Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Facebook

September 2, 2014

In a 2007 Skidmore College museum exhibit titled Molecules That Matter, the exhibit’s curators noted that we are never more than three feet away from something plastic. That stunning statistic reflects just how thoroughly plastics permeate the fabric of our daily lives. So it’s sobering, then, to consider that the plastics industry is one of the largest consumers and users of chemicals known to be hazardous to human health...

June 24, 2014

Every age has its wonder materials. For the Victorians, it was rubber. In the 20th century, it was plastic. And for the digitized 21st century, it may well turn out to be graphene.

Have you heard of graphene? If not, you soon will. It’s one of the newest nano-scaled materials to have emerged...

April 28, 2014

I used to keep a running list of stupid plastic products and gimmicks I had seen or heard about. Like the gizmo that somebody invented to aid in the task of cutting a hot dog into 12 identically-sized pieces. Or disposable Holy Communion cups...

March 4, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the first in a new monthly column exploring the problems, dilemmas, and opportunities posed by the stuff we (or in this case, our pets) make.

When I was a kid walking the family dog, I never once thought about picking up her poop. It wasn’t something people did in the 1960s and ’70s—perhaps because the plastic bags that now overflow our kitchen cabinets had yet to be invented. Today cleaning up after your dog is the urban norm, so much so that as...