The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

New fave blog: The Zero Waste Home February 25, 2010

Filed under: Apartment,going too far,Tips — Alden @ 4:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This woman is AWESOME. She’s like a no-waste superhero! I’ll never be as waste free as her. (She brings her own collapsible cup to parties. Mmm, maybe not.) But her tips are great.

Like this post on cleaning your house. I bookmarked that mofo.


Betrayed! Sigg isn’t perfect. August 26, 2009

Filed under: going too far,green angst,Products — Alden @ 5:07 pm

8183.70Sigg is a sort of poster child for environmentalism. It’s not as well-known as Whole Foods, but it’s a staple for tree huggers. You make back your investment in 18 to 25 refills, and the bottles are really cute! The biggest thing, though, is that it protects you from all that stuff that leaches from plastic bottles into your water:

But the news broke a couple weeks ago that Sigg water bottles, up until last August, contained BPA in their lining. This is extremely disappointing. It may seem trivial, the slight BPA that may or may not have contaminated my water, at levels that are extremely low. But it’s larger than that.

Once you start following environmental issues, the world becomes an extremely scary. You turn into a sort of germophobe. Every food has something bad in it. Even if it’s organic, it may not actually be healthy, because it’s processed. At parties, you eye the hor d’oeuvres suspiciously, convinced the naive host bought overpriced food from a vendor that sources from a faceless food processor. Every lip gloss and lotion because a provider of cancerous beauty. The microwave looks ominous, and the dust on the stairwell must contain lead. And don’t get me started about the water.

You become distrustful of the government, especially after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and hearing about how our foods and cosmetics contain all sorts of stuff the Europeans won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. You wonder who you can trust anymore. You can’t trust the government, you can’t trust brands, and you can’t trust yourself because there is too much information to absorb. You wonder what unhealthy things are blooming in your body, waiting to pop up and kill you, because you’ve scarfed down McDonald’s in the past.

And then, just to freak you out, one of your favorite brands, one that you thought you could turn to when you didn’t want to have to think anymore about what scary things lurk inside, admits that it too, had scary things inside it.

Ok, breathe, Alden. Thanks to Tree Hugger, another brand was called to account. And I can keep buying Siggs. Things are slowly changing.

Slowly. Changing. Breathe.

UPDATE: Sigg is offering to exchange a new Sigg bottle for your old one if you wish. Info on how to do that here. Via Consumerist.


GROSS! This is what I call Dirty Hippie August 5, 2009

Filed under: going too far — Alden @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , ,

Picture 3

So on Green Team’s blog, there’s a post about possible rancid peanut butter in the fridge. In passing they mentioned something called Freegan. I clicked on it, and it brought me to a snazzy website. At first I was like, cool:

Treading lightly on the Earth – Our high impact, produce & consume society puts a very intense strain on the Earth and her resources. Rainforests are clear-cut to provide more land for food production. Food production also consumes vast quantities of fresh water, one of our fastest-depleting resources.

Ok, fair enough.Then I saw their strategies which include:

  • Dumpster diving
  • Not having a job (They claim that all jobs are terrible.)
  • Going into restaurants and asking them for half-eaten food
  • Running scams or shoplifting
  • Infrequently taking showers, and
  • Squatting in abandoned buildings.

Sounds like Freegan is being homeless, all dressed up like conscientiousness. Seriously? First of all, gross. Can you just imagine living like that? After you’re done dumpster diving, you wander into a restaurant and ask a bewildered waiter to give you some half eaten grossness, then go home to the abandoned building. Oh, and either not take a shower or share it with someone, probably another gross freegan.

Also, do these wierdos realize that if everyone started doing what they did, well, there wouldn’t be any dumpsters to dive in, or restaurant scraps, or buildings to squat in, for that matter. It’s completely ridiculous. Look, I understand the premise, but if you don’t pay for stuff, then it won’t get made, or grown, or shipped, or created.

Lindsey, who sits across from me at work, informed me that not all Freegans are this extreme. Some people just don’t pay so much attention to expiration dates. Ok, that’s cool. And this article also takes a more sympathetic view. But for the rest of you Freegans out there:

Go out with friends for drinks! Get a job you love! Buy a ticket to Europe! Make a home for your family! Live life!