In the US, only 5-6% of all plastics ever manufactured have been downcycled*.

Grateful for the Ride

Finding ways to restore and sustain this beautiful planet of ours through grass roots, legislative, corporate and personal consumption efforts

Sustainable Saturday Coffee Hour: The LAST Saturday of every month (Saturday, May 27th, 9 am PST) we’ll be easing your climate anxiety by engaging in an EASY activity together that will yield BIG results: emailing our legislators! We’ll have everything we need to do it in the comfort of your own bed, couch, chair, wherever you’ll be hanging out with us! Grab your favorite reusable mug and join us! Whether you come to share or learn, you’re a hero for taking time out for the planet! Sign up here.

*Downcycled: Technically, plastic cannot be recycled as it’s not a “closed loop” material (such as aluminum, metal or glass). Virgin plastic must be added to downcycled plastic to make it into anything of use. The most a plastic item can be downcycled is twice. After this, it will break down indefinitely over hundreds of years, unable to be organically absorbed into our environment.

Latest from the Blog

Our 2022 viewing opportunity of “The Story of Plastic” is over, but we DID capture the recording of our follow-up Speaker’s Panel.

We heard from:

Jenny Davies political science degree from Duke University (1981), an MD and an MPH from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1990), and a JD in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School

Dana Ripper wildlife ecologist based in central Missouri.  She is the co-founder and executive director of the Missouri River Bird Observatory, a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of birds, all wildlife, and their habitats.

Ben Schleifer EDC Food Program Director – Center for Environmental Health

You can watch the recording of this VERY informative Speaker’s Panel here.

Event stats:

62 Requests to watch the Movie

55 Flyers handed out

15 Panel Attendees

We’ll do this AGAIN this coming Earth Day, 2023!!

The $49 Item that Helped Me Reduce My Trash By 75%

For the last 2 years, my family and I have been able to fit a years’ worth of plastic into this garbage container, and you can do it too. These consumption makeovers are light on the planet, good for the soul and rich in quality family time (a three-fer!).

21 Days to Form a Habit: Choices and Habits are Powerful Things…

UPDATE: 85% of our waste is plastic waste. Learned recently that the rate of recycling plastic is actually closer to 5-6%, not the formerly thought 9% statistic (that is already quite dismal).

  • Airplane Cups
    Plastic abounds on airplanes.  Every passenger receives a plastic cup, sometimes TWO (if you order tea, they hand you one for your teabag!!) that’s promptly thrown away after a few hours.  That’s 52 million cups a day.  “Every day, the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) provides service to more than 43,000 flights and 2.6 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace. With an airspace system as vast and complex as ours,Continue reading “Airplane Cups”
  • Catharine Blaine K-8 Waste Audit
  • Coffee Cups
    Truly, my journey started November 9th, 2019 when I began to think about what life would be like without plastic.   One of the biggest offenders of Single Use Plastic (SUP) I notice in the city of Seattle are single use coffee cups (58 billion are thrown away each year in the United States).    How could I lower my plastic footprint?   I’ve come to realize half of the battle to trimming your “WASTEline” is changing your habits. Continue reading “Coffee Cups”
  • Colored Markers
    It may be awhile before they come out with bamboo or cardboard markers, but fear not!  Terracycle can recycle your “dead” – ANY dead colored marker, pen cap, etc.!   Let me tell you, with two busy artists on my hands, I’ve got PLENTY of those! The TerraCycle site gives you a couple of options, typically.   You can find a location in your town or neighborhood that has a collection box (the kind you’re interested in using),Continue reading “Colored Markers”
  • Cottage Cheese
    I love cottage cheese because it packs a lot of protein and pairs nicely with sweet or savory dishes. But I’ll be honest… dairy generates a lot of plastic waste. TLDR: My favorite way to purchase Cottage Cheese is bulk. It’s more expensive, but if you think about the alternative (container taking 500+ years to break down) I’m happy to pay a premium for cottage cheese. Plastic is a synthetic and highly malleable material made fromContinue reading “Cottage Cheese”
  • Deodorant
    I’m giving up plastic in 2019, and just yesterday, I ran out of deodorant! According to the 2017 census, there are currently 247,813,910 adults living in the United States. If the average American adult uses 10 deodorant sticks a year, we’d be throwing 2,478,139,100 empty deodorant applicators into the garbage dumps. Even if we did recycle them, they present an added challenge because deodorant applicators are mixed material items – items that contain different kinds ofContinue reading “Deodorant”
  • Deodorant: update!
    A clear winner has been confirmed!  Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care – you can rest soundly knowing you can not only SMELL good, but avoid using pit stick with harmful chemicals AND save the planet at the same time! TOPS: Island Thyme – Grapefruit Mandarin.   Also love: Cherry vanilla.  For guys: Spruce and Fir.   Completely compostable packaging!  Hooray!   Kaiame Naturals.  Excellent packaging that can be (and has been) reused indefiniately.  Primal Pit PasteContinue reading “Deodorant: update!”
  • Drive-Thrus
    Drive-Thru Tips for Reducing Unnecessary Plastic There are several ways you could approach this, and it’s important to tackle because though Drive-thrus are convenient, they are VERY tough on the environment from a packaging AND emissions perspective if you drive a combustion engine and leave the engine running while you wait in line.   Here are some suggestions: 
  • Floss
    Best: Bamboo Switch! Purchased from Tacoma Soap Distillery! Pretty Dan good: Dental floss containers are troublesome because they too have a number of various plastic parts within the floss container that are likely NOT the same grade of plastic.  Thus, most of these containers are tossed into the trash heap.   I have been using Dental Lace for the past year with mixed success.  The floss is biodegradable, but breaks easily while I floss my teeth.Continue reading “Floss”
  • Glass vs. Plastic
    A strong argument to use plastic is its lightweight characteristics, which takes less energy to transport. Glass is heavier and definitely takes energy to create and recycle, as does plastic. But when we consider materials, it’s important to look BEYOND mere transport, and consider extraction, health and end of life. Glass recycling is more efficient than plastic recycling, given it presents a closed loop/homogeneous waste stream that can be reused indefinitely, compared to plastic that hasContinue reading “Glass vs. Plastic”
  • Goal accomplished: Only 20 gallons of plastic in 2019!!
    Happy New Year!   I am happy to report I did it – I managed to get through the year using just 20 gallons of plastic!   What does 20 gallons of plastic look like? Like this: That’s IT.   One ENTIRE year of plastic fit into that little trash bin!  You can’t imagine how good that feels!  My kids and I learned SOOOO much in the process, too! Where did it come from, you ask?Continue reading “Goal accomplished: Only 20 gallons of plastic in 2019!!”
  • My mission
    Every year I like to set big bold New Years’ Resolutions. I mean – goals that seem impossible and really put the fright in me! I’ve been enjoying a couple of books recently by the inspirational Hal Elrod: The Miracle Equation and The Miracle Morning.  Each book has tremendous advice for making your way, first thing each morning, to realizing your potential and your loftiest dreams.  This brings me to my latest share: my mission.  ItContinue reading “My mission”
  • Ovens and the “M” before the Rs: Maintain
    There are other Rs, and even an “M” before “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”: Maintain Repair Refurbish After reading about the Circular Diagram published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, I decided to give “maintain” a shot. Every time I cooked on high level broil, our beloved “Ovey” would short and completely power off. I contacted a technician to come in and give her a peek. Could our 24-year-old oven be repaired? He diagnosed the problem: an olderContinue reading “Ovens and the “M” before the Rs: Maintain”
  • Pads. Period.
    I no longer need them, but I’ve got a couple of incredible growing  girls that do/will!  Thankfully, we have options!  Commercially produced sanitary pads have some bold promises, but these features are backed by a toxic cocktail of harmful chemicals that impact the earth and air as pointed out in this article: “The plastic layer which is used to make a disposable sanitary pad stain-free and the chemicals used in producing it get further transferred betweenContinue reading “Pads. Period.”
  • Plants and soil
    I have a couple of gardening goals this year: 1. Replace the potted plants I killed last year 2. Declare war on my dandelions. These projects require potted plants and soil, and both of these items come packaged in: P   L   A   S   T  I  C  !  !  ! What’s a person to do?  Let’s talk about that. Potted plant options: 1. Get plant starts from a friend who enjoys gardening 2.Continue reading “Plants and soil”
  • Plastic Sandwich Bags
    I have a two tiered approach for plastic bags. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me whether I would be throwing away all of my plastic this year based on my plastic free goal. The answer? No! Of course not! The way I see it, the plastic can either continue to exist in a useful way, or exist in a garbage dump. Since it’s going to be around for 30,000+ years, I opt for theContinue reading “Plastic Sandwich Bags”
  • Protein Powder, etc. .
    You can find protein powder bulk! Remember to bring paper bags, otherwise you’ll be using their film plastic bulk bags. It’s easy to purchase paper lunch sacks right from Winco, or bring your own smallish paper bags from home. Some store will offer customers smaller paper bags near the mushrooms. Context + more info: When a friend told me the single biggest impact I could have on my carbon footprint was to adopt a vegan lifestyle, I satContinue reading “Protein Powder, etc. .”
  • Protein Powder: update!
      When a friend told me the single biggest impact I could have on my carbon footprint was to adopt a vegan lifestyle, I sat up and begrudgingly paid attention.  He’d told me – simply – that eating a hamburger would have a greater impact on the planet than driving a Humvee around for a week.  I was shocked and deftly changed my eating habits.   Enter Vega Organic Protein Powder… my favorite vegan protein supplementContinue reading “Protein Powder: update!”
  • Shampoo
    Oh my goodness. Shampoo aisles are teeming with plastic bottles. Their life span is too short (~6 months) and their fragments, once discarded, last for centuries: “Can it really be true that half the plastic ever made was produced in the past 15 years? That a trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, with an average “working life” of just 15 minutes? That some nine million tons of plastic waste go into the oceans everyContinue reading “Shampoo”
  • The Story of Plastic – Speaker’s Panel Recording
    The #storyofplastic is the story BIG PLASTIC does not want you to see. Even though watching together in person is a challenge, we can still flatten the curve and be together virtually. Beyond Plastics Greater Seattle is hosted the streaming link through 8/1 AND hosted a follow up Speaker’s and Q&A Panel on 7/31@1pm PST. Thanks to all who joined us for this event! We can no longer show the film, but you can view ourContinue reading “The Story of Plastic – Speaker’s Panel Recording”
  • Toilet Paper – UPDATE
    Purchase from “Who Gives a Crap,” a natural, dye-free, earth-friendly toilet paper wrapped in… paper! From their site: “We’re determined to prove that toilet paper is about more than just wiping bums. We make all of our products with environmentally friendly materials, and we donate 50% of our profits to help build toilets for those in need. To date we’ve donated over $1.8m Aussie dollars (that’s the equivalent of over $1,300,000!) to charity and saved aContinue reading “Toilet Paper – UPDATE”
  • Waffles
    TLDR: Stay away from teflon waffle irons. Purchase cast iron. Healthier, and built to last. I found a cool one on Etsy. We are a waffle loving family. Our waffle iron was electric, worked fine, but I eventually took it my favorite e-recycler 1 Green Planet because the griddle was caked with filth, difficult to clean and the final straw was the Teflon coating. It was beginning to effect the taste of our waffles and IContinue reading “Waffles”
  • Wenatchee Zero Waste
    When I had my home audited a couple of years ago, one of the biggest pieces of advice I received from Balderston Associates, commercial and residential sustainability consulting firm (quite good), was to limit my air travel. WHAT!?! I love to travel! How could I possibly tame my wanderlust? But cut back I must. Up to this point in my life, a fortunate inhabitant of the planet, I’ve given very little thought to what I leftContinue reading “Wenatchee Zero Waste”
  • Whipped Cream
    Whipped cream.  Indispensable and therefore, worthy of  finding a good Earth friendly solution! Whether you’re helping reduce your carbon footprint by going vegan or not, there are dairy and dairy-free ways to mitigate plastic consumption when you have dessert! Dairy: Good: aluminum cans w plastic cap can be recycled. Better: whipped cream in cartons or glass bottles with a small plastic cap.  Caps are too small to be recycled and even if they were, 80% ofContinue reading “Whipped Cream”
  • Why refuse to use plastic anything?
    1. It’s getting hot.  I rent my basement and for about a week last summer it was tough for my kids and I to get a good night’s sleep.   Since our basement is currently rented, we are unable to escape the heat down there (and hey, we’re Seattlelites, so no AC either).  How hot has it gotten since you were born?  Read this NYT article to find out.  Plastic consists of oil and other toxins.  IfContinue reading “Why refuse to use plastic anything?”

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