Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

My formerly green(ish) thumb has been gradually turning brown over the past few years. The seeds I plant don’t sprout. I’ve been working harder than ever to provide them good, organic soil, and I even have a new sprinkling attachment for the hose, so they get a gentle rain instead of pressured spray. I haveContinue reading Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

Post 29: The Compost Post

I’ve published a couple of teasers, here on this site, about composting. There was the ribbon that lasted for years, unchanged, at the bottom of the bin (Post 22, “Ribbons Are Forever”), and then the little sheets of plastic coating shed by a milk carton (Post 10, “To See the World in a Plastic Cap”).Continue reading Post 29: The Compost Post

Post 28: The Curbside Mall

This week’s post is a short photo essay, with notes. Lately I’ve been noticing an increasing number of people taking pictures of discarded stuff, both curbside and in alleyways. I suppose it’s because most of us are carrying a camera around in our phones these days, and it’s an easy way to record things—for laterContinue reading “Post 28: The Curbside Mall”

Post 27: Flat Is Beautiful

January 14 was my mother’s birthday. If she hadn’t died too young, at age 74, she would have been 105. (Somewhere there’s a scumbag who made it that far, I’m sure. That guy with the hood and scythe can be so unfair.) So I’m thinking of her. I’m thinking of the family vacations we tookContinue reading “Post 27: Flat Is Beautiful”

Post 26: An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up”

During the holidays, with New Stuff Sucks on hiatus, I watched a documentary on Netflix. (Terry put me on his account. The free library service, Kanopy, would have been enough for me—but I’m not complaining.) The documentary was short, and I don’t remember what it was about. But when it was over, before I couldContinue reading “Post 26: An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up””

25. Biking into 2022

Thanks for finding your way back to this site after the break. Please send me your stories of personal victories over consumerism during the holidays, under the heavy pressure to buy new stuff. Here’s a short one from me: My daughter has finally gotten the bug to fix up her weedy, unkempt yard—but she hadContinue reading “25. Biking into 2022”

Post 24: Oprah Was Wrong

I might not remember this exactly, because I haven’t tuned in to hear Oprah talk about anything in many years. It was one of her “etiquette” shows, I think, all about what’s polite and what’s rude, the things you should never do. Re-gifting—passing along a gift you didn’t want to someone else—was on the listContinue reading “Post 24: Oprah Was Wrong”

23. Shirts from Shower Curtains

Guest Contributor: Barbara Rose I met Barbara Rose when she started teaching permaculture classes here in Tucson, and a friend signed up. My friend loved it, so the following year I made sure to get in. I didn’t know it then, but Barbara was more than our teacher—she essentially helped bring permaculture forward into Tucson’s consciousness, after readingContinue reading “23. Shirts from Shower Curtains”

22. Ribbons Are Forever

This is what one of the curling ribbons I tossed in a compost bin looked like after more than a year of composting. Not much happened. Parts of it lost their color and attracted some dirt, but otherwise there’s no sign at all of decomposition. The ribbon had defied the bacteria and other natural forces,Continue reading “22. Ribbons Are Forever”

21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth

This is not a normal gift guide, where you see something you like in an ad and run out to buy it. Actually it’s a gift guide that might empower you to avoid doing that. I always feel sad when I hear about people who max out their credit cards, going into debt and evenContinue reading “21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth”