Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Incovenient Bag (by Ellen Gamerman)

This article isn't mine. It's written by Ellen Gamerman. Source: The Wall Street Journal

It's manufactured in China, shipped thousands of miles overseas, made with plastic and could take years to decompose. It's also the hot "green" giveaway of the moment: the reusable shopping bag.

The bags usually are printed with environmental slogans as well as corporate logos and pitched as earth-friendly substitutes for the billions of disposable plastic bags that wind up in landfills every year. Home Depot distributed 500,000 free reusable shopping bags last April on Earth Day, and Wal-Mart gave away one million. One line of bags features tags that read, "Saving the World One Bag at a Time."

But well-meaning companies and consumers are finding that shopping bags, like biofuels, are another area where it's complicated to go green. "If you don't reuse them, you're actually worse off by taking one of them," says Bob Lilienfeld, author of the Use Less Stuff Report, an online newsletter about waste prevention. And because many of the bags are made from heavier material, they're also likely to sit longer in landfills than their thinner, disposable cousins, according to Ned Thomas, who heads the department of material science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Used as they were intended, the totes can be an environmental boon, vastly reducing the number of disposable bags that do wind up in landfills. If each bag is used multiple times -- at least once a week -- four or five reusable bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year, says Nick Sterling, research director at Natural Capitalism Solutions, a nonprofit focused on corporate sustainability issues.

Just as digital music downloads were the giveaway of choice last year, reusable shopping bags are the new "it" freebie. Earlier this month, Google handed out 525 nylon bags bearing the company's logo at its "Zeitgeist" conference, a meeting of business and political leaders held at its campus in Mountain View, Calif. The Sundance Institute gave out 12,000 fabric bags at its annual film festival earlier this year. Elisa Camahort Page, cofounder of BlogHer, an online community for women bloggers, says she even gave away 150 reusable bags to guests at her wedding last year.

Fueling the reusable-bag boom is the growing unpopularity of the ubiquitous throwaways known as T-shirt bags, so-called because the handles look like the top of a sleeveless T-shirt. An estimated 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year, according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Last year, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the bags from supermarkets and chain drug stores, and this month, the city of Westport, Conn., banned most kinds of plastic bags at retail checkout counters. Boston, Baltimore and Portland, Ore., are also considering bans.

Earlier this year, Whole Foods Market grocery stores stopped using the T-shirt bags, and now offer paper bags or sell reusable totes priced at 99 cents to $29.99. Next month, Ikea will also discontinue their use, forcing customers to carry their purchases to their cars, bring bags from home or buy the chain's 59-cent reusable blue plastic substitute.

Such efforts are helping make reusable totes the nation's fastest-growing fashion accessory, with sales this year up 76% to date over last year, according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the market researcher NPD Group. At Bags on the Run, an online-based Phoenix company that sells nonwoven polypropylene bags, sales this year are up 1,000% to date over last year, according to Aerin Jacob, senior vice president of business development. Eco-Bags Products, which sells bags made of fabric, recycled materials and plastic, had $2.2 million in sales in 2007, a 300% increase over 2006, says Sharon Rowe, who heads the Ossining, N.Y.-based company. ChicoBag, in Chico, Calif., has tripled sales of its $5 reusable polyester tote this year, says president Andy Keller.

Starting Monday, Target will move displays of its own 99-cent totes to the checkout lanes, to boost the bags' sales. On Wednesday, Rite Aid, which currently sells its branded bags in selected markets, will start stocking them in all of its 4,930 stores. CVS expects to have three million of its own bags in the marketplace within the next year.

Finding a truly green bag is challenging. Plastic totes may be more eco-friendly to manufacture than ones made from cotton or canvas, which can require large amounts of water and energy to produce and may contain harsh chemical dyes. Paper bags, meanwhile, require the destruction of millions of trees and are made in factories that contribute to air and water pollution.

Many of the cheap, reusable bags that retailers favor are produced in Chinese factories and made from nonwoven polypropylene, a form of plastic that requires about 28 times as much energy to produce as the plastic used in standard disposable bags and eight times as much as a paper sack, according to Mr. Sterling, of Natural Capitalism Solutions.

Some, such as the ones sold in Gristedes stores in New York that are printed with the slogan "I used to be a plastic bag," are misleading. Those bags are also made in China from nonwoven polypropylene and have no recycled content. Stanley Joffe, president of Earthwise Bag Co., the Commerce, Calif., company that designed the bags, says the slogan is meant to point out that the bag itself is reusable, taking the place of a disposable plastic bag.

Some plastic bags are, in fact, made with recycled materials. The polypropylene bags at Staples are made from 30% recycled content, according to company spokesman Mike Black. Target sells six types of bags, including a $5.99 variety made from recycled plastic bags, says spokesman Steve Linders.

And yesterday, at the Clinton Global Initiative, a public-policy gathering in New York of business and political leaders, Wal-Mart pledged to reduce plastic bag waste by about 33% in every store world-wide in the next five years. Starting next month, the company will sell a new blue reusable plastic bag with a small amount of recycled material for 50 cents, half the price of its current black bag, which is 85% recycled plastic, says spokeswoman Shannon Frederick.

