Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tuck In. Breathe In. Drift Off. Die Early.

"Soothing lavender scent for air and fabric." Because choking your skin and lungs with chemicals doesn't need to come in just one product, you gotta spread it around. Procter & Gamble has an entire line of products dedicated to an awesome night's sleep for you.

According to what they show in an ad, you start with Tide + Downy Sweet Escapes in Sweet Escapes scent, use Ultra Downy Infusions in Sweet Dreams scent, add Unstopables In-Wash Scent-Booster in Dreams scent, then make sure you toss Bounce dryer sheets in the dryer in Sweet Dreams scent. These are all conveniently packaged in a purple theme so you know they are all scented lavender.

Oh - and also spray Febreze Sleep Serenity Bedroom Mist before you get into bed.

Let's try to forget about the horrendous amount of plastic this group represents. Let's think about all these chemicals in which you are sleeping. Up against your skin. For like 8 hours. Absorbing into your system. Your children's systems. Your children who someday might have kids. Let's stop and think about all the chemicals sitting in everyone's system all the time now, and how many children are affected these days. How many have issues and sicknesses and cancer. Let's make a connection for once.

You know what else smells like lavender? Actual lavender. Made by Nature. Therefore natural. A little tiny glass bottle of actual lavender essential oil would not cost you as much as all this crap and would last longer anyway. When did we start getting suckered into all this stuff? Natural lavender has one thing in it: lavender. Below is a parting gift is one-third of a list of potential ingredients to make the stuff above smell like lavender. Enjoy:

(+)-Tartaric acid
(2E,6Z)-Nona-2,6-dienyl acetate
methylene-4,7-methano-1H-inden-6-yl acetate
(E)-2-Phenylpropenyl acetate
(E)-6,10-Dimethylundeca-5,9-dien-2-yl acetate
(E)-Hex-3-enyl acetate
(Z)-2-Phenylpropenyl acetate
(Z)-6,10-Dimethylundeca-5,9-dien-2-yl acetate
(Z)-Hex-3-enyl 2-methylbutyrate
.beta.-Caryophyllene alcohol
.α.-Methylcyclohexylmethyl acetate

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nutella and No

This really isn't OK.


But it's Nutella! And it's so good and yummy and delicious! Nutella ... and breadsticks! For convenient dipping!

This plastic-sheathed product is so unnecessary that I can't even believe anyone would be suckered into buying it. There is next to no point for it. I take that back - there is no point for it. If I see someone eating from one of these I am seriously going to smack it out of their hands. I don't care how delicious Nutella is, there is no reason for this kind of absurd plastic waste. No reusing or repurposing is worth this package. None. No. Not. Never. 

They are just being introduced over here in the US. While looking for images, I discovered there is one with a drink on the other side, making it twice as big. With a straw. It's a lemon drink from what I could tell. Speechless. 

I did my share of those plastic things with the fake cheese product and the crackers when I was little. You remember - that bright red little cheese spreader thing? I shudder to think how many of those are still out there from our misspent youth. Are we learning nothing? Are we progressing at all? Are we moving forward? 

It would seem not. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Short Quick Plastic-Saving Tip

Pardon me while I get the smell of bleach out of my nose. I hate bleach and I try to avoid using it, but one bottle a year isn't really that much, I suppose, considering.

But I digress. In between my bleach-fest in the bathroom, I revitalized my vinyl shower curtain instead of throwing its nasty-ass away and getting a new one. It's so funny how we just discard those and get new ones when they get gross. Which they do. Often. Since I really can't stand the smell of bleach and bleach-based mildew cleaning products, my shower curtain suffers.

You don't have to replace them all the time. That's a lot of plastic waste. Just toss it in the washing machine. This can be done multiple times with the same curtain before it really just wears out. Toss it in on gentle cycle with white vinegar. That will also be great to ... er ... well, for lack of a better term, douche your washing machine too. It'll come out a little wrinkly but nice and clean and ready to go.

It doesn't matter that they are cheap to replace. It isn't a big deal if they don't look as crisp right afterwards. What matters is it's clean and functional and you didn't toss something.

These aren't getting recycled, no one reuses them, they just go. Let's have them go a little less frequently. And before someone blathers that it's a waste of water, think about the waste of resources that went into making it from scratch, and shut up.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

And if you thought that was bad ...

Check these lovely items.

Because condiments don't already come in plastic squeeze bottles, you definitely need another plastic squeeze thing to put them in. Tell me how many times this gets used before it gets tossed or just flat-out breaks. Waste of plastic. Or, one kid one time aims it at a sibling. Gone. Tossed. Then it becomes one more piece of trash in the world and a waste of the resources used to create it. Clever? No. Stupid and wasteful.


I can see the argument for this one. Because of course we all need our sugar-laden, high-fructose corns syrup chemical crap-fest of juice in the plastic gallon jugs. And no, kids don't need this. I can't fathom taking up room in the fridge with this thing> And how long before it breaks? Where would anyone store it when it's not in use? Yeah, this thing is beyond ridiculous and should never be purchased. It should not have been manufactured, actually. I see a future of animals getting caught in it and little else. 

I'm kind of speechless about this one. I'll just let it fester in your head. Then I'll thank you to smack me stupid so I don't have to think about it anymore. 

And finally, this gem. Why??? Because there is some novelty to dipping toast in ... um ... what? Nutella? It's not even dishwasher safe, as I discovered by reading about it. Of course I had to stop because the glowing praises in the comment sections gave me pre-aneurysms. (Yes. That's a thing. I get them a lot.) 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

From the Files of the Utterly Ridiculous

Surfing the 'net one day, I felt the need to look at one of those "Cool Things" you-didn't-know-you-needed can't-live-without how-did-we-survive-without or what's-its-nuts. I don't know specifically. Too many of them. Gadgets. OMG moments where you think yes I must have that!!! Or not.

Some of those things are good and just plain cool. Most of them are things we have lived without because we really do not need them. At all. And yes we can live without them. For instance, I bring you in all its I-need-that-now glory ... the One-Click Butter Cutter.

I guess they'll use the butter knife right there to stir the tea?
Back in the Olden Days, when we were less enlightened, used to be a simple butter knife handled this task just fine and dandy. I mean, hello, it has butter right in its name. Plus, looking at this contraption, I am thinking you still need the butter knife anyway to spread the butter. So you can't argue you are saving a utensil from being washed. So let's look into why I must have this piece of plastic crap. From their site:

- Holds and slices Butter with a squeeze
- Safe for children to use! Slices can be cut and dispensed with one or two hands
- Uses less refrigerator shelf space
- Keeps Butter Clean
- Keeps Hands Clean
- Seldom Needs Washing
- Easily cleaned in a dishwasher or in warm water
- Cut slices individually as wanted or cut an entire stick of butter into slices in less than one minute!
- Tastefully replaces the ever-greasy butter dish

Well I'm sold! Wait. No I am not. Safe for children? Because a butter knife is so sharp? I can just see a child getting their hands on one of theses - there would be butter slices all over the table. Perhaps if your child is too delicate to operate a butter knife, they shouldn't be in charge of buttering their own toast anyway. Again, you still have to use the knife unless you are going to sit there until the cold pat maybe melts into part of the rest of the toast. Keeps hands clean? Oh, yeah, I hate when I have to actually hold the butter, it's so messy. Because that happens. Not. I can cut an entire stick in less than one minute? Well now there's something, because I swear it took me an hour to cut that last stick I had. Sign me up! How about that ever-greasy butter dish. Um, why? Don't you ever wash it? I think a pretty ceramic butter dish is worlds more tasteful than cheap plastic, but that's just me.

The site has the following page (this is priceless):
Do you need a Butter Cutter? Of course not.
It’s pure convenience and pleasure.

That’s why they get such good reviews by people who use them.

It’s like having a clothes dryer or hanging your clothes on a Clothes line. You don’t need a clothes dryer but it’s a convenience that people enjoy and use often even though they cost hundreds of dollars and electricity to use!

The Butter Cutters don’t cost hundreds of dollars or require any electricity to use! They do give pleasure and convenience every day they are used. This is why I'm often thanked for having invented them.

"Pure convenience." That screams to me as the number 1 reason to not buy this. Comparing this plastic trifle with a clothes dryer seems a wee bit of a stretch, but that might just be me. They give pleasure? If this is a pleasure-giving device, then some people have really pathetic lives. Just sayin'.

Yes, I overdid it with the dashes here. Get over it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Olive You Too

So I get a lot of eco-articles and posts in my life, naturally. Most of them I know, others surprise me a little. Just when I think I've thought about it, something comes up that makes me say, "Damn!" This was one of them.

Do you use olive oil? I use olive oil. It's my go-to for cooking. Except when the spice in question - like turmeric - calls for sauteing in a higher fat which means butter yum yum - it's always olive oil I reach for, grab, buy, have on hand. Imagine my surprise to learn that the manufacture of olive oil is not the most Earth-friendly thing out there.

From Currently, there are two processes that are used for the extraction of olive oil, the three-phase and the two-phase. Both systems generate large amounts of byproducts.  The two byproducts  produced by the three-phase system are a solid residue known as olive press cake (OPC) and large amounts of aqueous liquid known as olive-mill wastewater (OMW).  The three-phase process usually yields 20% olive oil, 30% OPC waste, and 50% OMW.  This equates to 80% more waste being produced than actual product.  

Who'd have thought? I didn't. By-product and waste from a natural product should be natural, right? Nope.

Regardless of system used, the effluents produced from olive oil production exhibit highly phytotoxic and antimicrobial properties, mainly due to phenols.  Phenols are a poisonous caustic crystalline compound.  These effluents unless disposed of properly can result in serious environmental damage.  Troublingly, there is no general policy for disposal of this waste in the olive oil producing nations around the world.  This results in inconsistent monitoring and non-uniform application of guidelines across these regions. 

I'm stymied.

I like olive oil because it's good ad yummy and generally found in glass bottles, not plastic. What's a witch to do? Stop using it? We can't stop using everything.

This is where I bring up a point that is so completely unpopular in pretty much all circles, even the environmental groups: population. There are just too many of us using too much stuff. I'm very eco-aware, yet things like this come up. Another one: Greek yogurt - yum - horrible for the environment. That I can avoid. I did anyway because of the stupid plastic cups it comes in. But olive oil? I don't use a lot. I won't stop. Sometimes, it's really just not me. It's all of us. The answer to problems like this isn't that we need to be better - which we do, we really really do - but that we need to STOP. We're cruising quickly and way too easily to 8 billion, and we just cannot handle that. We can't. Because of things like this. Because we use and use and we have nowhere to put the other stuff. This article talks about finding ways to deal with this waste-product. We keep looking for Band-aids and cures for the symptoms but we never address the disease.

Us. We are the disease. Let's address that.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I can see the point, but....

... mini margaritas do NOT need to be in plastic bottles.

On top of it all, these are ridiculously tiny. So you drink a lot of them in your quest to get shitfaced.

And so of course it's safer to have plastic instead of glass because by the time you have had 15 of these, they start falling to the ground. If they were glass, they would break. So naturally you need plastic.

These are one of those things that if I ever see anyone drinking them, it will be hard for me to resist slapping the damn thing out of their hand.

Every other fun froofy beverage has the self-respect to come in a glass bottle. Why oh why the plastic here? Because they are better for tailgating? There is NO REASON for this.

People who bring these to your home, picnic, or event need to be sent away immediately. People who buy these for their home enjoyment need to be stopped from adding to the gene pool. Immediately.

Tell me that after a 4-pack of theses, that the said consumer is interested in making sure the bottles are going into the recycling.

"But what am I supposed to drink at places where I can't bring glass bottles?"

You. You who just said that. Out of the gene pool. We don't need you. And take your red Solo cup with you. I can just see that, too - this little bottle suddenly isn't cold enough, so they pour it FROM this plastic into one of those horrors. At that point, I really do just give up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'M BAAACK! Because plastic nonsense never left!

Well, I tried to go away. I really did.

You may have seen these in the grocery store. They hang in random areas for your impulse-buying pleasure.

Seems harmless enough. Ice cream is messy. And OOOO they are BPA-free! NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS! THERE IS NO BPA! IT'S ALL GOOD! 

Here's a description of a similar product, just so we're clear on the awesomeness of this product: 

Keeps kids' clothes clean by catching the sticky drips from ice cream cones or any frozen treat on a stick. Three products in one: One end holds frozen treats on a stick. Flip the Dripstik over and the other end holds ice cream cones in almost any size and variety. Also makes frozen Popsicle treats! Fill the reservoir with juice, insert the stick attachment, freeze then enjoy! Saves parents time from cleaning up colorful puddles from forgotten desserts. Makes an easy birthday party favor! Serve ice cream without stressing about guests making a mess, then simply send the Dripstik home with them. Perfect for road trips. Indulge your children with stops at ice cream shacks without worrying about the upholstery. Let them get the cone instead of a cup and spoon. Helps disabled or elderly persons, letting them enjoy ice cream with self-sufficiency. Durable, soft plastic is long-lasting and easy-care -- simply pop into the dishwasher! Available in assorted fun kid colors. Made in the USA by a mother of five!

Well there ya go. Totally brilliant, right??? 

Kids are messy. Period. We all know that. We were messy when we were kids. Everyone survived. We dealt with it. Look, I am not completely heartless - I have an aunt that had a stroke and has no use of her left arm, and when we take her for ice cream, it's messy. But you know what? We don't care. We laugh, she laughs, it cleans up. We don't need to introduce plastic crap into the environment just because ice cream is sticky. Because you know what? An ocean without plastic is necessary. We don't have that, but it's necessary. What's not necessary is this thing. This novelty item. This thing that might be used a dozen times, or once, or a hundred, but will ultimately just get thrown away. Into the world. Where it will live forever. And ever and ever. Just so some parent didn't have to worry about her upholstery or wash an extra shirt. Buy a bunch and send them home with all the other kids. So that they can get thrown away even faster. By even more people. And by the way, "Made in the USA by a mother of five" is not a selling point to me. I also don't believe it, it strikes me as misleading. 1) maybe if you didn't have FIVE kids you could handle a little mess here and there instead of polluting the world for the rest of us and 2) is she making these all by hand in the USA? Or does she live in the USA and she thought it up and now they are made in China? What's the deal, here? I need the truth. I can handle the truth. You know what isn't plastic? A fabric bib. A towel. A napkin, for cryin' out loud. Drape something over if you are so concerned about everything. 

Why you gotta pollute the world for the rest of us because you had kids knowing they were messy but then don't want to deal with the mess? Because now I have to deal with your mess. How is that right? Why must the rest of us pay for your convenience?

It's too bad we don't actually stop and think about that. Maybe we can start. Maybe before it's too late. Except that it probably already is. So you have non-sticky kids, but we're killing ourselves with plastic and chemicals and additives. 

But hey! Who cares? My car seats are ice-cream free and THAT is all that matters!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How Often Does This Go Unnoticed?

Happened to catch this one in the news. But I'm willing to bet things like this happen all the time, we just don't hear about it. Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

That's a whole lot of plastic in the ground. Unless you think they will scoop it out and re-use the jars. Yeah, that happens.

randomly selected image
A million jars. The article doesn't make it entirely clear why they could not be donated, as they were seen as fit for sale. We would rather toss them into a gaping hole in the Earth and cover them with dirt than donate them to a prison. I can only hope people will sneak out and dig some up.

A million jars. So much for recycling. Some future civilization will unEarth this trove and come up with some interesting theories. Maybe we should include a note, explaining our massive screw-up.

A million jars. I'm still trying to fathom.

Yeah, no. I can't. All I can come up with is that this is far from an isolated incident.

What do I suggest?

Nothing. I got nuthin'. I just had to share. This is what we do. THIS is humanity.

That's all. Gather your own rosebuds on that one.

Monday, March 24, 2014


This is from a mailer.

Look at it closely. It has lots of information right there.

You've seen them. You've gotten them. They are bubble mailers that are quite common. You know, the bubble stuff is fused to the plastic on the inside, providing nice protection for that book you mail that doesn't really need that kind of protection anyway.

Look at it again. It must be recyclable; after all, there's the symbol right there. And it's got those numbers there too. That means we toss it in the bin and it's all better.

To the casual recycler, this is all well and good. But think about this package for just a bit. Here's a small lesson in the recycling process.... those numbers are there to separate the different kinds of plastics. All the 1s go together, all the 2s, etc. Because they are different TYPES and will be handled differently. OK - cool, that's clear enough. So once everything gets sorted, away it goes. That's a whole other story, but for our purpose here, we'll Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.

So look again. There is a 2 and a 4 there. If you were holding the package, you would see this and understand that probably, the bubble part and the white outside part are the two different kinds of plastic. OK - cool, that's clear enough. But wait... this mailer is pretty much all one piece. The bubble stuff is completely attached to the outside part. Just a moment of thought should make anyone wonder how this would be dealt with in a recycling facility. How do they separate these?

Answer: they don't. YOU would have to pull apart the two different types of plastic, and even then, the bubble part is unlikely to have the recycling symbol on it, as it is stamped on the white part. So it's still going to just be trash, even if you put the extra effort into it.

So what am I saying? Stop using them? If you can. What I'm really pointing out, though, is the lies that are all around us. Just because it says something there on the package... nope. THINK about it.

And welcome to my head.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jell-O Rocks

I'll make this quick: Jell-O is cool stuff. It's fun, it's yummy. It's versatile, you can do so much with it and make so much with it and hey, when you mix it with vodka, you got some awesome shots. One of my favorite things from grade school was when we had our little "olympics" and the cool thing was to bring a package of Jell-O and eat it dry like Pixie Stix. You weren't cool if heaven forbid you were without a box of Jell-O. Points for weird flavors.

That being said, if you feel you must buy it in these cups rather than taking the time to make it, do us all a favor, and




That is all.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Again, Less Plastic is Still Plastic.

Greenwashing on the grandest of scales. Using the argument that you should use this product instead of that one because this one has "less plastic, it's the smarter choice for the environment" is the equivalent of saying, "Smoke this cigarette, it only gives you a little cancer."

Yes, I am back on the K-cups. Those hated things. Honestly, they make those reusable filters for them, so the machines aren't evil... just the people who insist on continuing to buy the little plastic hell-cups even while we know better. Have you seen these new ones? Here ya go:

Cute, huh? They have a papery type filter as a bottom instead of being wholly made of plastic. Just that little top part. SO much better for the environment. Buy our coffee instead. Spend way too much, Go ahead. It's OK - it's less plastic.

It's STILL PLASTIC. And now, it's an even smaller bit of plastic which will never have any chance of EVER getting put through a recycling process - nope, it'll just end up in the ocean. Around a bird's beak, because it's a tiny little ring and it is perfectly suited to that. Or around a tiny baby turtle. Or a fish. Just floating around there in the environment, hurting maiming killing any innocent animal that comes along, because we have to have our convenient coffee. 

"It's the smarter choice for the environment." No it's not. It's just another different issue. And it's still plastic, it's still unknown chemicals subjected to boiling hot water and put in your beverage. The smarter choice is one of the many reusables they make that you can find pretty much anywhere. WIth your own tiny little scoop of coffee in it. They aren't difficult. And you SAVE money. What's the issue here? 

And I may punch my monitor if I see one more image of the idea that you can use K-cups to plant seeds. No one is using those that way in any quantity near where they are being used. Now you're just insulting my intelligence. No real human is actually doing that. Besides, everyone knows you use toilet paper rolls. :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

EveryDrop Counts

Here's a product I'm in love with and I haven't even held one of them yet!

