Zero waste tips & tricks

16 resources to be a better climate activist that aren’t Instagram

The big list of climate activist resources - PollyBarks.com

Or, alternatively, the title I wanted to use that was too long: 16 resources to be a better climate activist that aren’t mindlessly scrolling social media, liking and reposting as if it’s actual action.

I left Instagram, the spot that not only ate up a ridiculous amount of my time and mental energy, and also made me feel like I was doing something but… reposting a Canva graphic isn’t climate activism. “Awareness” is a bar we long overcame and isn’t enough anymore.

But as much as Instagram and the empty activism frustrated me, it was the online spot where I got frequent hot-takes about the state of the world.

When I left, I didn’t know how I’d be a good climate activist and stay up-to-date on all the climate and social justice issues. So I started digging.

A cozy fall guide to zero waste tea

Finding zero waste tea: and why a coffee drinker does it.

Perks of the zero waste movement? A greater connection to the planet and a sense of doing right.

Downsides? You discover the dark side of everything. Like the fact that many commercial tea bags have plastic in them. (Yup. If your tea bag isn’t folded and stapled closed, the bag contains plastic which helps the two sides melt together with heat. Though even the stapled ones might have plastic to make the bag less likely to break.)

Plastic plus heat in your drinks? No thanks. The obvious answer is to source ethical zero waste tea.

But before that, let’s take a look at the sustainability behind the ethical zero waste tea you’ll be sourcing.

A cozy fall guide to zero waste tea - PollyBarks.com

13 examples of zero waste fashion – yes, it’s a thing!

Zero waste fashion.

At its heart, it’s an oxymoron. You can’t produce new things and ever be “zero waste”. But just like the zero waste movement as a whole, it’s more about the spirit of attempting harm reduction toward the planet than anything else.

So in this post, let’s talk through what zero waste fashion is along with the many different ways you can engage with it.

4 zero waste period options (that aren’t just menstrual cups)

There’s a lot of talk about zero waste period options out there already, but what I think a lot miss is the emphasis on why we should switch to more sustainable options beyond a nebulous “it’s better for the environment!” angle.

Sure the environment is important, but providing access to zero waste period products (and better yet, long-lasting, not single-use ones) go far beyond that. Adequate period protection can foster educational opportunities for girls as well as provide very basic health and safety options.

A zero waste period is one special way to reduce you individual impact but also use your privilege to share with the world!

The huge problem with straw bans – and zero waste

Seattle. Starbucks. Scotland. By now you’ve been inundated by triumphant Facebook posts about at least one plastic straw ban passing or getting proposed. It’s all very much a good thing, right?

Well…

What a lot of these articles are missing is the very real backlash from the disability community who use plastic straws to function, not to make their drinks look cute.

Inspecting straw bans is a good opportunity to look hard at the environmental movement, how inclusive it is, and the ramifications of putting the focus on small, consumer-at-fault issues and ignoring larger systemic issues.

This all comes with a big caveat that I don’t feel I’m qualified to talk about all this from a disability context, so I’ll be pulling quotes from people actually qualified to explain this stuff.