Monday, August 26, 2013

Nature Box... of Plastic.

You can't have "nature"right in your name when you product is directly harmful to Nature. You just can't. That's my new rule. I say it's a good one. Y'know, make whatever product you want, go ahead, but quit pretending to be all super-uber-healthy and wonderful when all your stuff comes in plastic pouches, containers, whatever.

I get these ads slathered all over my social media for this company, NatureBox. Of course now it will be worse because I searched for them.

Look, I'm sure the snacks are wonderful and healthy and oh so delicious. I'm sure they are... convenient. Whatever. Great. But, look: do NOT pretend to be all Nature-tree-huggy-wonderful when you are basically contributing to plastic garbage. Period. Just stop it. Call yourself healthy, go ahead, but how DARE you use the word "Nature" when you are helping destroy her? How?

I can find nothing on their site that even acknowledges that they have 5 plastic bags in every box. Nothing. No, hey these are #2 bags so you can toss them in the recycle bin (which would be a lie anyway), no, hey these bags are compostable... nothing.

OK. I know. They aren't claiming to be anything but healthy snacks. I get that. They aren't trying to save the world. They feed children in need, for crying out loud! Witch, please, you say. Give 'em a break, you say. What do you want, you ask!

I want them to not blaspheme the name of Nature. That's what I want. Don't even hint at Nature. Quit USING her for your own profit when you obviously don't care that much. Here: you get 1 box a month for $20. 5 bags of stuff most people can probably eat in a few sittings. So, 5 bags each month, 12 months in a year, that's 60 plastic bags per household for just the regular sized box. Now, I'm sure they want hundred and thousands of people ordering this box so they may be a viable, successful company. Say, conservatively, just 1000 people receive these delicious snacks all over the country. I'm no math whiz, but my computer has a calculator. (That's a joke.) (Well, it DOES have a calculator, but I promise I didn't need it.) Imagine if they have all the crazy success they want, and they have, say 10 million customers. Isn't that the goal of a company, to have millions of customers? How many plastic bags is that a year, where do they go, what happens to them?
They end up as garbage, that's what happens to them.

Sell your product, whatever. But do NOT simply gloss over the fact that you are contributing to the downfall of the very thing you use as a namesake. Don't pretend this is the best way for people to get healthy snacks to lose weight. Don't pretend you are making life so easy for people. Don't pretend you are doing Nature a favor. Do not.

Yeah. Plastic bugs me. This is not necessary. This can be avoided. I say do that. Avoid. And think like this when you see such things, please. Let's just all be a little more aware.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Call Shenanigans

OK, get the brooms out. I call shenanigans. (Google that if you are confused.)

I read an article, well, most of an article, that stated people are more accepting of... well, here: "Climate change threatens the planet — but don't tell anyone. That's one possible takeaway from a new study that found some people were more willing to accept new, environment-saving technologies when they were told that they would save money or energy rather than save the planet."


Really? That's what we've come to? We care so little about where we LIVE? I don't know why I am surprised. I have seen people get super-bent about the fact that incandescent bulbs are being phased out. I witnessed a guy buy every box from a store because "th' gub-mint be forcin' us ta use them cee-eff-ells." Over my dead lampshade! This guy had to be in his 70s. His surviving family members will be fighting over light bulbs left in his will. 

Do we have to trick people into doing good things? Might we upset their sensibilities by speaking the truth? Is doing the right thing for the right thing's sake not appropriate anymore?? It's like the folks who get all up about the trace amounts of mercury in CFLs. People. This is not a problem. "OH SHIT! THE CFL BROKE! CALL A HAZMAT TEAM!" Um, no. There was probably more mercury in the sushi you had last week, you numb-nuts. Sigh... Pay. Attention. Try to discern. THINK.

"I think we've shown the negative consequences of environmental messaging," lead author Dena Gromet told National Geographic. "In particular, you can lose significant portions of people who would otherwise be interested in these products when you use that environmental labeling. So it indicates that different messages can reach different groups." Gromet called environmentally-themed labeling "polarizing" in these cases, as conservative consumers actively avoided the CFL bulbs bearing a "protect the environment" sticker. But their research showed that all consumers accepted the other messages and chose to buy the energy-efficient bulbs as long as the pricing was not different from other options. ( "Shhh... Is the best way to fight climate change to stop talking about it? A new study says the best messages (for some people) are energy efficiency and saving money" -By John Platt Fri, May 03 2013)

What is wrong with us? You may say, "But, Goody, the end justifies the means. Tell them what they want/need to hear to get the message across. You are still getting them to change for the greater good." But I say NAY. The MESSAGE should be good enough as it is. Why do we have to coddle people to get them to do what's right? The PLANET as we know it is ceasing to exist. WE will cease to exist. How is that not good enough to influence your choice of buying a goddam light bulb?

Explain it to me as if I was a child. 

Rant done. Thanks. I needed that. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Magic Is Gone

It happens. A product I formerly endorsed has been replaced. Hey, I'm Sagittarius. We are a fickle lot anyway. 

Egyptian Magic really is, always will be a great product. But I found it wasn't hard to jump off its bandwagon. After all, even though I went through it so slowly, it's a little pricey. And I just can't get past that plastic jar packaging. I can't. I reuse them, of course, but maybe other people don't. So when I happened to catch this tiny little product in a weird place in CVS, I kind of jumped at it.

"All Natural. The Petroleum Jelly Alternative." Well, I don't use petroleum jelly - the name alone sends me into paroxysms of horror - PETROLEUM... Eww. No thanks. What have we been slathering on ourselves? And this had a really cute bee on it. I looked closer. A glass jar!!! Cool! Ingredients... Organic Soybean Oil, Natural Beeswax, Vitamin E Oil, Organic Rosemary Oil. Well those all sound great. "Waxelene is the petroleum jelly alternative. NO petroleum. Only natural & organic ingredients. Moisturize, protect, and soothe skin all in one!" So far so good!

