Category Archives: Tips

Post-Christmas Christmas Tree Update

on December 26, 2022 in Nature, Tips

As Christmas passed and my neighbors will litter our streets with trees cut down to be used for a couple weeks in a clearly repurposed pagan holiday, we can reflect on traditions and changing them with the times. Traditions don’t last forever. They start not as traditions. No one celebrated Jesus’s birth with fir trees and north pole imagery before Christianity reached northern Europe. No one has to keep celebrating[…] Keep reading →

Before buying a Christmas tree: A reader shares how his family celebrates Christmas without chopping down trees

on November 23, 2022 in Nature, Tips

If you’re thinking of buying a Christmas tree: read this post and the letters from the reader who prompted it. One of my new year traditions is taking pictures of the huge number of trees my neighbors throw out after the few weeks they put them in their homes. How much more obvious it can be that they’re celebrating a pagan holiday from northern Europe than celebrating snow and fir[…] Keep reading →

How Not to Give Up

on June 29, 2022 in Habits, Leadership, Tips

A friend emailed to respond to yesterday’s post After the Pride and Queer Liberation Marches 2022: Washington Square Park wrecked again. I could cry to say “I have to admit I can’t even get myself to watch the videos, the images are truly horrifying! I don’t know what to say…” I responded with a sentiment I’ve posted to this blog before, but I think it bears repeating. Leading in unknown[…] Keep reading →

Measure your sustainability efforts by your effect on others, not how hard you felt you tried.

on May 31, 2022 in Nature, Tips

People seem to measure their sustainability efforts by how hard they feel they tried. But nature and doesn’t react to how we feel. Nature reacts to how we act. People constantly tell me they’re what they can, they can’t do any more, or they balanced how much they can do with what time, money, and other resources they have. I’m not just talking about my Mom, but nearly everyone. Using[…] Keep reading →

More stuff isn’t less stuff

on March 17, 2022 in Tips

Hosting a successful podcast on sustainability, I get a lot of requests or suggestions to bring on as guests people who sell more things, claiming they reduce waste relative to something more wasteful: compostable straws, jewelry from ocean plastic, clothes you can trace to the cotton farm, etc. Selling more isn’t selling less. If you make a polluting system more efficient, you pollute more efficiently, even if you make your[…] Keep reading →

A simple proposal to reduce litter

on March 14, 2022 in Nature, Tips

Picking up litter daily, as I have since 2017, I notice many trends. One big one is that Saturday and Sunday mornings, my neighborhood has more litter from people going out the night before. The plastic cups from bars, bottles, takeout containers, and other detritus from visitors makes it obvious. Most of the trash cans are overflowing, so when I pick up the litter, I can’t put it anywhere. I[…] Keep reading →

How to stay not depressed when living not how society tells you to

on March 4, 2022 in Awareness, Habits, Nature, Tips

Living sustainably is easy. All humans did for most of human history. Animals do it. Living differently than everyone else can be hard, even when you live how they want. People push hard against people who remind them they aren’t living by their values. Alison, the host of This Sustainable Life: Untethered, wrote to ask me how I handled the challenge around the time she wrote a post, The Diary[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter