There’s probably bigger things to deal with here, but all I can focus on is that those are shit future archaeologists if *that’s* the conclusion they come to.

Zero Waste Tips

Whenever you go out, bring with you:

-a reusable water bottle filled with water (this prevents the purchase of plastic water bottles)

-an empty reusable coffee mug that can be filled during your travels, or a full reusable cup mug that you filled at home (prevents paper coffee cups and gives you a discount at many coffee shops, including Starbucks) 

-some kind of small cloth that can be used in place of napkins, tissues, and paper towels

-at least one reusable shopping bag (I have one I bring everywhere that folds up into a little square pouch) 

-a reusable container (useful if you eat out and have take home food) 

Life of an urban witch #2

Recycling is fun! 

  • use tin cans or plastic bottles as plant pots
  • make tote bags out of old/ripped pillowcases (you could dye them and  draw/print/sew sigils or magical symbols on them)
  • use an egg carton to organize your gems/shells/crystalls

CHINA, BEIJING : This photo taken on September 17, 2015 shows a Chinese labourer sorting out plastic bottles for recycling in Dong Xiao Kou village, on the outskirt of Beijing.  China is the world’s biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, and a crucial player in the global gathering finishing on December 11 in Paris, where nations have been trying to thrash out a plan to limit dangerous global warming.  The 195-nation UN climate rescue talks in the French capital have been billed as the last chance to avert worst-case-scenario climate change impacts: increasingly severe drought, floods and storms, as well as island-engulfing rising seas.      AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR     

The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Here are the life cycles of three different plastic bottles.

Bottle One, like hundreds of millions of tons of its plastic brethren, ends up in a landfill. This huge dump expands each day, as more trash moves in and continues to take up space. 

As plastics sit there being compressed, rainwater flows through the waste and absorbs the water soluble compounds it contains, and some of those are highly toxic. Together they create a harmful stew called “leachate”, which can move into groundwater, soil, and streams, poisoning ecosystems and harming wildlife. It can take Bottle One an agonizing 1,000 years to decompose.

Bottle Two floats on a trickle that reaches a stream, a stream that flows into a river, and a river that reaches the ocean. After months lost at sea, it’s slowly drawn into a massive vortex, where trash accumulates - place known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This is one of five plastic filled gyres in the worlds seas. 

Some animals mistake the brightly colored plastic bits for food. Plastic makes them feel full when they’re not, so they starve to death, passing the toxins from the plastic up the food chain, eventually to us.

Bottle Three, on the other hand, is recycled. It’s taken away on a truck to a plant, where it and its companions are squeezed flat and compressed into a block. The blocks are shredded into tiny pieces, which are washed and melted, so they become the raw materials that can be used again. Bottle Three is ready to be reborn, as something new.

So, what can you do? First - reduce your use of plastic altogether! And when you do find yourself needing to buy a bottle, don’t forget to recycle it. You’ll be doing Planet Earth a great, big favor.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What really happens to the plastic you throw away - Emma Bryce

Animation by Sharon Colman Graham


Alfredo Moser’s invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic had a light-bulb moment and came up with a way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity - using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach.

In the last two years his innovation has spread throughout the world. It is expected to be in one million homes by early next year.

So how does it work? Simple refraction of sunlight, explains Moser, as he fills an empty two-litre plastic bottle.

“Add two capfuls of bleach to protect the water so it doesn’t turn green [with algae]. The cleaner the bottle, the better,” he adds.

More: Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor - BBC News

— d.n.

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

1. Eat fresh foods. Here’s an idea…drastically reduce or eliminate all processed foods. Not only is it better for your health, but better for the environment. The less processed foods we eat, the less waste we throw away with paper and plastic packaging.
2. Start toting around a stainless steel or even better, glass water bottle. Using a resuable stainless steel or glass water bottle that you fill with properly filtered water is an easy, economical and sustainable way to drastically cut down on plastic consumption.
3. Bring canvas bags to the grocery store. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to cut down on plastic bag and paper bag consumption. In some countries, like Japan, stores will actually charge you a small fee to use plastic bags, a practice I feel we should adopt to help encourage the use of canvas bags.
4. Skip on putting all your produce in those little plastic baggies. This is huge source of waste that I don’t think most of us even pay attention to. If you’re anything like me, the majority of your groceries are veggies and fruit. And just think about how much plastic we waste by putting a couple of apples, a tomato and a cucumber in one of those little baggies. Put your produce directly into your canvas bag while you shop. But, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your produce when you get home, especially since they’ll be sitting naked on the conveyor belt.
5. Choose paper or glass packaging over plastic packaging. Buying eggs? Choose the cardboard egg carton over the plastic. Laundry detergent? Buy the cardboard box over the plastic dispenser. Soap? Choose bar soap over liquid in bottles.
6. Replace your tupperware with glassware containers. Glass containers are so much cooler than tupperware for many reasons

  • You’re not as likely to lose a glass container than you are a cheap plastic one.
  • You can cook, store and reheat in a glass container.
  • They don’t stain like plastic tupperware if you put spaghetti sauce in it.
  • No icky toxic chemicals will leak into your food.

7. Forget buying another bottle of lotion. Use coconut oil (sold in a glass bottle, of course) for a skin moisturizer instead. Coconut oil is a safe, natural and chemical and paraben free moisturizer. Gently melt a tablespoon in a small saucepan and use as an overall body moisturizer. 

8. Buy in bulk and bring in your own papers bags or storage containers if you can. Not only does buying in bulk save a ton of money, but you also cut down on unnecessary plastic packaging. Nuts, beans, rice, spices and legumes are items that are great buying in bulk.
9. Choose wax paper or glass containers instead of Ziplock baggies. 
10. Use brown grocery bags instead of plastic garbage bags for your trash. Instead of buying the white plastic garbage bags, make use of the pile of old grocery bags to line your trash cans instead.