Monthly Archives: November 2009

Buy Nothing Day

Heads up folks.  Time to fasten your wallets and cook from the pantry, the annual Buy Nothing Day is here!

Hey, if you manage to do it for a day, why not a week.  Why not a month?

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Filed under consumerism

You are Brilliant and the Earth is Hiring

Personal fact: in my professional life, I work in the field of industrial ecology.  Personal disclosure: before I got this job I had never heard of Paul Hawken.

But Paul Hawken is a guy who gets it.  He understands what waste, and consumerism, and the environment, and the greater meanings of being ‘socially responsible’ and ‘economically viable’ is all about.  Back in the 1990’s, he wrote the book (literally) on the Ecology of Commerce ( it was voted as the #1 college text on business and the environment).

Anyway, he’s the kind of guy who gets asked to speak at university commencement ceremonies, and he’s the kind of guy who says things like:

“This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken.”


“Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.”

Amen to that.  I highly encourage you to read his whole commencement address to the University of Portland here. (and thanks to Tracy for the link)



Filed under interactions

Way Back When Halloween Happened

Whoa, has it really been three weeks since my last post? !  Did I really not post about Halloween, my favorite of all dress up events?!

Humour me while a backtrack a few weeks for an eco-oriented review of our haunting activities.

Rhyannon wore an old costume of Grant’s and went as a Micheal Jackson Cassette Tape, scoring top points for reusing and non-consumerism.  I don’t have a photo, but trust me, it’s awesome.

I dressed as the Sunmaid Raisin Girl (idea, shirt, and bonnet stolen from my sister from last year) with a skirt made of scrap fabric, a sun made from virgin paper board from the dollar store, and a wack of grapes and raisins that came in plastic bags.  I give myself a 5 out of 10 for sustainability, and 10 out of 10 for offering healthy snack options.

Grant went as a keytar (yes, a guitar keyboard, as in. . . super 80’s).  It had functioning sound, but unfortunately relied heavily on duct tape and little foam buttons.  I give him top marks for originality and 2 out of 10 for sustainability (the base was reused cardboard, otherwise it would’ve been worse).

For candy, we gave out some fair trade, organic, paper wrapped chocolate as well as some sugary plastic wrapped standards.  We said no to plastic cups at the party we went to, but ended up with a wack of plastic candy wrappers in my basket (sometimes it’s hard to say no to free chocolate).

All and all, I think we could’ve performed a little better from a zero waste perspective, but for an event dominated by plastic decorations, plastic wrapped treats, and synthetic costumes made overseas, I think we did ok.


Filed under DIY, food waste