Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Metal Obsession

If, like me, you’re a fan of that well-known trinity: a strong immune system, thriving marine life and boss b*tch tooth enamel, you will join me in celebrating a recent purchase: metal drinking straws!

Wellness coach Beth Finnigan of Bwell recommends starting the day with a big glass of warm water with lemon, and that’s very much my jam (Tom Brady’s too, apparently). I like to rise and shine, hydrate like a QB, then sit for my 1/2 of quiet time before breakfast so it has time to infuse me. I trust that it’s working it’s magic on everything from my gut health to my complexion, but I started worrying that the citric acid was doing a number on my choppers.

Image result for straws in the ocean
Yes, that's a dead bird with a tummy full of single-use plastic.
"Now's the time for your tears."
Someone suggested using a straw, and we actually had some in the cabinet from years ago, but besides being an environmental nightmare, plastic straws are full of chemicals, and I could just imagine them warming up in my water glass and sliding down my gullet, all toxic-like, disrupting every endocrine they meet. I tried drinking room temperature lemoned-water through the plastic straws, but it wasn't the same.

Enter the metal straw, care of the new owner of Back Door Donuts on Martha's Vineyard. Side note: I like this guy's approach owning an iconic Island business. I've never sampled their offerings, but I respect the fact that, while he gets his sea legs, he's not changing anything but the coffee -- and, of course, the straws!!!

You can witness my delight HERE.

Full disclosure:

The metal straw does (no surprise) conduct heat. For a normal human who sips mildly warm liquids, this would be NP, but I like my drinking water hot, like my showers, so that requires a bit of care so I don't burn my lips.

Obvious Observation #2: it also clinks against the glass, so when I'm taking morning calls simultaneous to taking a sip, it might be a bit noisy.

Still, SAVE THE OCEANS, save our world, save our souls - skip the straw or make yours metal!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Reduce & Reuse... or else!

Having let this corner of the internet languish until things got really real (apparently), I was compelled to post today, thanks to the Boston Globe reporting that we are all about to be smothered, once and for all, by our own garbage.

Massachusetts municipalities are being overwhelmed by a dramatic spike in the cost of recycling household waste after China refuses to take our tainted tons of detritus.

In true American NIMBY style, we have been shipping our recyclables to China, India, and Vietnam. Single-stream recycling has made us increasingly lazy about what we toss into those green bins, and China, for one, has put its foot down, requiring a much higher level of purity in what we send them. They are even refusing to take mixed paper and a range of plastics.

The results are a sudden and rapidly growing backlog in recyclable waste – plus the bowling balls, hoses, and food scraps that we throw in for good measure.

The town of Plymouth has cancelled its curbside recycling program.

Braintree is considering cutting its budgeted transportation project or – get this – educational spending!

Towns are paying up to $70 per ton to haul waste to landfills or incinerators. That's cheaper than a  Brattle Theater membership, but lot less inspiring. More to the point: the Charlestown recycling plant processes around 230,000 tons per year. That’s over $16,000,000 per annum to bury or burn the evidence of our shopping addiction. THIS IS INSANE.

I'm so sustainable, I recycle stock photo footage of landfills.

We worry about climate change, and it’s real, but it might not matter what happens in ten years if we all suffocate this summer under the mounds of laundry soap bottles and take-out containers that are about to eat our cities and towns.

Good news: the City of Boston is pursuing a zero-waste agenda, with the hope to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
More good news: while towns and recycling plants spar over costs and plan to cut 5thgrade History class (it could happen!) to pay for this mess, WE, THE PEOPLE have an amazing opportunity to make change in our daily lives and stop the insanity.

Let’s cut the trash in half. Or, more!

Let’s be real and recognize that it’s not about how to pay for it – the key is to avoid it. Reduce, reuse, and forget about recycling, because we can’t afford it and we’ve used up the privilege of shipping it to Asia. Enough.

I’m inspired to cut down on household waste and I think the key is LESS PACKAGING.

Up next: inspirations for buying and tossing less.

IDEAS, anyone??

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thanks for the pic,

"Generosity is the virtue that produces peace."
~ from the Sutra of the Recollection of the Three Jewels

Generous Friends:

A whole year has passed since my last post, and I return to echo that missive. Most educational institutions and many non-profits close their books on June 30. We have two weeks to show a little love for the schools and teachers that shaped us and the organizations doing good in the way that rings true for us.

Happy Year-End Giving!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Money Where My Heart Is

As June 30 approaches, so does the fiscal year-end of my high school and my college, as well as the liberal arts school at which I am employed (and, probably your schools, too!). My alma maters are my main philanthropic priority, although I also give to Polybe + Seats, my local NPR station, and more modestly to many other organizations. Last year, I made my annual gifts to my schools on a bi-monthly basis, via online transfer from my checking account. Coincidentally, I also made the largest gifts to each that I ever have. It was simple to do. I rarely thought about it once I'd set up the payment plan, and six installments of each gift didn't pinch too much at all. 


For FY12, I want to follow that age-old suggestion to give away 10% and save 10% of my income. This is a pretty significant bump-up for me in both categories. It is manageable, but, like everything worthwhile in my life, will require some discipline (especially since I generally use my savings account as a way to pay off my monthly Visa balance!). Still, I look forward to building my emergency fund and being able to support more substantially the organizations in which I believe.

My dad has often reminded me that "If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."

Friends, I welcome inspiration from you on your approach to saving/sharing your wealth. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

There's a Pill For That

Who needs pesky old exercise when you could take a gelcap? 

image: A for-real magazine advert for OTC pain meds,
which I couldn't resist tearing and sharing. 

I love (read: do not love at all) the implication that drugs are the clear, self-caring choice over, say, yoga and "that sort of thing."). This reminds me of an ad for heartburn medicine that showed a beefy middle-aged dude holding a chili dog and grimacing in pain with the caption, "Why should you have to change your lifestyle to be free of acid reflux?"

Why, indeed? 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Help 'Em Dig Their Own Grave

Introducing the KIG debut of Polybe + Seats, a theatrical collaborative which routinely knocks my socks off with its on-stage wizardry. Polybe brings together seemingly unrelated topics in unusual venues and makes it all make sense in the most unexpected ways. 

Next up: Alice, or the Scottish Gravediggers tackles body-snatching and medical experimentation (I know -- awesome, right?). I got a glimpse last winter, and my tummy is rumbling for more. 

Speaking of hunger, the Bread and Puppet folks say: "ART IS FOOD. You can't eat it, but it feeds you." Polybe is everything you want in your art-supper: organic, nutritious, and explode-in-your-mouth delicious. Also, I have known some of these people since we were hanging out on the steps of Milbank Hall at Barnard, and I am so friggin' proud of 'em, I could BURST. 

Of course, making theatre requires serious lettuce. Polybe has launched its first-ever "crowdfunding" campaign hosted by It's really a cute site -- you should take a look!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seal of Approval

My aunt sent me an email forward with a clever little greene idea I couldn't resist sharing. It's a way to re-use plastic bottle caps, which, as I've mentioned here, can't be recycled with the rest of the bottle. Instead of tossing them (or, before you decide they are ready to hit Aveda), you can use them to seal plastic baggies!

1. Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top, as below.

2. Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal. Now, the bag is air-tight, and you've saved yourself the hassle of finding a twist tie.

3. Voila -- snacks stay in their sack! Cute, huh?