Getting people to actually use the bags is another matter. Maximizing their benefits requires changing deeply ingrained behavior, like getting used to taking 30-second showers to lower one's energy and water use. At present, many of the bags go unused -- remaining stashed instead in consumers' closets or in the trunks of their cars. Earlier this year, KPIX in San Francisco polled 500 of its television viewers and found that more than half -- 58% -- said they almost never take reusable cloth shopping bags to the grocery store.

Phil Rozenski, director of environmental strategies at the plastic bag maker Hilex Poly Co., believes even fewer people remember to use them. Based on consumer surveys conducted by the company, he says roughly the same number of people reuse their bags as bring disposable bags back to the grocery store for recycling -- a figure he puts at about 10% of consumers, according to industry data.

This month at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, marketing professor Baba Shiv dedicated the first day of a weeklong seminar on green marketing to the "road blocks" facing reusable bags. He says it can take "years and decades" for consumers to change their shopping habits, and only when there's a personal reward or an obvious taboo associated with the change: "Is it taboo yet to be carrying plastic bags? I don't think so." Mr. Shiv also says that according to surveys done by his graduate students, many shoppers say they are less likely to carry a retailer's branded reusable bag into a competing store. "What these bags are doing is increasing loyalty to the store," he says.

Dan Fosse, president of Cambridge, Minn.-based Innovative Packaging, produces a line of bags called SmarTote. Each one comes with a bar code that allows stores to track whether it is being reused. The idea, says Mr. Fosse, whose bags carry the slogan "Saving the World One Bag at a Time," is that companies can offer prizes or other incentives to customers who can prove their bag isn't just collecting dust at home.

Grocery stores are starting to report incremental results, says Mr. Fosse, who added the bar codes last spring. "It's really hard to change customer behavior."

Sarah De Belen, a 35-year-old mother of two from Hoboken, N.J., says she uses about 30 or 40 plastic bags at the grocery store every week. Late last year, she saw a woman at the supermarket with a popular canvas tote by London designer Anya Hindmarch and promptly purchased one online for about $45.

But Ms. De Belen says she soon realized she'd need 12 of them to accommodate an average grocery run. "It can hold, like, a head of lettuce," she says. Besides, she adds, it's too nice to load up with diapers or dripping chicken breasts.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at

So, after reading this, what do you think? For me, no matter the price, the design, the materials, reusable bags are always better solution IF you USE them over and over and over again :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunsilk Damaged Hair Treatment product review!!

It's new Sunsilk Damaged Hair Treatment Conditioner
This happens because finally, finally, I find a product that really really really soften my hair after countless hair serum, leave on conditioner, hair oils etc..

The best part is this product is not expensive.

I Hate You But I Need You

I'm talking about plastic bags!!!!!!

I live in my aunt's apartment and we still need plastic bags to dispose our garbage. And in this tropical climate, it's impossible to store organic waste more than one day. They'll decompose.

I want a small composter for organic waste, but she said no. What can I say?!!

So, it's been hate and need relationship. Sometimes I accept plastic bags when shopping, but I stay clear from the small ones.

I used to use it to collect my cigarette butts, but I don't smoke anymore.
I used to use it to wrap my disposable sanitary napkins, but most of the time now I use washable ones.

It's useless.

Anyway, here's my collection of reusable shopping bags by Greeneration

Monday, June 28, 2010

Project No 2: shopping bag

Finally...the shopping bag project finished!!!

The shape is like a regular plastic bag you'll find in grocery bags.

It wasn't easy task, my mom said probably it's intermediate because it has a lining (made by 2 ply of fabric), but I succeed..
Well, not much :)

If it's collapsed, you'll see many many asimmetrical lines. And 1 handle is wrinkled.

Who cares? It's not I'm gonna sell it in Etsy :P

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Pads: Homestead Imperium

My new pads by Homestead Emporium.

I purchase this from HyenaCart.
A set of 'two tiny liners' and 'comfort contour sampler package'
The sets are not cheap. It cost me more than five hundred thousand rupiah.

Anyway, I think I choose wrong color. The menstrual pads (the bigger ones) are red, they look like they've been worn :)

Hair Story...with Pic

Here's the proof of my previous post.

That I'm too lazy to straighten my hair

(the photo is photoshop-ed, you can see my pink skin tone. But the hair texture is not)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hair Story

You rarely, rarely read stories about my hair in this blog. Simply because I don't have beautiful hair.

You won't be interested on how damaged it is...
how it's long but I'm too lazy to go to salon to get my hair a trim....
how the roots are curly/wavy because I haven't done straightening process to my hair...
how I use hairmask once a week and they don't do much to my hair....
hot most of shampoo and conditioner don't reserve the damage...
how I'm not interested in styling my hair...

