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 [...]
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 [...]
I'm hunting for statistics comparing the energy and natural resources used by a purchase online (which many people I meet think, incorrectly, is better for the environment) in a shop. So far, I haven't found any numbers, but this report highlights the problems: "Online Shopping and the Environment". I was amused to be reminded that Santa Claus's transportation is renewable and non-polluting (at least in terms of the air, and global warming).
I had a call this week from a reporter at the Daily Mail in London who wants to interview me about having an ethical, green Christmas. I laughed at the irony of calling the day after Thanksgiving, usually the last Friday in November, Black Friday. It's the day Christmas shopping supposedly begins, and there are sales to attract people to the big box stores at 5am (in the UK, this kind of thing takes place during the January sales, I think). "US shoppers rush to Black Friday" The simplest way [...]
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.
I came across a terrific new book the other day, at a lovely new bookshop called the Stocbridge Bookseller, which has a considerable selection of green titles. The book is called Green Remodeling, Chaging the World One Room at a Time. It's written by a Boulder-based professional green builder David Johnston. This means it's geared more to substantial remodeling projects, the kind you're likely to need a professional for, but there's plenty of advice that can be used by the DIY (Do It Yourself) home remodeler. My husband David and [...]