A realistic guide to recycling

I think it’s best to be pragmatic about recycling, rather than "wish-cycling" and then patting yourself on the back. Recycling rules vary by region (look them up for your city / county) but this post provides some generally applicable guidelines.

California’s plastic problem

This post focuses on a news special by KQED (Bay Area public television) – California’s Plastic Problem. It provides an excellent overview in 30 minutes of the challenges of plastic recycling, plastic pollution, and the carbon footprint of plastic.

Domestic waste policy: The best way to reduce your waste

The best way to reduce your domestic waste is to rearrange your kitchen a little bit – it’s that easy! Here’s what to do: Convert your main kitchen bin to a compost bin and then set up a much smaller container or bag for waste destined for landfill.

Marathon (imidacloprid) used on ornamental plants kills bees

Marathon is a formulation of the neonic insecticide, imidacloprid, that’s commonly used on ornamental plants in nurseries, garden centers, and homes across the US. A 2021 University of California paper shows that the application of Marathon, even at 30% of the recommended dose, killed 90% of leafcutter bees.

Vegan companies are being harassed – support them!

Companies that make plant-based food are being harassed by meat industry groups on a regular basis. I’ll go through a few examples to underscore why it’s important to support these underdogs.

Should you always support vegan brands?

Should you always support vegan brands? More specifically: Should you support vegan brands owned by less ethical parent corporations? I’ll take a look at some brands, and look at reasons to support them and situations where you should not.

Supporting charities on eBay

I recently discovered that you can filter search results on eBay to show only items that benefit charities. Buying used items reduces your impact (carbon and material footprints, social impact) massively over buying new items. Buying used items from a charitable organization is even better. I’ll describe two ways to search eBay for items that benefit charities.

An ad blocker will reduce your carbon footprint

Cat's paw on laptop keyboard - an ad blocker will reduce your carbon footprint

As a follow-up to my last post on the carbon footprint of data, here’s an easy action that you can take: install an ad blocker on your browser. There is a downside: many websites and content creators do rely on advertising revenue to pay the bills. So it’s your call 🙂

The carbon footprint of data (& why I quit AT&T Wi-Fi)

I quit my home Wi-Fi service from AT&T and am completely happy with that decision. Now I simply use my phone as a mobile hotspot, saving money and reducing my carbon footprint. I’ve estimated the carbon footprint of data at around 0.054 kg of CO2 per 1 GB of data. Streaming HD video is by far the largest consumer of data for most people.

Conagra – sustainability and ethical rating

Conagra Brands is one of the largest food companies in the world. Conagra’s greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation have increased from 2019 to 2020. The introduction of compostable bowls for frozen dinners is a bright spot in a corporation that’s firmly in the avoid category for me. 1/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.