I made my first big trip to the grocery store on Thursday, to prepare in part for a pre-Easter gathering with friends yesterday. Eliminating single-sue plastic from my house for Earth Day 2018 is challenging, but not impossible. But food items is the biggest challenge of all. Here’s what I bought:

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