Over 4.7 Billion plastic toothbrushes are produced every year worldwide, and once used they end up in landfills and oceans. This is pretty frightening considering that the average person replaces their toothbrush every 3 months. For years I thought I was doing my part by using brushes made from recycled plastic, then realized that it was ending up in the same place as all the other brushes. Bummer. Then I was introduced to the company Brush with Bamboo, who is aiming to be the most ecological toothbrush.
Congrats to Goldie, Stephany, Miranda, Savannah and Alyssa!
Cutting back on plastic is one of the best ways to be eco-friendly, yet it's hard for people to do since so many of the products in our lives are made from it. Fortunately there are some companies making it easier on us, like Brush With Bamboo. The friendly team behind this brand makes fantastic toothbrushes with biodegradable bamboo handles and BPA-free soft bristles, which are sold in compostable packaging. Since these are always a big hit when I mention them on Facebook I thought a giveaway was in order!
Review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I love soup all year round, and during the chilly seasons nothing compares to a warm bowl of it! Soup is lovely when full of nutrients, however the average processed soup is high in sodium and has a long shelf life due to all the preservatives it contains - I stay away from canned soup for that reason. Two Guys in Vermont’s sodium count ranges from 6%-12%, a quarter of comparable canned soups. It’s a great value at $6 dollars for each jar: it contains two servings, which amounts to $3 for each serving. It may cost more than canned soup but you are buying soup that contains real ingredients, with no preservatives.
Most people live a "lifestyle of consumption, enabled by convenience", perhaps because "we don’t have to think about the costs, beyond what is printed on the package or on our receipts. We don’t have to think about the consequences." One of the biggest problems we face is plastic, which is turned into inexpensive products that are not designed to last and "are packaged so that they can wait indefinitely on store shelves for our sudden desires". While some call plastic addiction the “crisis of our civilization”, it's really just a reflection of the real issue - "the biggest challenge is paying attention".
These are quotes from Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, a book by Beth Terry, who educated herself about environmental, health and political issues surrounding plastic and found ways to get it almost entirely out of her life. Her passion lead her to pen a now very successful blog called My Plastic-Free Life that inspired the book, both in which she shares her personal journey and offers accessible solutions without imposing guilt. But her driving forces goes beyond plastic - there's a bigger message within her words that encourages people to start thinking and living differently to achieve longer, happier lives.
The following video is a review of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. My feelings are best captured on camera than in writing, but I wanted to share some more details, facts, quotes and links to more information here because it's more easily accessible.
* Update - Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too will be joining the club discussion, which will take place on August 22nd between 6-7pm PST (9-10pm EST) via Google+ Hangout - stay tuned for more details!
Ever since I decided to cut back on work and focus on this website and myself, I have been doing a lot of reading. And it feels unbelieveably good. A few weeks ago I accompanied my dad to the library and came home with an armful of non-fiction books on marketing, nutrition, consumerism and veganism. Each time I sit or lay down with a book outside in the summer air or inside on a rainy day I feel simultaneously relaxed and inspired. When's the last time you gave yourself this gift?
Some people read every night after work/before bed, but way too often I hear, "I wish I had time to read." Well, now I'd like to encourage you to make time for it, which is why I'm launching the Eco-Vegan Book Club! Join me and others passionate about health and sustainability as we pick a book every month and then discuss it online via Google+ Hangout. It's a great opportunity to re-commit to reading, learn more about important issues and meet new like-minded people.
I'm always on the hunt for non-toxic, eco-friendly products that aren't packaged in plastic, so I was thrilled to discover Eco Nuts. These dried berries are a very natural (and fun) way to wash laundry. They are organic, fragrence-free, hypo allergenic, biodegradable and reusable (use them up to 10 times!), plus they come in entirely plastic-free packaging! I've used them several times in my apartment building's standard washing machine (they work in HE/front loading machines too) and the results continue to amaze me. "You'd be nuts to use any other soap!"
By now, most people at least know that they should bring their own reusable shopping bag to the grocery store. This prevents waste from plastic and paper shopping bags, which get at best a few uses after returning from the store. However, one eco trend that hasn't quite caught on yet is reusable produce and bulk bags - every day thousands of shoppers use the provided small, thin plastic or biodegradable bags at the market without even realizing there's an alternative, and they usually end up in the landfills. Good thing there's a fantastic option: reusable produce bags made from cotton, canvas, or related plastic! Skip to the bottom for the video.
Yesterday I went to Whole Foods (Venice) fully prepared to do some eco-vegan shopping: I brought a reusable shopping bag, reusable produce bags, and a glass jar that once contained apple sauce. When I walked in the door my first stop was the customer service desk to inquire if they would allow me to put their freshly ground organic peanut butter in my glass jar (instead of their plastic containers). At first, the manager was a little hesitant because the jar weighed a lot (.60 lbs), but when I explained that I was trying to avoid plastic she helped me out. She weighed my jar then multiplied that by the cost of a pound of bulk organic peanut butter ($3.99), and then asked me to return to her when I filled it. At checkout, the cashier was a little unsure, but when she called over the manager the process was very smooth. I walked out of the store without buying anything prepackaged and I saved some money too (the peanut butter was only $2.50 - organic peanut butter can be up to $5)