I went to research it when I got home. Um... I could NOT remember the name to save my life. I tried to search, no avail. I had to wait til I got to CVS again to look for it. Shoot, where was it? Some obscure area. Not with the other moisturizers. Ugh, it must've taken me 3 trips before I got the name to stick in my head! 

I contacted them. They actually sent a jar right out to me. The price point is around 7 bucks for a 2oz jar. Not bad at all. I would have bought it myself, but if they were going to be nice enough to send... well sure! Now I have been told over and again by a few loud people that I shouldn't be using beeswax moisturizers on my face. Generally I ignore this advice because I'm going on over 2 years now using Egyptian Magic, which is all about bee products. My skin loves it. It might clog pores for some people, but not me. I tried Waxelene, have been using it for over a month now, and I'm sticking with it. Actually, I went on a trip and was without it for 4 days, and THAT'S when I had a little break-out. Trip zits. Now, the only thing that would make me change is if someday I made my own. Don't see that happening all too soon. 

So, wait. Soybean?? Isn't that GMO crap? And where is the bee stuff coming from? I asked. Here's what they replied: 

"We buy only non-GMO organic soy. It costs MUCH more than GMO soy - we pay for quality. We source mostly beeswax from the US, but some of it does come from other countries - there is not enough available in the US that is high enough quality."

I'm down with that. And that rosemary oil... JUST enough for a nice pleasant fragrance. And while I loved the ingredients in Egyptian Magic, I totally love that this one has vitamin E in it. 

They are based in San Rafael, CA. And oh - 100% wind-powered facility.

Yeah. The magic is gone. There's a new bee in my home.

Redbook Magazine


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Collecting E-Waste: Awesome... or is it?

I came across this article... and basically read it only because, unfortunately, I already knew this. I know where old cellphones go to die. I know where most e-waste goes to die. But after seeing an e-waste collection at the last Earth Day in a nearby small town, I had to wonder how many people bother to think about it.

Yay! Someone's taking my junk!
Everyone rejoices when they hear about an e-waste "recycle" day. See, because here in PA, they earlier this year passed a law saying you could no longer throw TVs etc. into the trash. From all I see and hear, this is just one big inconvenience to most. Because we don't stop to think about what happens to things we throw away. We just throw them away and stop thinking about the immediately. Oh, it's all well and good when we buy things and they are new and wonderful, but when their usefulness has come to an end, these wonderful things are now just a nuisance. I call it the Christmas Tree Syndrome. As the holidays approach, we go out to a live tree lot with great joy and enthusiasm to pick out that perfect spruce. Everyone's happy. The kids are happy. We happily and lovingly tie them to the roofs of our cars and happily take them home, where we happily take them inside and happily decorate them. Mirth all around. Oh, how we love them so. Then, shortly after the holiday, what do we see? Sad, dried-out, dejected, discarded trees at the curb. Bits of sad tinsel still clinging to some limbs. Needles continuing to fall out all around. Because, the usefulness is over. We don't care anymore. Something that brought us joy no longer has a purpose. Now, it's someone else's problem. And, oh, man, they had BETTER come and get that tree. It's my right as an Uh-meer-i-cuhn to get that tree picked up darn-tootin' I pay my taxes.

And now... damn it's just so damned inconvenient to have to actually THINK about where that discarded no-longer-amusing just-too-big TV has to go. We were happy enough when we bought it, but now it's just a damn nuisance. Phones? Who cares. I want a new one. I lost it, I broke it, I dropped it in the toilet. All which just really means it's still trashing the planet somewhere out there. I don't care. I don't see it anymore.

So, yeah, when we went to the "free e-waste recycling" at a local Earth Day event, I was pretty horrified at the amount of SHIT people were unloading. With no more thought than, "Damn, stupid I had to drive this all the way down here, WTH." Do we care where it's going? Do we know? Do we give it a second thought? How about a first thought? Do we think about WHY these things shouldn't be in a landfill? Most of us don't actually live near landfills, so we don't think about those either. I've become friends with the local municipal waste expert. He's a really cool guy. Oh, the questions I hear him get. And, bless his heart, he answers so patiently. I stand in awe.

By and large, unfortunately, I see time and again that people don't really care WHERE it goes, so long as it goes somewhere. Makes me think of the Motley Crue song, "Hey, don't go away mad, just go away." So these collection days become more a scene in people being inconvenienced, rather than people doing the right thing. Would it matter if they SAW where these things go, and the horrible conditions surrounding what happens to these things? If they could smell the toxic soup that other humans breathe after we throw things out? If they realized what would be leaching into the Earth if we just continued to pile them into landfills?

Well, you already know my answer.

I got nuthin'. This is just a rant. I know what the solution is: stop buying so much. But that won't happen. Yeah, I must know where my phone is at all times, but I stick with a cell phone and replace it only while kicking and screaming that I don't want a new one! Ugh, I have to learn a whole new gadget. Hell, yeah, it's awesome, but seriously, I will keep a phone as many years as I can. Same with computers. TV? Ours is big and heavy but it still works and it throws off some heat and OH those new thin ones sure are sharp... but no. Ours still works. iPads? iPhones?? Replacing them every time a new one comes out, just cuz it has to be the newest, not because the *old* one broke? THAT'S some serious denial about what's happening out there in, oh, you know, REALITY.

But, geez o' man, those e-waste collections are SO inconvenient. Can't I just throw it away? And who cares?

For your perusing pleasure...

Electronics Dump

Most Americans throw away rather than recycle outdated devices. Below, the percentage of electronics, by weight, that wound up in landfills or incinerators in 2006-10.