The story of Plastic Free July

Plastic Free coverPlastic Free is a warmly personal narrative by the founder of Plastic Free July, a sustainability initiative which began less than ten years ago, almost by accident, in Perth.

Prince-Ruiz was working at the time as a community educator in waste management so she was well equipped to support the programme when it unexpectedly took off – and that was all it needed.

Her emphasis was always on community, on shared learning, and on doing what’s possible right now rather than aiming higher and missing the goal. It made Plastic Free July an achievable and therefore engaging challenge, which then became a gateway to engagement with other sustainability issues – avoiding other single-use products, reducing food waste, joining food co-ops, and so on.

‘I’m going plastic free next month, who wants to join me?‘

When Rebecca Prince-Ruiz asked her colleagues this question in 2011, she had no idea that less than a decade later it would inspire a global movement of 250 million people in 177 countries to reduce their plastic use. Plastic Free tells the incredible story of how a simple community initiative grew into one of the world’s most successful environmental movements. It also shares tips from people around the world who have taken on the Plastic Free July challenge and significantly reduced their waste.

Plastic Free is a book about positive change and reminds us that small actions can make a huge impact, one step – and piece of plastic – at a time.

That’s straight from the back cover and (perhaps surprisingly, given its source) doesn’t make any claims which Plastic Free doesn’t amply back up.

I intended to prove that point by quoting from the book but discovered that I wanted to share so many gems that I will simply say, “Highly recommended!” and leave it at that.

A sister site for Green Path

Green Path now has a sibling, companion, doppelganger or whatever you like to call it, which is the home for my non-environmental interests – primarily books and photography, so I have called it ‘words & images’. It’s a blog very like this one and I have been setting it up during the last couple of weeks.

It already has twenty-odd posts, mostly older book reviews republished from elsewhere; the first new post on it is an introduction to Discworld for those unfortunate enough to have missed that very special fantasy series.

Normal service on Green Path can now resume.

Dirt Cheap

cover of "Dirt Cheap" by WynhausenAbout fifteen years ago I took on a reviewing role with our local newspaper. My motives were somewhat mixed, as were theirs, but there were enough benefits on both sides that the arrangement continued for five or six years. I have posted several of those reviews to Green Path under their original dates (examples here) but in this case I wanted to comment on what I wrote all those years ago.

Continue reading “Dirt Cheap”

Dyschronia

cover of Jennifer Mills novel DyschroniaI was going to add my comment on Dyschronia to the dystopian fiction reviews collected here but decided that it deserved its own space on the blog, and perhaps on our bookshelves.

It’s a Australian novel from an author new to me, Jennifer Mills. Both its setting and its mood reminded me of Randolph Stow’s Tourmaline (1963); so did the quality of the writing, which you may take as high praise since I have always liked Stow. But this is very much a novel of our own time, not the early sixties: pollution, corporate amorality and climate change are the existential threats to the fragile township and its residents.

It’s a challenging but rewarding novel and I look forward to reading more of Mills’ work. Most of the rest of what I would have said about Dyschronia has been said in this review in the SMH, so I will leave you in Gretchen Shirm’s capable hands.

 

Broecker: Fixing Climate

cover of Fixing ClimateFixing Climate
Robert Kunzig and Wallace Broecker
Profile, 2008

Fixing Climate is both interesting and useful but not in the ways that the authors intended. That’s not entirely their fault, since climate science and mitigation have changed enormously in the ten years since it was published.

The book tracks the life and work of Wallace Broecker, who was born in 1931 and was just the right age to become a pioneer and then a leader in the (then) very young field of climate history and (hence) climate change. Continue reading “Broecker: Fixing Climate”