What is the Real Break Down on Plastic

The Price Behind Plastic

People held out so much hope for plastic. It was seen as a solution to so many problems just a few generations ago. But now we know that the rampant use of plastics comes with a hefty price. It fills our dumps, litters our land, clogs our streams, and creates huge mats of debris in our oceans.

And it can last from several to hundreds of years before it a plastic item breaks down. It depends on the type of plastic and the conditions (Temperature? Sunlight? Oxygen present? Buried? In the ocean? etc.).

The Breakdown of the Plastic Break Down

When it breaks down, most plastics release toxic chemicals and further crumple or break into smaller pieces of plastic. Very little of the plastic littering our world breaks down into new, non-hazardous compounds. And these smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, along with breakdown chemicals, have now entered the food chain. Animals eat plastic, where it clogs digestive systems, disrupts endocrine and reproductive systems, and pollutes bodies with hazardous chemicals, like bisphenol A, which is a known carcinogen. It’s the very reason the use of plastic nanobeads is banned. And now, plastics, and their bi-products are showing up in humans.

 

Knowing all of this, people ask us, how we can wrap our soaps in plastic.

Benefit of Biolefin

It’s because not all plastics are equal when it comes to environmental problems. We have gone to great lengths to be as environmentally conscious as we can be, while at the same time balancing other demands placed on us. For example, some of the markets we participate in require that body products be packaged and labeled. We researched materials and settled on Biolefin shrink wrap, made by Wells Plastics using Reverte technology. It is an oxo-biodegradable polyolefin plastic film that breaks down to simple non-toxic compounds in a shortened time frame. It is food-grade and acid free. According to the manufacturer, the Reverte additive causes the plastic polymer chains in the film to break down into much shorter fragments, which can then be consumed by bacteria that is abundant in the environment.

 

When exposed to sunlight, heat, and air, the wrap we use begins to decompose within 1 year. When fully decomposed (1-3 years), only water, carbon dioxide, and biomass are left behind. The biomass is chemically different than plastic and is consumed by microorganisms in the environment. If left in the dark without oxygen, the biolefin breaks down to methane and biomass that can be consumed by microorganisms. This process takes longer, around 4 years according to the manufacturer.

More Bees Wrap

We like it because it keeps the soap dry, clean, and contained. It allows us to affix labels so the customer knows what they have purchased. It has the added benefits of allowing the soap to breathe, and allowing the customer to smell the soap. We even chose paper labels without a plastic coating. Are our choices perfect? Probably not, but we’re trying.

National Geographic article on marine plastic waste

Article about microplastics in human stool

Time for garbage to decompose

National Geographic on degradation of ocean plastics

Biolefin information page

Wells plastics Reverte oxo-biodegradable polyolefin page.

Reverteplastics page

Murder Mystery Dinner

On February 15th, there was a murder.

It took place in Downtown Portland, at the Old Spaghetti Factory where my husband and I went to dine, with friends.  We were called upon to help solve the crime, and so were our friends.  One of them was even implicated as a suspect!  We had a blast! Mystery dinner theater is so much fun!

 

If you have never been, you should give it a try.  Most major cities, and many not so major ones, have dinner theater troupes.  Just look up “mystery dinner theater near me” on the internet to find your nearest options. Ticket prices may seem high, until you consider that you are getting dinner and a night of entertainment all rolled into one.

 

The experience varies a little by theater company, but some things are the same.  Your ticket usually gets you dinner and dessert, as well an interactive mystery performance.

 

Beyond that, things start to differ. Some shows are set in the here and now.  Others have a theme and you can dress up if you like. The one we attended, put on by The Murder Mystery Company, was set in the 1920’s, and the majority of the diners were dressed in some semblance of 1920’s dress. In some troupes, the performers are hidden amongst the other diners, in others a handful of clearly labeled actors help set the tone.  Either way, the paying diners are lead through the murder mystery to solve the questions of who committed the murder and why.  Who knows, it could even be you! Some troupes give prizes and/or certificates to the diners for solving the crime and/or for their performance and participation in the mystery theater.

Things to know:

  • Usually tickets must be purchased in advance, before the night of the show. Most shows sell out, so don’t wait too long to purchase tickets, or you may miss the show.
  • Some shows have a minimum age, so if you would like to take minors, make sure to check the minimum age, before purchasing tickets.
  • While your ticket gets you a 3-4 course dinner (exact number depends on the troupe), drinks are usually extra.
  • You usually get to choose between 3-4 entrees, and most troupes allow special requests for those with special dietary needs, but they need to be made in advance, when ordering tickets.
  • Some troupes prepay tips to the servers and/or the actors (two distinct, different sets of workers).  Check web sites to see if you will be encouraged to pay one, the other, or both gratuities, so you are not caught unawares.
  • Most have a bar available, but you will have to pay for your drinks. The bar is often cash only.
  • Most locations have an ATM on site, but not all. Check in advance, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Some theater companies have different levels of tickets, others have add-on packages, so read the web material provided before picking which tickets/add-ons are right for you.
  • Plan on being at the venue for about 3 hours.

 

Why not treat yourself, loved ones, and/or friends. We had a blast with great food and wonderfully engaging entertainment. We are sure you will too. Find all your fellow mystery lovers and see if you can crack the case as we did; even tell us about your experience. You can post your story below, let us know on facebook, or use the hashtag #MoreBees to share your night or murder and mystery.

All Snowed Out?

What a winter, right? We were snowed in for so long but all that has changed. We don’t know about you but we know something all that snow we got is good for…

 

 

These 3 amazing photos are by Micah Breshsears; see more of his work by clicking this link: Micah Breshears‘s Photos

Follow him to see more of his awesome photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Skiing, snowboarding, and sledding/tubing! This is a great time to hit the slopes and make the powder fly. There are affordable options and everyone can enjoy the snow regardless of their income range. If the cost is not an issue, you can plan a stay at the mountain, like Timberline Lodge, Government Camp, or Zigzag. You have the option of renting or buying your equipment. A private lesson can be good for any level skiers. Often this will come as a package; with lift tickets and ski/board rental. To entice new people to the mountains you can find beginner packages. With lift tickets, equipment rental and group lessons. Often packages can be a good way to save money. To save more money you can get your equipment off the mountain. You can rent,  buy used, or borrow equipment. You can look for discount tickets, you can go during the week or look at night skiing. The nice thing is that the mountain is so close you can just drive up for the day or you can catch a shuttle. You can go cross country skiing, snowbaording, tubing, or just go play in the snow. I hope you all have a great time at the mountains!