Thursday, November 30, 2006

For the ladies in the house.....

Men, warning you outright that this is a very femme-specific post. And a slight departure from my usual "kill plastic bags" tirade, but really, my vision is to address our disposables mania in general.....

Which includes tampons.

Check out the following stats on the eco-impacts of these disposable "feminine hygenic products":

"*Over 12 BILLION pads and tampons are USED ONCE and disposed of annually.

*According to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.

*6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion sanitary pads, PLUS their packaging, ended up in landfills or sewer systems in 1998."

So what's a green girl to do?

Enter The Keeper, an "innovative feminine hygiene product worn internally, freeing women from dependency on cumbersome, uncomfortable, expensive, paper-based products."

I admit I've known about the keeper for some time, just haven't motivated to order one....yet. Its time though, if I'm going to take this anti-disposable thing to heart, gotta...make it close and personal?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gettin' (e)wasted on "toxic hand me downs".

Just after my last Mirror column on E-waste, read about this major UN conference this week. 120 countries meeting for 5 days in Kenya to troubleshoot re: the copious amounts of highly toxic electronic garbage flooding into developing countries.

Often well-intentioned "donations" of old computers etc. to poor nations can end up being more hazard than help. According to this article, last year about 500 containers of old electronics arrive in Lagos every month.

Where then we can imagine they land in scenarios similar to the above.....

I especially love the e-ad here, perfect.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Speakin' Sunday at the Speakeasy!

I'll be airing my plastic obsession aloud next Sunday eve at a Speakeasy in Los Feliz, joining speakers from the LA County Bike Coalition, Treepeople, The Coffee Cellar, and others in panel for Sustainable LA - What Can I Do Today for a Green LA?"

Events being put on by Smargals Productions, a "non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating intriguing happenings and original theater in unlikely places throughout Los Angeles."

Event info here in case you're inclined to work off some tofurkey and ride on over -- bikers get a two for one entry! Tix are $7 general, $5 members.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More on the oceanic garbage dump

The "texas sized garbage patch" in our oceans, that haunting image of a waterlogged landfill, is all over the news these days. And its only growing, in direct proportion to our appetite for plastics.

Last week, a new report from Greenpeace, and yesterday an excellent news clip on on KTVU San Francisco, on the increasing strain plastic waste places on our oceans.

The quantity of garbage out there is truly astounding. And though it may well be "out of sight, out of mind" for us landlubbers, it is definitely not out of our lives.....

Petroleum plastics are built to last, forEVER. And as plastics continue spilling from our hands into the ocean, the sea life casualties continue piling up. Plastic packaging is designed to attract us with its shiny, alluring colors. This deadly appeal extends to sea life as well as our pocketbooks - millions of birds, fish, and marine mammals die every year, mistaking bright, colorful plastic bits for food.

As J. Nichols, senior scientist at The Ocean Conservancy and Ocean Revolutionary extraordinaire notes, "We live and die by the ocean. If the oceans in trouble, WE are in trouble."

Perhaps with our recent shift in political momentum, we might finally hope for a bit of leadership. Hold our breath and wait we must NOT do however, we'll need all the grassroots, business, and innovative local leadership we can get to tackle this one.

In the meantime, its up to each and every one of us to keep kickin' plASStic.