Lose the Plastic not Your Mind During Plastic Free July

Plastic contamination has reached every corner of the planet. And while many, many organizations and individuals have been working on the problem of plastic pollution for years, thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II and National Geographic’s June issue focused on plastic, awareness of the crisis has finally reached mainstream consciousness. Plastic Free July this […]

How Do I Juggle All of This?

Sometimes this lifestyle makes me crazy. I will admit it. When I try to rush out the door in the morning and notice my sourdough starter sitting on the counter, yearning for the feeding I have neglected to give it, I get why people don’t want to look after one. Although feeding my starter takes […]

15 Creative Uses for Food Scraps

Last week I rewatched Anthony Bourdain’s documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste in Berkeley on the big screen and spoke on a panel after the film. Anyone who eats should see it. (You can read my review of it here.) The chefs in the film came up with such creative dishes from food that […]

A Zero-Waste Business

jars of food

I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that. — Lloyd Dobler, […]

12-Step Program to Cut Processed Food

I admit it. I love sugar. I eat less sugar than I used to but I still eat it. And although I don’t believe sugar is as addictive as cocaine, food manufacturers certainly seem addicted to the stuff—or at least to the huge profits that added sugar enables. A University of North Carolina survey found that […]

How to Organize a Produce Bag Making Meetup

lemons in a cloth produce bag

This past Sunday, eight people from the Meetup group I belong to met to sew a pile of simple cloth produce bags. Everyone pitched in. Some ironed, some cut, some sewed. In the flurry of activity, I didn’t do an exact count of the bags we churned out but including the handful I finished up […]

5 Ways to Persuade People to Break Free from Plastic

Perhaps you recently watched Blue Planet II and learned about the catastrophic effects of plastic pollution on our oceans and marine wildlife, you heard a story on the radio about plastic microfibers in almost all drinking water or you read today’s British report which predicts that plastic debris in the oceans will increase by threefold within the […]

Take Your School Zero Waste in Three Steps

I recently interviewed Greg Ellis-Valencia, Executive Director of One Cool Earth, a non-profit in San Luis Obispo, California, that builds and maintains school gardens. The organization currently oversees 18 of these educational gardens. It has also worked with these schools to build the largest student-run zero-waste program in California schools. If you live outside of […]

How to Maintain and Revive Cast Iron Pans

If Cast Iron Protective Services was a thing, my two pans would have been taken away from me long ago. I never cooked in them. I stored them in the oven—and kept them there with the heat on. I rarely seasoned them. When I saw Heidi Alvarado’s post on Instagram explaining her clever (and easy!) […]

A Zero-Waste Kit That Costs Zero Dollars

jars filled with pantry staples

My daughter Mary Katherine rarely writes posts on the blog she started as a teenager, The Plastic-Free Chef. She did however write one a couple of weeks ago on how, as a busy, cash-strapped student, she finds the zero-waste lifestyle inaccessible. I’m simply too poor. We need more solutions to deal with waste that don’t […]

Go Plastic-Free in 2018 (or Close to It)

If you’ve arrived at this blog, you’re probably aware of the plastic pollution problem so I won’t spend time discussing it. You can read recent news on that here, here and here. Instead, I’ll discuss changes we can make in our own lives. Individual choices may not seem like much in the face of this disaster but […]