As I refuse to buy bottled water, I have a filter on my faucet on our kitchen sink. I'm used to it. I don't really like it, it's a Pur, I find it cumbersome and in the way and slow and most of all expensive to replace the filters. Plus, I feel wasteful throwing away the filters, but there is nothing else to do with them. I've pondered the Brita pitcher, I actually look at them every time I have to go buy new Pur filters. I don't like those either. They take too long to fill and are also cumbersome. And there's that time when you'll be waiting some water and there will be like half an inch fro the last person who neglected to fill it. So there's that. And it's also a lot of plastic. It seemed like the faucet-mount was the best way to go, despite the drawbacks.

So I really like the concept of this little guy. Yes, it's made from plastic, so there are some in my circles who would automatically nix it. I will not. It's much smaller than a pitcher. I think it has a certain simple elegance to it. If it were made of glass or something heavier, it might be too slippery - you are using it with water after all.

EveryDrop, by Whirlpool. Yeah, the big appliance guys. I was pretty instantly hooked with their cool website, 'cuz I'm all visual that way! It's very informative and thorough. I was ready to run out and buy one after browsing. Good job, web-dev-dude.(

You are still going to end up throwing away filters, of course, but they are worlds smaller than those giant beasts in the faucet-mount filter. If you have a nice faucet, you don't want to stick one of those things on it anyway. And ours has leaked from Day 1, even with plumbers' tape. Annoying. Couldn't be bothered to take it off to return it. And I'm always crashing into it. I also can't help having a sneaking suspicion that one day I will turn on the water and the thing will just explode off my faucet, scaring all living creatures in the house including me and spraying water all over Creation. Somehow, I don't get that feeling looking at this!

I picture this sitting quietly out of the way until it is needed. I see being able to take it on trips, so I can actually drink and use the water in hotel rooms. Heck, you know me, I would even take it to people's homes for gatherings, so I don't have to drink bottled water! Is this tiny? No - I wouldn't throw it in my purse. Well, I might be tempted, actually. Be it's definitely portable - your faucet-mount or stupid pitcher is NOT. I find this to be a product whose time has come. With this, you have almost no excuse to not use your tap. Oh the money you will save! Well, you have an excuse if your local water supply has been ruined by Clean Coal or fracking, but I think most of us are OK so far.

I personally cannot wait to get my hands on one of these. I know it will last a nice long time, so I don't worry about the plastic aspect as much. Plus the filters are a much better price point than those Pur and Brita gargantuan hulks. (I cringe so badly when I have to buy them. Seriously. Can't stand it.) I'm getting one ASAP. Then I'm a-gonna go all Office-Space-Fax-Machine-Scene on that farkin' Pur faucet-mount. Want me to do video of that when I do?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shock and Awe but in a Good Way

Sometimes a product comes along that surprises me in a good way, leaves me hopeful rather than dismayed... it happens. Such is the case with this Rubbermaid product: LunchBlox. Someone has the right idea for a change.

They are kind of cute, aren't they? Of course, these are based on similar products made of the preferred stainless steel, but I'm actually OK with these. They will last a long time, Rubbermaid is a very high-quality name out there. They are certainly preferable to Saran Wrap and plastic bags.  Look - even a salad is wonderfully.... CONVENIENT: 

They even sell a cute bag, but you don't have to get it, you can use your own. I can see that some parents would think this is too much trouble to send in with the kids, but really, come on, let's stop being lazy and making excuses. New habits are only new for a little. Then they are just good habits. Teach a little responsibility for a change. And these are ideal for office lunch. Especially if you are buying and eating crap on a day to day basis. The blue thing is a cool pack to keep it chilled if you do not have a fridge at work. And insulated bag will keep it all good until lunch time. Microwave, freezer, dishwasher safe, no BPA. I still wouldn't heat it in the microwave, but that's me. And I would use the crap outta these, I wouldn't just use them for a few months then throw them away to buy more. If these can be used for a good long time, then I'm all for it. 

I'm a fan. Thanks, Rubbermaid. I know they make a lot of plastic products, but some of them can be worth a second look. This is a nice bridge product. Every little bit helps? Maybe?