Category Archives: ecology

Sip ‘n straws

Since moving to the Florida Gulf Coast, I’ve become more aware of the anti-straw movement. Eco-friendly innovations include bamboo, chewable and reusable straws made of silicone.

Although some communities have banned single-use plastic straws, I still don’t see “the last straw” shift in school cafeterias.

Food waste reality

Years ago, schools led the way for kids to grow up with the 3 eco R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle.)

At this point, I don’t see schools taking similar leadership with reducing food waste. After glancing at food left on school cafeteria lunch trays, we have a long way to go before “zero waste” becomes a reality.

Zero waste shift?

Although major brands are starting to launch reusable packaging, companies that service school cafeterias have a long way to go.

The zero -waste movement could get a head start by simply starting with something as simple as the apple juice containers served at school breakfasts.  What a difference if the juice was served in reusable, empty containers that would be collected, cleaned and returned !

A start for sustainability

I was pleased to see our seven-year old grandson carefully go through a rack of clothes at a resale store. His focus is targeted: Nike. Often, he’s successful.

At the other end of the thrifting continuum, his mom (our daughter) regularly donates clothes, toys and household goods to this resale shop.

Although sustainability is a mega-trend, the thrifting aspect is rarely highlighted. And yet making sure the recycling wheel goes round is an easy way families can practice sustainability at home.


Living in southwest Florida, I’m very aware of the issues related to ocean plastic.

One Asian city recently launched an initiative to reduce the use of plastic: purchase bus tickets with recycled plastic bottles. Passengers could exchange five plastic bottles or ten cups for a two-hour bus pass.

I think the same approach could be applied to holiday wrapping paper!

Zero-waste school lunches?

I expected the Starbucks move to replace plastic straws with “adult sippy cups” and sustainable straws to carry over into school cafeterias, but I haven’t seen that this fall.

Years ago, elementary grade students were huge drivers in the eco-move to “reduce, re-use, recycle.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if students at all levels of education begin to embrace the zero waste movement.

Wearing waste?

Back to school shopping offers a new clothes option this fall.

H&M is allowing plastic water bottles to be upcycled into polyester. Bottle waste is sorted, washed and shredded into fashionable flakes.

Interesting twist on being eco-friendly.