Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Junk" Sailing the Pacific

Thanks again to my good friend Jim Hardman for informing me of Junk - a rudimentary sailing vessel made entirely of plastic and scrap that is sailing the Pacific to build awareness of the tons of plastic whirling and swirling in our oceans and its devastating impact on our sealife.

Jerry & Tara
Back to CarrotSeed.Net (

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year - Thanks President Bush

Happy New Year to All! Tara and I hope you have a peaceful and joyful 2009!

Well, I admittedly don't say it often, but here goes...Thank You President Bush!

He just designated a marine area the size of California as protected land. Check out the photos of the area, which includes the world's deepest canyon--The Mariana Trench--and numerous atolls teeming with relatively undisturbed sealife. See

Have a great day.

Jerry & Tara

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting to Zero Waste - Cap N Trade

Here are some observations:
1. We have too much garbage going to landfills.
2. Economic incentive to recycle is poor - I recently heard a news story about the plummeting prices for recycled paper, meaning that recyclers have plunging revenue figures and that less and less will be recycled.

Here is my suggested solution:

Cap the amount of non-recycled content that is allowable in our products economy wide--from toilet tissue to SUVs; from juice boxes to televisions; from coffee makers to building materials. Start the cap at whatever the current level is--I have no idea what that number is, but for example, let's say it is 95%. Let's cap in 2009 the amount of non-recycled material a manufacturer is allowed to put in their product at 95% of the product by weight.

Now, allow manufacturers to trade their rights to put non-recycled material in. (Just like carbon cap 'n' trading.) So, the cardboard box manufacturer who produces only 100% recycled cardboard boxes has 95% credit to trade. Say there is a car manufacturer who currently has 99% non-recycled material. That company can buy 95% credit from the cardboard company and then innovate to find the other 4%. If this year, they cannot find it, they can buy that 4% from another company that has managed to be below the cap.

Then, each year we lower the cap: from 95% to 90% to 85% to 75% to 60% to...dare I say it? 0% in 25 years? So, by 2034, we are a zero waste society--making everything we make from things that we have had before. You might argue that, given growth, that is not possible. But perhaps we can dig into our landfills--as reserves for raw materials just waiting to be recycled. Imagine actually drawing down our junkyards and landfills, rather than building them up.

Let us know what you think.

Jerry & Tara

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Pacific Garbage Patch...

Thanks to my friend and neighbor, Jim Hardman, for telling me about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which I had not yet heard about.

Apparently, it is the size of Texas--a massive swirling of plastic in the North Pacific Ocean - located in the North Pacific Gyre, to be more specific. Check out these entries at Wikipedia -

And at.. - a site established to educate about the problem.

About 80% of the plastic in the swirl comes from the land, about 20% from boats. Let's do all we can to reduce our plastic waste--reduce, reuse, recycle!


Jerry & Tara

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Go Tim! - Alexandria to ban plastic bags?

Our hats are off to local city council member Tim Lovain. Check out this article in the Alexandria Gazette -

A funny thing that the grocers don't seem to get is that by eliminating grocery bags--heck, not just plastic, but paper too because it has a high carbon footprint--they are eliminating a cost-center and creating a new profit center: the sale of reusable bags. Right now, every plastic bag they giveaway costs a couple cents. When you use 20 of them, the grocery store is laying out 40 cents in order for you to take your groceries home. When, instead, they sell you a reusable bag for $1 or $2, they are eliminating the 40 cents expense in perpetuity, not to mention getting the one-time revenue from the sale of the reusable bags.

Come on grocers, get on board with reusable bags--it is in your interest.

Go Tim! Let us know how we can help!

Jerry & Tara

Recycle those burnt out Christmas Lights!

This year, when we began plugging in our old Christmas lights we were astounded by the number of non-starters. Entire chains that were just out. Fortunately, I just found this site... ... where one can recycle one's old Christmas lights.

So, if you've got an entire line burnt out and can't revive it...then pass it on to these folks at HolidayLEDs. You even get a 15% coupon in return for the products on their site...Not Bad!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waste Free Lunches

Good Wednesday Morning!

Every morning Tara and I pack lunch for our kids. The kids' school encourages parents to pack waste-free lunches. We want to encourage you to ask your school to do the same--to spread the word that garbage cannot just be reduced but totally eliminated at lunch time.

Here are some of my kids' typical lunch contents and how they are packaged:
  • sandwich (wrapped in a wrap-n-mat) [which we sell at CarrotSeed)
  • soup (packed in thermos)
  • yogurt (purchased in quart-size from the store and served in a reusable tupperware container)
  • applesauce (ditto)
  • cheese booty (purchased in large bag, served in tupperware)
  • hummus (purchased in pint or quart size and packed in tupperware)
  • oreos (purchased in large pack, packed in tupperware)
  • carrots (ditto)
  • an apple or orange (no packaging at all)
  • cloth napkin
  • real utensils to eat any of the above
Our kids are in the habit of bringing all their tupperware home and the utensils. We wash them out and they are good to go the next day. The key to this is staying away from all those snack-size, lunch-size packages - 4 oreos, small bags of carrots, small yogurts, etc.

Our kids' school also has compost bins outside each building. Encourage your school to do the same--this way the leftover banana peels, orange rinds, etc. can go right in the compost. If your school won't go along with composting, then ask your child to bring his/her leftovers home and you can compost them yourself!

Good luck. Love to hear your comments!