Saturday, July 28, 2007

Water we to do w/ used filters?

I had lunch the other week with Charles Rosenberg, nutritionist/DJ/writer and chef for an upcoming Yoga retreat, who I met through 6 degrees of separation. Charles instantly became my new BYO hero.

We ended up chatting about the evils of disposables more than nutrition - it's rare that I meet someone as committed as I to the issue.....Charles even brought my attention to one I'd never really considered: used water filters for Brita, PUR, and other home filtration systems.

Apparently, used filters are not recyclable in the US, which means sending these now toxic, plastic pieces of junk to the landfill. Yet they DO recycle filters in Europe, using "a different technology"......anyone looking to import this superior system anytime soon?

Other concerned hydraters have had this question. Check out this discussion on Fake Plastic Fish, which includes a back and forth dialogue with the Brita reps themselves.

Back to lunch with Charles: when my overambitious ordering yielded a field of leftover greens, Charles whipped out a reusable container, which he totes around in case of disposable emergencies. And took the rest to go sans paper or styrofoam.

Did I mention he's my new hero?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BYO goes to Hollywood

Last week, I was invited to eco-evangelize at BPM's green anniversary launch party at the Avalon in Hollywood. It was somewhat last minute, and BYO isn't really set up (yet) for tabling, but fortunately one of my fave groups and main inspiration for BYO The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, was able to lend me their incredible visuals.

In fact, their newest volunteer and fellow anti-plastics superhero Montine Blank drove the materials up from Long Beach and joined me at the event. Montine deserves her own separate post, so I'll hold off on more info and get back to the event......

The idea was to target a youngish, hipster demographic, bringing them into the green scene through a fun, star studded event and hot band line up. Great idea - though the green part could've used a bit more planning.....from what I saw and heard, the vast majority were there for the bands, and weren't all that interested in the 'eco' part.

Still, kudos for the attempt, the idea is solid, next time they should bring the sustainability groups into the planning earlier.

BYO will be making the rounds. Tomorrow were constructing a window display for Patagonia's main street store, CityTV will be doing a "be green" segment on BYO soon, and some more exposure down the line - the message is timely. Lets kick some plASStic!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Statewise recycling program: more than meets the eye.

The plastic bag issue is blowin' around everywhere these days.

First there was San Fran. Then some interest from LA, and recently, a flurry of attention about the nation's first statewide manditory plastic bag recycling measure.

AB 2449, which went into effect July 1st, requires big markets to take back and recycle plastic bags.

YEAY! I can finally load up on plastic bags with impunity, heck - double bag it, and gimme a separate one for my stick of gum, why not? They're recyclable....

Sarcasm aside, at least the issues making a small splash.

Unfortunately, the passage of this bill came with great compromise. So great that many environmental groups were adamantly opposed - I posted about the issue a few times. Turns out that the bill ALSO prohibits local municipalities from placing fees or taxes on plastic bags, a measure that seems to work in other parts of the world.....

Why the compromise? According to Californians Against Waste, ceding to this devious demand was the only way to push SOMETHING forward. Read CAWs statement here.

Time for some more research. I've been accused of being a knee jerk, alarmist liberal, so I'm going to hold my tongue (or fingers) and investigate more before I spout off on this. Meantime, if anyone has any insights, I'm all ears (or eyes).

Incidentally, AB 2449 was sponsored by Assembymember Lloyd Levine, who I joined on a panel discussion on sustainability with the LA County Young Democrats a few months back, thats him behind me to the right. He was certainly passionate about the issue, inspired by jogging around a Los Angeles awash in plastic bags....I'm going to give him a try.