Sunday, November 28, 2010


DAY 244

I have settled down on my Sun Chip Bag issues....seems it is common knowledge out there that the bags are being phased out. I have certainly heard some interesting/fun conversations about it! Seems Frito-Lay is going back to the drawing board and will try again for the sound sensitive snackers. OK.

The Wegman's in Ithaca, NY has compostable plastic take out containers now - excellent! I enjoyed my vegetarian goodies on the road with the peace of mind of reasonable plastic. Weggy's has figured it out, hopefully FL can too.

Anyway, I am still on my quest for "natural" health and beauty finishing up some Body Shop products that I like but don't love. Good timing as my friend Erin is now promoting a new great organic product line called Neal's Yard Remedies - will give them a try - my only concern is that they are produced in the UK - not local at all! Nonetheless, most of their products are organic, non-animal testing, etc. and have a lot of the other features I am looking for. I used these products the year I lived in London - an established company for 20 years. Here is the NYR Product statement and their "just say no" list:

"Health is the most important thing to us. When formulating and making our products, we follow the precautionary principle – which means not using anything we believe could cause you, or the planet harm."

NO ANIMAL TESTING - unnecessary and cruel
NO GMO INGREDIENTS - not enough is known about the long-term implications
NO PARABENS - linked to oestrogen overproduction
NO NANO PARTICLES - not enough is known about their long-term implications
NO SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES - often associated with allergic reactions
NO SYNTHETIC COLOURS - often associated with allergic reactions
NO SILICONES - coat the skin, impeding its natural function
NO MINERAL OILS - derived from petroleum, have a tendency to block the skin
NO PHTHALATES - reported to have toxic impact on human and animal life
NO EDTA - doesn't readily biodegrade
NO PROPYLENE GLYCOL - derived from petroleum
NO CARBOMER - derived from petroleum
NO DEA - associated with known carcinogens

Now there is a consultant based organization here in the US - Erin is 1 of 1000 consultants in the US in this new initiative - her website here:

Erin also re-directed me to a website(via Amy Jane Stewart! that rates products on their toxicity levels - very interesting - Check it out:

Will let you know how this turns out... More to come on making Christmas gifts - I have committed to only hand-made by me or second-hand gifts...and I do not mean re-gifting!

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snow's a Coming...

DAY 231

I have calmed down after my Sun Chip Bag peace everyone, OK? And less trash in the landfills, please, that's all I'm saying!

Prepping for our favorite season here in Rochester - we call it "The Winter Time" or The I'll See You When the Sun Comes Back Out, Like Maybe Never, or Sometime in May Time". I finally cleaned out the small garden in the front of my house...I'd let it go free willy since August and there were many an interesting item including a small tree and a spiky tropical looking plant that I had no memory of whatsoever. Lots of holes in the dirt - buried squirrel treasure - and a ton of dead leaves. There are no trees right above this garden so I am not sure where said leaves came from - strange. A real mystery. By the way, rumor has it that October was Squirrel Awareness Month - also a mystery! Not to be confused with National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21st... I was cutting, pulling and pondering how I was going to fit garlic planting into my day tomorrow, I got to thinking about a great conversation I had with some conference attendees on Saturday about Nothing New...I love that this is s conversation starter and I always appreciate what others know and are doing in their lives to cut back, cut down, take out, put in, etc.

Their first question to me (as it usually is) was "What about food?" The follow up questions are really about eating out, eating junk, preparing food vs prepared foods...We talked about eating locally and having a garden...they told me what they are doing too - all great! I do believe every small change, habit or effort is significant...We exchanged a few more ideas on food, cleaning products and health/beauty goodies, then parted ways on a reminder of Burt's Bees products - the second time in one week that BB has been put on my radar - it's a sign. Will look again to check for my criteria...

Snow soon according to the "talk" but I just saw 40s and 50s on the weather? Hmmmm - may still have time to paint the porch steps once more before winter really gets here. I'd like a different color blue, but will use up the paint from last year and start fresh next Spring to do the porch floor too...

Been thinking about doing another year of Nothing New...

Have a Nothing New Day! (Month, Quarter, Year?) Kristin

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Really? A Rant on Sun Chip Bag Haters

DAY 230

I just found out that the great new (revolutionary) compostable Sun Chip bag is going to be discontinued in the US because the bag is too loud. Really? Too loud for what? Too loud? Take them out of the bag and put them in a bowl. Too loud? Stop trying to sneak food in the middle of the night. Too loud? Get off the couch and and stop watching NOTHING on TV. Too loud? Just deal with it because it reduces waste and the product tastes great!

This must mean that there are people out there with enough free time to complain in general about a chip bag - enough time to complain to Frito-Lay and enough time create a FB page to complain - 53,249 people "like" the SORRY BUT I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUN CHIPS BAG page. Really?

My message to the 53,249: Try more about the environment, work on bigger issues than loud snack bags, eat better, get over it!

I really hope Frito-Lay reverses their decision and continues the bag here as they have in Canada (they get it) Do not cave to misguided and narrow-minded consumers FL! To be fair, I can see the business side of things...there was an 11% decrease in sales of Sun Chips over the past year. Well, shame on us as consumers then.

I am personally bummed - of course in a "non-life threatening/I will be able to move on by tomorrow" kind of way. I had been buying only Sun Chips in the compostable bag for every snack need - even when I REALLY wanted salt & vinegar potato chips with my sandwich and tortilla chips with my salsa. I know, I know, should be eating carrots and remain grateful to be able to afford snacks...Check and check.

Read a great article from Fast Company Magazine for more info:

And check out this funny Canadian video:

I will continue to buy Sun Chips - their plant in Modesto, CA (1 of 8 plants) uses solar energy to create the chips there...good!

OK, I am going to have a little snack now - plug your ears!

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Friday, November 5, 2010

Recyle, Recycle, wherfeore art thou Recycle?

Day 221

I have of late, wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, I mean plastic, OK, I mean glass! No paper! Wait, what?...So I have a little Shakespeare on my mind as I ponder the absence of recycling opportunities on my current trip. Therefore, my suitcase is filling up with plastic, glass and paper to bring home and recycle at my house. I even washed out the containers from Chipotle, my new FAVORITE restaurant - "local food with integrity" - check it out:

By the way, beware, this page makes a cockadoodledo sound when it opens and it just scared the --- out of me here in the woods in a cabin by myself...breathe, oh man - just lost a pound.

Anyway, back to recycling, the Hilton Garden Inn in Atlanta - nothing. The Holiday Inn Express in Carter Lake, IA - also nothing - except I give the front desk clerk huge credit for offering to come up to my room to take my recyclables for me - I guess there are a few individuals there that take the stuff home themselves...why doesn't the company as whole provide it? Argh.

The camp here does not recycle and all weekend we are using disposable plastic silverware and styrofoam plates - drats. At least I have my To Go Ware with me! Water bottle and coffee mug too...that will help a little. So, I asked the students to use one cup all weekend long and put their name on it - they are doing it! Love that! They also have water bottles - good.

As a small consolation, I was glad that my cousin in Omaha was able to rescue my #5 McDonald's cup from the trash for me (I confess, I should not have bought it in the first place - I was desperate).

Check out these websites to rate your hotel for its green/sustainable practices:

Meanwhile, November's Motivation Month - I am continuing the quest for the best green health and beauty products - next I will try Burt's Bees and Avalon...will keep you posted. Oh, I am adding NO COKE to this month too, really. December is going to have to do with clothing - I am going to attempt to wear only 6 items of clothing for the entire month - hmmmmmm...

More later - 6 hours of sleep is on my to do list! Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin