April 22, 2010
Posted By: MSLK

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre have developed a material they call Ecocradle, which feels, functions, and looks almost exactly like styrofoam. It is comprised entirely of organic matter,with mushroom roots acting as glue to hold it together. The only things it needs to grow are darkness, H2O and bio-waste (rice hulls or seed husks that Eben plans to source locally). It doesn’t even need electricity, they have figured out a way to use thyme or rosemary extract and water to clean the seed husks- which actually works better than steam cleaning. Its going to be a long fight to turn around the plastic manufactures but this is an awesome start! Read more at L Magazine online.

February 12, 2010
Posted By: Marc

Despite the frigid cold after a giant snowstorm, a glimpse of spring was in the air today as I walked by the Anthropologie flagship in Rockefeller Center. Their store window displays were not only spring-themed, they also have a wonderful eco-theme, too. They’re made from plastic bottles collected from their customers.

Read more

February 5, 2010
Posted By: Sheri

If a takeout container is a temporary vessel designed to transport food from a restaurant to your home, then why is it made out of plastic, a material which is most enduring? Worst yet, containers like polystyrene clam shells leech toxins into your food and are currently not recyclable in any state due to their lightweight and high cost of recycling.

As a resolution for 2010 I’ve decided to make a change. I’m saying no to plastic takeout containers. I don’t want to buy food that comes in them, and I most certainly don’t want to take home my leftovers at the end of a meal in them. Read more

November 10, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

In a twist of sustainability meets alchemy, Washington, DC-based Envion can turn  plastic back into oil, producing a net gain in energy recaptured. The Envion Oil Generator™ uses proprietary low temperature thermal cracking technology to transform almost any type of plastic (without presorting or cleaning) into light oil, medium oil, and emulsified oil.

According to their website this is possible because as a derivative of petroleum, plastic has a high level of stored energy content. Apparently the energy stored is almost equal to gasoline and is 51% higher than the energy stored in coal.

Read more

October 10, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

Okay maybe only in my dreams. However, I found this video of a man who has made his own island on top of floating plastic water bottles incredibly inspirational. He appears to be running a completely self-sustainable operation complete with his own food and water supplies. What I appreciate is his harmonious blending of re-purposed materials back with nature. Read more

May 17, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

Nothing is more indulgent than picking up the phone, calling in and having dinner delivered right to your door. When I first moved to New York it was actually one of the things I loved most about the city. I had an overwhelming stack of delivery menus from fine cuisine in every nationality to McDonald’s. Everyone will deliver in NYC.

Recently, though, I’ve been feeling really down on take out and delivery. First and foremost I don’t want the plastic bag, but then when I look inside there’s…plastic, plastic, and more plastic. Often things I really don’t need, like 5 sets of plastic silverware individually wrapped (in more plastic).

Read more

April 6, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

One of the great things about our Urban Tumbleweeds project is it has gotten many of our clients and friends talking to us about plastic bags. In fact, several of you send me great articles on plastic bag use and reform like this tidbit from Creature Comforts on how to turn ordinary plastic shopping bags into beautiful pom-pom bows for packages.

I tried it out for my cousin’s baby shower and even though my mom was deathly afraid I was going to ruin the party with my low-brow wrapping, the result was the utter opposite. Everyone was dying to know how they too could make their own. Click here for instructions. Enjoy!

December 10, 2008
Posted By: ellen

Plastic Bag Feeder

This community plastic bag dispenser on the streets in Williamsburg made me smile. The design is kind of a cross between a bird feeder and those “Take a Penny, Leave a Penny” dishes often found at checkouts. It allows people to leave a bag they no longer have a need for, and gives bags to those who might need one in a pinch (as a dog owner, I can say this would’ve come in handy a few times). Unlike MSLK’s own Urban Tumbleweeds, it’s not necessarily meant to bring attention to our over-consumption of  plastic bags, but helps give them a second life.

November 19, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

It seems that MSLK’s awareness campaign to reduce plastic bag consumption is working…okay maybe we had nothing to with it, but Mayor Bloomberg recently announced a plan to charge NYC shoppers 6 cents per bag. Sounds great to us. Just a few weeks after Ireland adopted a similar tax of 33 cents per bag — plastic bag use dropped 94 percent.

You guys won’t mind, right? I assume you are all already armed with your resuable totes

October 23, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

I recently spotted this shopping bag at an upscale sandwich shop and took pause. What is this bag made of? The fine print reads:

This environmentally responsible plastic bag is based upon oxo-biodegradeable technology and will first degrade, then biodegrade in the presence of moistrure, micro-organisms, oxygen & soil.

Read more