Saturday, January 1, 2011

Environmental Shopping

            There must be some better way to discover what would be an ecologically sound decision to make.  We’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to find healthy, environmentally friendly personal care products and still haven’t gotten something that both works well, doesn’t have to be shipped from a long distance, and doesn’t cost a fortune.    Today I wanted to get a case to protect the iPad we were given as a Christmas gift and I wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.  For me, that includes not being made of leather, which eliminates a lot of choices.  Because Kathy already had a black case for her iPad I also wanted a different color.  I found lots of options but none of them seemed great. 

            There were eco-friendly leather cases (which it turns out means they were still made from animal’s skins but didn’t use harmful chemicals in the processing). 

            There were lots of cases with environmental slogans. (My favorite was ‘lose the lawn’.) Unfortunately none of them said anything about being made in an environmental way and most of them were made out of leather.

            There were bamboo cases.  I almost bought one of these. It looked very nice. Bamboo can be grown every three to five years from the same plants, it releases tons of oxygen into the air while it’s growing, and it’s a pretty strong wood.  I couldn’t tell though, whether it was grown using pesticides or whether the workers were fairly paid, it had to be flown from another part of the world, and it didn’t have a cover on it to protect the touch screen while it’s not in use.

            I found some very nice sleeves made out of recycled clothing, but no cases.  Sleeves are great for travel but don’t protect the iPad during daily use, when it’s also apt to be dropped, scratched, or otherwise injured.  The sleeve that I liked the best, though, was made from a pair of recycled old jeans. While it wouldn’t help on a daily basis, as a travel option it’d be great.  I think the next time one of my pairs of jeans wears out I’ll make myself one from them.

            After a long time searching, I ended up in frustration by buying a blue silicon case for the iPad.  It’s got a cover, it’s not made of animal products or plastic, it’s made in the US, and it’s not black. I think it’ll protect the iPad, but I’m not at all convinced that it was a sound environmental choice.  There has to be a better way to make these decisions.

Books Read in 2010

1. Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays
2. Sara Maitland's A Book of Silence.
3. James Swallow's Synthesis
4. Michael Pollan's Food Rules
5. Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain
6. Mark Bittman's Food Matters
7. Lonnie Edwards' Spiritual Laws that Govern Humanity and the Universe
8. Robert Charles Wilson's Darwinia
9. Wendell Berry's Leavings:Poems
10. Gail Godwin's Unfinished Desires
11. Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire
12. Mary Gordon's Reading Jesus
13. Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft
14. C.S. Friedman's This Alien Shore
15. Kage Baker's In the Garden of Iden
16. Swami Satchidananda's The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
17. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
18. Kage Baker's Sky Coyote
19. Alexandra Horowitz' Inside of a Dog
20. Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden
21. Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
22. Patricia Lanza's Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces
23. William Gibson's Spook Country
24. Alan Roxburgh's Missional Map-making: Skills for Leading in Times of Transition
25. Graham Bell's The Permaculture Way
26. Ross Mars' The Basics of Permaculture Design
27. Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves
28. Elizabeth Moon's Sheepfarmer's Daughter
29. David Holmgren's Permaculture: Principles and Pathways
30. Colin Beavan's No Impact Man
31. Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual
32. Marian McCain's GreenSpirit
33. Henri Nouwen's In the Name of Jesus
34. Stephen Webb's Good Eating
35. Robert Sawyer's WWW: Wake
36. Terry Pratchett's Nation
37. Bill McKibben's Deep Economy
38. Laurel Kearns' Ecospirit
39. John Updike's Of the Farm
40. Paul Nabhan's Coming Home to Eat
41. Gordon Hempton's One Square Inch of Silence
42. Anna Quindlan's Every Last One
43. Gernot Candolini's Labyrinths: Walking Toward the Center
44. Chris Cleave's Little Bee
45. Anna Edey's Solviva
46. Karen Armstrong's The Case for God
47.Gail Schumann's Plant Diseases: Their Biology and Social Impact
48. Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest
49. Nick White's Save Energy & Cut Your Bills
50. Ki Longfellow's The Secret Magdalene
51. Eugene Peterson's Working the Angles
52. Shane Hipps' Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith
53. Janny Wurts' The Curse of the Mistwraith
54. Deepak Chopra's Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment
55. Kage Baker's Mendoza in Hollywood
56. Barbara Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World
57. Rachel Held Evans' Evolving in Monkey Town
58. Thomas Truxes' Defying Empire
59. Ben Lowe's Green Revolution
60. Gary Gunderson's Leading Causes of Life
61. China Mieville's The City and the City
62. Vandana Shiva's Earth Democracy
63. Matt Biers-Ariel's The Triumph of Eve
64. Vandana Shiva's Soil Not Oil
65. Maeve Dawn's In the Beginning, God
66. Marilynne Robinson's Absence of Mind
67. Donna Schaper's Labyrinths From the Outside In
68. Abigail Gehring's Back to Basics
69. William McDonough's Cradle to Cradle
70. Colleen Shehan's James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government
71. C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner
72. C.J. Cherryh's Invader
73. Len Wilson's Digital Storytellers
74. Lisa Miya-Jervis' Cook Food
75. Brian Swimme's The Universe Story
76. Terra Brockman's The Seasons on Henry's Farm
77. Elie Wiesel's Rashi
78. Bryan Beyer's Encountering the Book of Isaiah
79. Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody
80. Andrea Cohen-Kiener's Claiming Earth as Common Ground
81. Don Lattin's The Harvard Psychedelic Club
82. John Sawyer's The Fifth Gospel
83. Candace Chellew-Hodge, Bulletproof Faith
84. Charlene Li's Groundswell
85. Carol Howard Merritt's Reframing Hope
86. C.S. Lewis' Reflections on the Psalms
87. Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book
88. Peter Rollins' The Fidelity of Betrayal
89. Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity
90. Anne LeClaire's Listening Below the Noise
91. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible
92. Thomas Merton's Praying the Psalms
93. Walter Bruggemann's Praying the Psalms
94. Eugene Peterson's Answering God
95. T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
96. Robert Charles Wilson's Julian Comstock
97. Janny Wurts' Ships of Merior
98. Bill McKibbon's Eaarth
99. Lillian Daniel's This odd and Wondrous Calling
100. C.J. Cherryh's Inheritor
101. Andy Crouch's Culture Making
102. Peter Rollins' How (Not) To Speak of God
103. Robert J. Sawyer's WWW: Watch
104. Dwight Friesen's Thy Kingdom Connected
105. Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
106. Mary Appelhof's Worms Eat My Garbage
107. Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From
108. Stu Campbell's Let It Rot
109. Manny Howard's My Empire of Dirt
110. Janny Wurts' Warhost of Vastmark
111. Joshua Ramo's Age of the Unthinkable
112. Thomas Berry's The Great Work
113. Eugene Peterson's Run with the Horses
114. Masanobu Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution
115. Larry Rasmussen's Earth Community, Earth Ethics
116. John Daido Loori's Teachings of the Earth
117. Juliet Schor's Plentitude
118. Michael Pollan's Second Nature
119. Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question
120. Robert Laha's Jeremiah
121. Walter Bruggemann's A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming
122. Fritz Haeg's Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn
123. Paul Hawken's Natural Capitalism
124. Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac
125. Wendell Berry's Imagination in Place
126. Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra
127. Wendell Berry's Bringing it to the Table
128. Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2010
129. Richard Rohr's The Naked Now