9 Items I Banned from My Kitchen and How I Replaced Them

In 2011, my daughter MK and I decided we would try to live without plastic. Because I’ve been at this for a while, I take for granted many of the early changes we made back then to wean ourselves off of the stuff. But with all the welcome press lately on the plastic pollution crisis […]

Someone Tell Me How I’m Missing Out

raisin sourdough bread

If you read environmental news, you may have stumbled across articles within the last week or so on a new type of edible straw. This article from Fast Company contains some unfortunate wording about these alternatives to wasteful, single-use, ocean-polluting plastic straws: It’s not about the consumer sacrificing anymore, it’s about the consumer having fun and […]

The Real Sharing Economy

From Merriam-Webster share transitive verb 1) to divide and distribute in shares; apportion—usually used with out shared out the land among his heirs 2a) to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others 2b) to have in common they share a passion for opera 3) to grant or give a share in—often used with with shared the last of her water with […]

Why This Blog Focuses on Food

I started this blog over three years ago and in that time, I don’t think I’ve done exactly a stellar job explaining why I focus on food. The short answer This quote comes from the introduction to a section on food in the book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, […]

Do It for the Cash

bulk shopping

Let’s say you don’t care about the environment at all. All you care about is money. Why? Well, perhaps you’re testing the theory that money can’t buy you happiness—and you demand first-hand proof. Maybe you have a psychological disorder—greed may be just that. Or possibly you look forward to living in the most unequal society […]

Don’t Be Perfect

I really struggled with this blog post because…I wanted it to be perfect. The irony! As one of my creative writing teachers told us, just write “s&!%, s&!%, s&!%” over and over and over if that’s what you must do to get words onto the page (or screen). Like perfection, the zero in zero waste […]

21 Consumer Products You Can (Likely) Live Without

Updated 12/18/17: This post does NOT contain affiliate links. If you buy any of the products I link to below, I will NOT receive a commission. I haven’t written a rant for some time… I was slow to see the hit show Mad Men. I found it difficult to watch a bunch of white, sexist, […]

Amazon Gah!

farmers' market produce

Like most people who work in publishing, I am not an Amazon fan. I understand the lure of inexpensive books. But that low cost comes at a high price. Amazon sells books close to or below cost in order to attract buyers, collect data on them—the real prize—and then sell them everything else. Publishers get […]

How to Scale Back During the Holidays

Some might say I go too far. When compared to the average consumer, I may seen downright nutty. But I believe that decades ago—before mass consumer culture kicked in—I would have seemed fairly normal. Well, let’s say normal as far as my consumption patterns go… As I have said many times, I’m not extreme, our […]

14 Benefits of Cooking

Yes, cooking requires time. But I’m not advocating a five-course meal every night. Dinner can be very simple: rice and beans with a side salad; a quick stir-fry; revamped leftovers. I don’t cook anything very elaborate. I simply try to eat a healthy diet—one devoid of processed food. (Read this post for 18 time-saving tips […]