Saving the Planet, Secretly and Cheaply

Posted on February 18, 2020


Life in the Boomer Lane has been distracted in recent years by thoughts of the planet’s imminent demise and the fact that those who have the power to do something about it seem to be otherwise occupied with coming up with novel ways to ignore it. The question is, what’s a girl to do when that girl is one in a zillion billion and doesn’t feel really powerful right now?

She has tried all the usual ways people deal with this. She is an avid recycler, in spite of the recycling rules constantly changing and her nagging fear that everything gets dumped anyway into some giant swill of refuse that is hurtled into space and hovers over us, waiting for the moment it will plop down onto the earth and suffocate us.

With the advent of 2020 approaching, she had an epiphany. She sat herself down and thought about the biggest environmental boogeymen in her own little world. She narrowed it down to three: chemicals, plastic, tree-sourced paper. She decided to divest herself of all three as much as possible. She realized that she can’t save the planet. But that’s beside the point. She can easily stop supporting those who continue to abuse it.

Because she is old and because she lazy and because she is short (She isn’t quite sure what this has to do with anything, except that she is convinced it’s a deterrent of some kind), her goal was to find a way to do all this without going to any extra effort or expense. She would do it if doing so would simply involve no more than a bit of online research.

Here, then, is her first progress report, free of charge to you, her Loyal Readers.

Toxins Be Gone: LBL is now using a company called Branch Basics for all home cleaning needs. One solution (organic and safe enough to drink) and five bottles are delivered to one’s door. Mixed in differing parts of water to solution, one ends up with laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, hand soap. Branch isn’t the only company that does this. The others all cost the same and work the same way.

Verdict: It all works. Her clothes are clean. Her bathroom is clean. Her house is clean. Her hands are clean. There is a lot of money saved. And her bathroom sink no longer sports the white residue left by cleanser. Now she just has to figure out a way to safely dispose of all the nasty crap she used to use.

Paper be Gone: LBL is now only using products not made from tree-sourced paper. Her toilet “paper” is from Who Gives A Crap . It’s made from bamboo, and the company uses part of its profits to build toilets in places in the world that don’t have them. Her napkins and disposeable plates and paper towels are all biodegradeable and compostible, easily obtained by feeding the great Amazon behemoth.

Verdict: It all looks like paper, feels like paper and works like paper. She doesn’t miss tree-sourced paper one bit.

Plastic be Gone: LBL will no longer purchase plastic products (She must add “as much as possible,” since the planet is now encased in a non-breathable plastic bubble and it is tough to avoid plastic completely). Always a devotee of plastic baggies, she now uses BioBag, available online at several websites. Her sponges are made of natural, biodegradeable materials, instead of plastic-based cellulose. Her disposeable cutlery is made from bamboo. All of these are readily available online at any number of sites.

She has also found that many products come in non-plastic containers. Shampoo and toothpaste can both be found plastic-free.

Verdict: She hasn’t missed plastic one bit.

Encouraged by her success thus far, she has now started research on homemade shampoo and conditioner. She has a quick and easy recipe that is supposed to work wonders for damaged hair (Her hair is damaged because she still hasn’t given up drowning herself in color and Keratin on a regular basis). And all of the ingredients needed are already in her pantry. If she’s desperate, she can lick it off her head.

She has also tested out some plant-based meat. After sampling Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger, and several others, she gave up. She thought they were vile. Then a couple days ago, she tried Trader Joe’s new Protein Patties. Bingo. Really great taste. She’ll be back for more.

She intends to put Styrofoam on her hit list, as well. She is considering only ordering items online if they don’t come packed in giant blobs of Styrofoam, as well as bringing her own to-go containers to restaurants.

LBL will continue to keep you posed on a regular basic about her progress. And she welcomes any nuggets of advice any of you have. Just don’t tell her to give up the trips to the salon, her frequent use of cars or planes, or pizza with pepperoni. She would need a serious 12 Step Program for that.

Posted in: climate change