No Styrofoam here in Great Barrington

I just wrote this embarrassing message to my neighborhood email list. I have lived in Great Barrington since 1992 and can't believe I've never heard anyone mention a ban on Styrofoam, but I can't remember seeing any Styrofoam around either. There was a storm of protest when cigarettes were banned in restaurants and I remember that clearly enough - and I remember all the packets of cigarettes I saw, with people's hands resting lightly on top, when I went into a place frequented by old-timers. Here's what I wrote to [...]

November 15th, 2012|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |

10 Practical Ways to Green Your Home

I have often been asked to define the most important thing an individual can do, and I've never liked the question because the answer is, "It depends." On where you live, how you live, whom you live with, and how much time and especially how much money you have. I prefer to talk about principles that anyone can apply. But there are some things that almost all of us can do, so I thought I'd share this list of "10 Practical Ways to Green Your Home," written for a magazine [...]

March 23rd, 2012|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |

Nappies, diapers, and Chinese “split” trousers

I came across a remarkably detailed post at The Thrift Store Cloth Diaper Project about how to make your own cloth diapers from thrift store finds and got to thinking about nappies, not a subject on my mind these days when grandparenthood is still off in the future. But as I wrote in a section on “Nappies” in The Green Home (1995), not long after I’d had babies wearing them: When you have a leaky little one you get obsessed with nappies. Fathers swop notes on the best type, and [...]

December 13th, 2011|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |

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: , |