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

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, racist, entitled, whiskey-swilling, chain-smoking, philandering men develop ad campaigns to sell Americans things they didn’t need. But then again, I think that was the point—to shine […]

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 […]

Raid Your Kitchen to Clean Your Bathroom

“Raid” is a bit of an exaggeration… I recently gave a workshop at the Menlo Park library on fermentation. I love facilitating workshops. The audience is so enthusiastic to learn about zero-waste cooking, fermenting, sourdough baking, produce bag sewing and so on. I thought homemade cleaners might make another great workshop but quickly realized it would last […]

How to Respond to Zero-Waste Naysayers

Updated 06/22/17 Perhaps you’ve taken the Plastic Free July challenge. You’ve banned plastic wrap in your home, started carrying your reusable water bottle everywhere and maybe you’ve started making your own granola. You feel very excited about your progress (as you should)! Then your friends and family criticize you and burst your bubble. Sound familiar? “You don’t […]

Food Politics and the English Language

With apologies to George Orwell… I work at an English factory (a small publisher) and in my past wayward life, wrote marketing copy on the side. So I know how powerful language can be—powerful enough to entice you to part with your hard-earned cash to buy things you don’t actually need and that might actually […]