But I think my hair deserve some publication. I should be grateful that it's still growing -although not as good as I expected-

I look good in long hair. I don't care what you say, but I don't follow trends because my strong jaw doesn't soften during season :)

It has to be long. It has to be straight.

Those requirement costs me alot. First, unlike my trouble-free skin, I don't have strong hair. Second, it costs alot to straighten the hair, time and money.

My long and (fake) straight is damaged. It's dry. Hair loss. Probably not dangerous one, but I suffer hair loss, probably from the breakage.

Usually I straighten my hair every 5-6 months, but I think this time I need a break.

I've said goodbye to L'Oreal Extenso, well temporarily.

How do I look?

Not terrible of course, but not good :D

Curly roots. I started wear headbands. Then the hair grow longer and curls showed.

So now, I style my hair after I wash it. Yes! Indira and hairdyer!!! And a styling brush...

I dry my hair with hairdryer then styled the crown with a straightening brush by Babyliss Paris. Then finish it with Pantene Classic hairspray (imported product). The hold-level of hairspray is 'flexible' said the company, almost 'feels nothing' in my experience. But probably without it, the hair won't stay straight for 2 days :)

I don't use straightening iron, it's too damaging for everyday life. If it's curly little bit, who cares?!

Singing Update

Hmmm...I think I stop recovery-ing because I started gaining weight if I eat anything I want :)

I can talk perfectly now, alhamdulillah. But singing is another story.
Believe it or not, I find it hard to sing in low tones.

FYI, I was a good alto back then

But that's all right. I think it'll take some time to be a good singer once again....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FB Games

It's called FB Applications, actually...but I prefer it as 'games' :)

How many games do I play?

Hmmm....I can't say I'm a gamer, but yes I play several games *shy*

My first game was Farm Town. There was a time I left the game when it has no challange anymore: level 34 was the higher level and I was level 34. But now???! Ugh, the levelling is unbelievable!! Also you can produce many things with the crops, such as turns wheat into flour. That's cool.
I'm level 50s now.

Then Farmville. What I love about this game is it has lots and lots of surprise. For instance, if you master a crop, you'll get extra XP and coins.

Cafe World: this thing is a disaster for old computers. IT'll make them slow..very very slow...I'm level 76 now.

YoVille, a home-decorating game. What I hate about this game is the furnitures are very very expensive compared with your earning (visiting 25 friends and working in factory), probably the maker expect us to buy coins and cash (hahaha). Also it takes time to visit friends (slow loading). The best part? Those furnitures look very very very realistic. But to be honest, this is not my favorite game.

My Town: no longer in priority, but I love this spatial planning (?) game. The goods are not to expensive and I love decorating the cities. I have FIVE cities !!!!

Hotel City: new game. My level is under 20.

Country Life: it takes ages to jump to higher level. Used to play this one like crazy, but not anymore.

BArn Buddy: this one is very very boring, minimum decorating effort. I stopped playing this game.

Social City: not interested in the graphic.
Also I have several applications I don't play: just accept them for my friends (to be their neighbor).

Most of my gamer friends still playing Farmville (I think it's the most popular game, along with Mafia Wars).

Friday, June 11, 2010


Since quit smoking, I can't stop eating :(

This is why I bring apple to my office as snack.

=> I have breakfast. Then at 10 I eat the apple. Then at 11 I'll be hungry :)

To reduce waste, I wrap my apple inside's how it looks

And now....I'm thinking about cute sandwich bags in

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Joint Custody :)

Foto2 lainnya.

Joint Custody :)

Bulan lalu rumah gue kebanjiran kitten...Fla, Panjat, Ici lahiran..dan ketambah lagi 4 kitten yang ketemu dekat rumah..semua diasuh oleh Fla dan Panjat. Joint Custody ceritanya :D

Anyway, Panjat tampak enjoy dengan banyak anak...sementara Fla ketakutan :)

Ini foto bulan lalu, Panjat heboh dengan anak2nya (kandung dan pungut, dan anak Fla).

Recovery Update

After 1 month, finally I can talk loud(er)...I'm so happy.
I even can sing!!!
Please don't ask how it sounds..

Anyway, here's OPI's last month picture.Enjoy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Peyek Bag

In my previous post, I mention that I want to learn to sew. The motivation is very very simple: I want custom sized bag.

I always want a bag that fit 2 'peyek' box.
My sewing skill hasn't shown any improvement (hehehe), but there you are...a Peyek Bag..

My boss told me that the bag looked nice..(while I told her constantly that the sewing was all mess....) but that's just a trick:

Always use dark and printed fabric!!!

Oriflame Eyeliner Stylo

I was interested on the shape: the tips looks like a marker!

Now here's the review:
The color (mine is black) isn't too intense. I need about 3 coats to make it dark enough for my standard.

I can't blend it because it dries too fast (probably good for other, but not me.

It doesn't stay long either, but at least it didn't smudge.

Also the applicator takes time to master.

Bottom line, I don't like this product...but this is good if you like precise line and not-too- intense color.

RED Red Lips..

Hahaha..scary isn't it????