Freecycle.org — and a little about human nature

I've long meant to try Freecycle, a forum set up to facilitate people's giving things away rather than discarding them. Great idea, and as I move offices and change rooms at home I finally signed up for the western Mass group. Our old slow but working computers are far more popular than I ever dreamed, but I'm hoping the big old office desks will go! Two lessons: --There is a site called Freecycle.com (dot com not dot org) that tries to pull traffic --People use sob stories to get free [...]

June 10th, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

The ecological beauty of human hair

I happened to pick up a copy of Audubon magazine over the weekend. I admit that I'd thought of it as rather dull, a publication for retirees with too many pets and obsessed about animal protection above all other environmental concerns. But I was wrong. It was full of beautifully written articles about a wide range of ecological issues, with a strong science and ecology focus which fits well with my current work on sustainability. I happened to read an essay about fog that was so good I called my [...]

April 1st, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Enough and no more

A friend told me not long ago that she wanted me to help her give her apartment an eco-makeover and especially, first thing, to advise her on what kind of cleaning products she should be buying. I felt like I punctured her enthusiasm a little when I said it didn

May 1st, 2007|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |


When you hold an item in your hand and think about its connection with the environmental problems you've heard about, use your imagination and think about the parts you can't see: where it came from, and where it's going. That's a mind-shift that politicians haven't made yet, but the most innovative thinkers about sustainability are focused on what they call "cradle to cradle" analysis. Plastics, for example, are made from petroleum products, fossil fuels. "Fossil," because oil and coal are the remains of forest life in the early days of [...]

June 14th, 2006|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Consciousness about small things

Every day starts with water. No, I don't mean that kind of water. I'm thinking of the first glass of water I drink, and the water I fill the kettle with for my first pot of tea. (I could be content with locally grown food, I think, except that I would still have to have tea, real tea, camellia sinensis.) When I was first commissioned, in 1988, to write an ecology book, I knew virtually nothing about the subject and my friends were terrified for me. It didn't reassure them [...]

March 30th, 2006|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Reusable teabags

I've been on the run and didn't make it to the food coop today for the tea tasting. But my marketing assistant Margaux did, and came back with tales of wonderful teas and also a hemp tea bag that you refill with loose tea. It was especially nice because it's open and light, not a drawstring, so I suspect it's very fast-drying. Here's a box of hemp teabags that sound like the ones Margaux bought, and I promise to try to get to the next tasting to report.

September 16th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |