Archive for the ‘Recycle’ Category

The grocery bag dilemma

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Reusable Grocery Bag

Reusable Grocery Bag

by Catherine Haug, Nov 3, 2013 (photo, right, from This Domestic Life blog)

Do you answer the question, “Paper or plastic” with, “Neither, I’ve brought my own” when you check out at the grocery store? If so, then listen up.

You’ve probably seen some headlines warning about bad microbes lurking in your reusable grocery bag. Is there any truth to this? See Are Reusable Shopping Bags Really a Hazard to Your Health? by Jason Best (1).

Should we go back to having to choose between polluting our planet with plastic bags, or deforesting the planet to make paper bags?

I say “No way.” But there are things we can do to lessen the risk of bad bugs. (more…)

Deconstruction: reuse / repurpose building materials

Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Deconstruction candidates

Deconstruction candidates

by Catherine Haug, April 27, 2013

(Photo, right, of original structure on Cat’s property)

Deconstruction to reuse or repurpose building materials has long been an interest of mine.  My childhood home – the same home in which I am currently living – was built, in part, from reused materials.


Plastic Recycle Codes and Your Health

Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Plastic water bottles (PETE)

Plastic water bottles (PETE)

by Catherine Haug, April 12, 2013

(photo, right, from Wikipedia)

If you are a recycler, you know that there are not many plastics that we can recycle here in the Flathead. In fact, about the only plastic we can recycle here are the white or semi-transparent milk jugs (code #2).

But did you know that paying attention to the recycle codes on plastic containers could help reduce your exposure to estrogenic and other toxins in the plastic?

You’ve probably heard me say that ALL plastics are toxic (not just BPA/BPS). One study (4) proves that at least 95% of all plastic products tested were positive for estrogenic activity. I maintain the other 5% are also suspect for some type of toxicity, if not yet proven.

Recycle Code #3

Recycle Code #3

The codes to avoid are  #3, #6 or #7 (these have red headings in the descriptions below). Those that are generally considered ‘safe’ (but still have potential toxicity, or may be toxic in ways that have not yet been discovered) are #1, #2, #4, and #5. See below for more about each code,  and how to find them on a product or container. (image, left and below, from (11)

In this article I discuss:

  • The seven plastic recycle codes and potential toxic risk for each;
  • “Green” and biodegradable plastics;
  • Tips to reduce plastic use.


“Trashed” – 20 minute documentary about trash

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

by Catherine Haug, March 24, 2013

Dedicate 20 minutes of your valuable time to watch this documentary with your family. I know I’m ‘preaching to the choir,’ as our ESP community is very aware of the problems of our throw-away society. But this short film really brings it home, and I urge you to share this with others who are not as aware.

You can view it here >> Snag Films: Trashed.

Or scroll down to the embedded video player.

NOTE: the film takes 2 short breaks for a Pillsbury ad…

Next month – April 22- is Earthday; this year’s theme is the Face of Climate Change. Our overwhelming burden of trash has a lot to do with climate change, as a major portion of our everyday trash is plastic, and the manufacture of plastic is a major contributor to atmospheric pollution that fuels the greenhouse effect.

Is recycling the solution?


Breaking our addiction to plastic everything

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

by Catherine Haug, February 9, 2013

Ever since I learned how to make plastic in college organic chemistry class; ever since Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin was advised , “One word:…Plastics” in The Graduate, I’ve been cautious about my use of, and exposure to plastic. It hasn’t been easy. Plastics are everywhere, and very beguiling.

They are in our carpets and rugs; our toothbrushes; shopping bags; food storage containers and wrap; food; blankets, sheets, and towels; purses, wallets, backpacks, lunch boxes; grocery bags; milk jugs, pop bottles, liquor bottles; dishes and drinking glasses; eyewear; wigs; yard tools, lawn mowers, leaf blowers; automobiles; shoes and boots; clothing and decorator fabric; furniture; building materials; water and sewer pipes; appliances; wall paint; picnic supplies; children’s toys; bicycles; sewing machines and supplies; thread, yarn, string, rope; electrical wiring; playground equipment; landscaping materials. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

It seems we cannot do without them. But……life as we know it cannot last much longer, with them. They pollute our oceans; kill our seafood and disrupt the sea food chain. They pollute our groundwater and the soil that grows our foods. They disrupt our hormones – especially in the womb – so that many children will grow up to be sterile. They affect gene expression.

Plastics require a lot of energy – fossil fuel energy – to be made from precious petroleum or foods like corn and soy. There is only so much fossil fuels on the planet, and plastics are chewing up more than half of our annual fuel consumption, when you consider the raw materials and fuels to make them, fuels to transport them, fuels to haul them to the dump and bury them there.

Addicted to Plastic (Documentary)

View the free 90-minute film on YouTube: Addicted To Plastic- Documentary.

Then read on for some suggestions to minimize our use of plastics. And send me your reuse/repurpose plastic ideas for publication on this website. (more…)

Gathering Summary: Furniture & Art from Found Materials, by Sean Guerrero, Sept. 2012

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

by Catherine Haug, November 6, 2012 [Cat’s note, 1/27/13: I just realized I’d not published this summary; my apologies!]

The Daily InterLake had a good article about our presenter, Sean Guerrero, in its Nov. 3, 2012 issue, which I have copied in its entirety below. It pretty much covers what Sean discussed at his presentation. However, those who didn’t come, missed his telling of many stories about his interaction with the Hollywood people who commissioned his art. Sean is an entertaining story teller!

See One man’s junk is artist Sean Guerrero’s treasure in the Daily InterLake, Saturday Nov 3, 2012. Text copied below (in case the DIL deletes the article from its internet site). (more…)