Four Fun Things

Have you seen this mesmerizing video by data artist Josh Begley? It shows every New York Times front page since 1852 and is such a compelling example of the huge role photography has come to play in our culture.

To brighten up my dull winter skin, I’ve been adding a few shakes of self-tanning drops to my everyday face moisturizer, gradually building a spring glow. They make your face look naturally radiant, like you woke up with a little bronzer on.

How to use less plastic

The eight plastic habits to break. I was sort of bowled over by how much plastic I use when I read this post, and I’d like to cut back. (One small example: How often do you end up needing the plastic cutlery that comes with your sushi delivery? You can just request — or check the box on Seamless — that it not be included.)

A Kiss Cam that embraces kisses of all kinds. Way to go, N.F.L.! (Remember this?)

P.S. More fun things.

(Tan drops photo from Doen.)

  1. Check out Nurdle in The Rough –
    She makes stunning jewelry from waste plastic that washes up on the shores of Hawaii. It is lovely stuff but gosh, what are we thinking with all this plastic, and why is it such a battle to keep it out of our lives. I have to practically lunge at store clerks that try to force those hideous plastic bags on you when packing your items. It is maddening.

  2. I love that article on plastic.
    As an incorrigible coffee drinker I highly recommend KeepCups to anyone wishing to cut down on their disposable coffee cup usage.
    They’re glass and the lid seals so you can just throw it in your bag after you’ve finished the coffee without worrying about spillage. And they’re super cute.
    Lots of coffee shops in Australia are now selling cups like this & you often get a discount for bringing your own.

  3. Suzie says...

    Just wanted to echo what so many others have said already and thank you for posting the plastics article. I’m trying to be “gently annoying” at work by asking others to bring their own real cutlery instead of bringing plastic cutlery (I am horrified that my 2 coworkers have a box of 600 plastic forks and 500 plastic stirrers from a discount warehouse store on their desks – others know this so they are constantly coming in to get one when they forget to bring their own). I just leave my own metal spoon/fork at work and wash it there so can’t forget it at home. I always decline plastic cutlery at restaurants when getting take our but sometimes still get it – so have developed the habit of checking my order before I leave and returning it. And of course, trying to decrease getting take out altogether because of the plastic containers they usually come in. I always travel with a reusable bag in my purse, and try not to use any of the plastic bags to put produce in at the grocery store. Just put the produce directly into the cart/basket and wash it at home. I do use disposable diapers (unfortunately) but use the NATY brand which is more ecofriendly, and you can subscribe to it on Amazon for 20% off. I try to give this as a gift to all new moms who are not going the cloth diaper route. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this article – I am so anxious over the state of the environment!

  4. aaaaaand now I’m crying.

  5. Christine says...

    I saw that video last week – I should not have watched it at work – ! I’m the Mama of a 2 1/2 year old with T21 so seeing our Homies with Extra Chromies made me lose it : )

  6. Marie says...

    Loved all four of these links. :)

    For everyone interested in reducing their plastic waste, there are some great resources out there:

    Lauren Singer- Trash is for Tossers
    Bea Johnson- Zero Waste Home
    Beth Terry- My Plastic Free Life
    Kathryn- Going Zero Waste
    Treading My Own Path
    Paris to Go

    Instagram Accounts:

    And too many more to list! It’s also fun and encouraging to peruse #zerowaste on Instagram to see how many people around the world are taking steps to reduce their impact.

    • Lisen says...


      High five to Cupofjo for writing about environmental issues! Yay!

  7. Thank you so much for this video. I really needed it today! I think we all do.

  8. Jane says...

    That kiss cam video made me ugly cry at my desk at work. It’s beautiful!

  9. bisbee says...

    I loved the video. Thank you!

  10. D says...

    There is a paper cup that does have a compostable, biodegradable lining! It’s called Renewables brand, and I was so proud to see them used at our city’s Irish festival last August. They are a great option for events like that!

  11. Sammi says...

    Thank you for highlighting plastic consumption!! I love my spork from Light my Fire´n-case.aspx Beautiful Swedish design!
    The case is great – it means I can toss it in my bag & have it with me when I’m traveling or just out & about around town.

    Also that kiss cam video made me happy cry! Thanks for sharing <3

  12. Love seeing the article on reducing plastic consumption! I have taken steps to cut down in many ways already — buying bulk foods, choosing beverages in glass vs. plastic bottles, buying compostable sandwich bags, using a butterfly razor, using my own to-go cups (kleen kanteen and hydro flask for water, thermos for hot drinks), using glass food storage containers etc., but there’s still so much more I can do! Like make my own beauty products — so much is packaged in plastic.

    Disposable anything makes me angry these days. There’s just no excuse.

    Please post and create more environmentally-minded articles!

  13. Tanith says...

    Thank you for posting about the plastics. It sent me off on an hours long tangent learning about all the products that have chemicals and BPA (even estrogen!) in them that are affecting people. Apparently canned soup is one of the biggest culprits of BPA! The limit is .0011 micrograms, but Progresso Canned soup can have as much as 33 micrograms!!

    And now I don’t know what to do about a coffee cup because all the alternatives seem just as bad and I hate drinking from metal cups. Time to just bring a ceramic mug with me everywhere I go =/

    • Adrianna says...

      I have a ceramic go cup with a silicone lid. Maybe try that?

    • Becca says...

      When I work at a coffee shop, which is often, I always request a ceramic mug. Most shops will even give a slight discount on your order for it!

    • I’m totally not affiliated with this brand, but if you’re looking for an alternative these coffee cups are the bomb

  14. Katie says...

    Love that everyone is so excited about the plastic article! I have been working on this for YEARS and still have so far to go. One thing that has been successful is I stopped buying bottled water. Cold turkey. It’s been a year. I watched Tapped (documentary available on Netflix), and I can’t bring to buy another bottle of water again. It’s is something that I would buy thinking I was being so healthy. Wrong. That plastic bottle is around for 1000s of years and only can be recycled once, maybe twice, before it ultimately becomes trash. Not to mention the politics behind big companies coming into small communities and taking their water and selling it an enormous profit without compensation. (I love Trash is for Tossers, too. And, Erin of is talking a lot about reducing waste, and is very stylish!)

  15. I’m so glad you posted about plastic consumption! For those that think it’s too hard to cut back, I would say that it’s hard if you are trying to be perfect and avoid all plastic. But set realistic goals and take steps in the right direction! There are a lot of easy changes you can make that add up, just start looking for easy changes and take one at a time. A few of the changes we have made:
    1. STOP BUYING individual serving sizes (or at least cut back on some of the ones you currently purchase). I just stopped buying individually wrapped items like string cheese, granola bars, apple sauce, crackers, juice in the box etc… Most of those items are unhealthy/processed to begin with and they aren’t the huge time savers that they are made up to be. Buy a block of cheese and slice a piece off for yourself. Buy a jar of applesauce and pour it in a bowl, make your own hummus, use a reusable container to transport snacks/lunch. It’s not nearly as hard as people make it out to be and the amount of trash created from these individually wrapped items is insane.
    2. Buy as much in the bulk bins as possible. Even at expensive grocery stores like Whole Foods, it ends up being much cheaper that pre-packaged goods.
    3. Buy milk in a glass jar, or cardboard, which can be composted if you have curbside composting where you live.
    4. bring your own bags and carry your purchases by hand as a punishment when you forget to bring your own bags :)
    5. Avoid produce that is unnecessarily wrapped in plastic (i.e. All produce sold at Trader Joe’s). This might not be practical for everyone, but if you have a farmers market or local CSA…take advantage! There are plenty of alternatives to buying apples in a plastic bag or bell peppers that have been shrink wrapped in plastic. And the quality of the alternatives is typically far better too!
    6. We stopped using plastic wrap and just throw a cloth napkin/towel over our leftovers in the fridge. We also use bees wrap for keeping blocks of cheese or parmesian fresh in the refrigerator

    Just start somewhere and don’t think you have to everything in order to make a difference.

    • Gabby says...

      These are all such great suggestions! Also, carrying around your own reusable silverware, coffee mug, and water bottle can save so much unnecessary plastic. Thanks Cup of Jo for talking about this!

    • Sadie says...

      Yes! Love the plastic article! I’ve been working reduce my trash & recycling output for the last two years. Trying to be perfect from day 1 is setting yourself up for failure. But taking steps toward reducing one area at a time is easy and accessible, and I’m so amazed at what I’ve been able to reduce. There are so many choices you can make that help.

  16. Jessica says...

    Plastic: new year’s resolution was 12 plastic bottles and 12 to-go coffee cups in 2017. Am keeping track on my fridge. It’s been a fun little game! When I learned of a plastic island off of the coast of Australia, I had to make a change.

    NYT: The music is from The Hours, such a good movie.

    Kiss cam: tears. lots of tears. Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is an awesome approach, jessica!

  17. t says...

    I am really having a hard time adjusting to reduced plastic use. I think the hard thing for me is going from disposable to re-usable. Once they make more eco-friendly disposable alternatives I will definitely be on board. Especially ziplock bags – yikes we use a lot of those in our house.

    If anyone knows of sources I am all ears.

    • Kelly says...

      I’ve found so many ways to reduce my plastics use. One surprising thing that helped was by keeping a bag to fill with plastic bags for recycling in plain sight instead of smooshed under my sink. As I put plastic bags and wrappers in the bag all week, it reminds me exactly how much WASTE I’ve gathered. As far as zip lock bags, how about paper? Small glass jars like jelly jars? Buying dry goods in bulk? And, for the zip lock bags, maybe a simple wooden bottle dryer that you could hang a few zip locks that just need a little rinse would help?? I saw On amazon for $15. Also, on Mightynest, I’ve seen some cute storage containers. Any small changes ADD up. Good luck!!!!

    • jilly girl says...

      We’ve switched from ziplocks to these waxed paper baggies – they’re awesome for almost everything you’d use a plastic baggie for:

      If You Care Unbleached Sandwich Bags:

    • t says...

      Thank you!!! those If you care bags are PERFECTION!!!

  18. Mefi says...

    Another idea that I learned from Trash is for Tossers is taking your glass jars/ containers to grocery stores that offer bulk like Whole Foods. This is good for items like oats, local honey, trail mix, seeds, spices, rice, etc. Get your jars/ containers measured for its tare weight [usually at the check-out line] before you fill up. No need to use the grocery store plastic bags / bottles. And, when you come home, sorting is a breeze.

    • Kelly says...

      Love that Trash is for tossers!!

    • Cara says...

      I had never heard of Trash is for Tossers until now. It is so fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I am about to waste hours watching her videos!

  19. Rachel N. says...

    The plastic piece was a great reminder that I need to be doing more. Also, want to remind those of us with littles that cloth diapers are an awesome way to reduce plastic waste. I’m in no way a “crunchy” mom, and I’ve had no problems using them with all three kiddos. I recommend the GroVia shells with snap closures (Velcro gets kind of funky.) and basic cotton inserts. When we lived in a unit with no washing machine, I used flushable liners and then washed the diapers in my WonderWash. Otherwise, just throw them in the washing machine. We’ve never had a diaper rash, we’ve saved about $3,000 and we’ve really not been all that inconvenienced.

    If you are going to go disposable, check out Bambo Nature and/or Naty. They’re at least somewhat biodegradable.

  20. Carrie says...

    The Kiss Cam video is so beautiful and almost grounding. Love is the best thing that we humans do.

    • Sabrina says...

      I agree!

  21. Thank you for sharing the article on plastic to bring attention to this staggering problem. I have been striving to live a more waste-free life over the last year, which has involved carrying a pyrex container & stainless steel straw + utensils where ever I go to avoid needing disposables for a tiny moment of “convenience”. Another thing I do when I eat out is to say “no straw please” to the server when we are seated or when ordering a cocktail at a bar. And eat out instead of getting takeout or else cook at home. Styrofoam is not recyclable anywhere yet it is a ubiquitous form of pollution because it breaks into tiny bits and flies all over and poisons our waterways. This poster perfectly sums up our backwards relationship with single-use disposables.

  22. I was so confused when I first started watching the NY Times video (which btw, I had no idea was so old!). I was thinking, “Am I not supposed to be looking at covers?” Funny that photos didn’t used to be so important, and now our culture – the news, the arts – is SO dependent on the “visual”.
    Also, I’ve been afraid of using self tanner lotions but never thought of mixing with regular moisturizer! I desperately need to do this because my winter skin has me seriously looking pale and sickly, haha.

  23. Karen says...

    I live in Orlando, the kiss cam with the survivor from the Pulse shooting–my god, the tears.

    Thanks for sharing this, Cup of JO Team.

  24. Benay says...

    I’m going to Bermuda in April and dreading trying self tanning lotion. I’m terrified I’ll mess it up. Aside from the face booster, can you recommend any full body options?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun, benay! i used tan towels last summer and really liked them:

  25. I love love love the love has no bias video.

    on an aside, i do check the “don’t send plastic utensils” every time i order seamless, and they still send them! anyone else have this issue?

    • jilly girl says...

      Send them a link to this video ; D but really tho

  26. Heather says...

    I am determined to let this summer be my first ever summer of smart skin care. Like *hat all the time* smart. But I LOVE a summer glow, like I never feel prettier than after a day at the beach, so I am grateful for this tip! Normally I wouldn’t splurge on a beauty product such as this, but I figure that potential skin disease in the future is more expensive than this!

  27. That plastic-article was really good, and a big eye opener for a lot of people – glad to see so many react to it! I think I’m pretty good, but I’ve had it on my mind for years (and now I have a small little business making eco-friendly options :)
    Thank you for helping people see what needs to be done!

  28. The NYT piece is fascinating!

  29. I love that kiss cam video! Gorgeous reminder that everyone can always do with more love in our lives <3


  30. margie says...

    Self tanners…totally ruined my sister in-law’s recent wedding photos with my self tanner! I had a one-shouldered dress to wear, and I had swimsuit tan lines, so I thought I would use tanner to fill in my lines so I didn’t ruin her pictures with my weird tan lines. I read a jillion reviews, asked friends, asked every employee at Sephora and Ulta, and so many people were like this certain one is so great; it is gradual and so natural! NOT! In the natural light photos the wedding party took outside, I have this bizarre neon orange tint all over my chest, back, and neck, and sort of halfway down my arms!! I had tried blending it out so it wouldn’t be just the swimsuit lines and it was a damn nightmare. I will not be burned by self tanner again! And definitely not on my face! Haha.

  31. Amanda says...

    just as a heads up… I’ve tried to drastically reduce my plastic use in the past year and despite always checking that box on Seamless they ALWAYS include the plastic cutlery (I think frequently they are moving too fast to read those requests). The best option is to just bring your own lunch/make your own dinner! Trash is for Tossers has been an amazing resource for me – she would make a great feature on COJ. xo

  32. adding tanning drops to moisturizer is such a good idea- way less likely to mess it up that way! which i almost always do.

    xo, brittany

  33. Sarah says...

    Omg just read the plastic post and I am horrified with my plastic habits (which I previously thought were decent). You know what might be a fun post? A round-up of reusable market totes that are cute, clever, or just beautiful. I have a few but never enough for a big grocery run so I usually get 3-4 disposable bags each week. After reading that post I am super motivated to stock up.

    • Carrie says...

      What a great idea!!! A roundup of all reusable things we need for everyday life!! I would love that!

    • Sara says...

      Love the idea of a reusable roundup! The best tools to help us live a TRULY minimalist lifestyle :) .. get some tips from – she’s inspiring.

      And thank you so much for the plastic article, CoJ – this is something that eats at me both consciously and subconsciously all the time .. I actually find my heart beating faster when I’m at a café and I see people SITTING DOWN with iced coffees in plastic cups (not their fault- the cafés give plastic automatically!) – the stuff is so ubiquitous, it’s not just for to-go anymore. And re: to-go, why is it necessary to take an iced coffee on the subway anyway?? And if it is, can’t we just bring our own container? It makes me fume :(

  34. heather says...

    That kiss cam made me happy cry! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I love that the plastic article is getting some circulation. I went a little nuts at some years ago trying to cut out plastic in as many places as possible. I highly recommend it for reusable straws, cutlery, bags, etc.

    I also recommend stainless steel and glass (like bkr) water bottles. Yes, they cost a little more up front, but at the end of a month just think of how much you’ve already saved not buying bottled water, and how much plastic waste you’ve prevented! Go ahead and get yourself whatever pretty reusable water bottle you want!

    Last tip: We have a huge stash of beautiful cloth napkins and dish towels, which I’ve bought as souvenirs on travels, at thrift stores, and from ikea. It isn’t that much more laundry (I have a small basket in the kitchen just for towels and napkins). My kids love picking out which colorful napkin to use at each meal (they rarely match, but it’s quite festive). We only use paper towels for really gross, bodily-fluid-type messes.

    I’m also trying to purchase skin care products in glass bottles, which are much easier to re-use and recycle than plastic.

  35. shannon says...

    We recently started shopping at Aldi where they don’t provide grocery bags, so we’re using reusable ones that we already had on hand from health fairs, our rental company, etc. Why haven’t we been doing this before?!

    I already use reusable cups/bottles most of the time, but why haven’t I thought of tossing a metal straw in my bag? And getting a reusable spork? Good ideas, and easy to implement.

  36. jilly girl says...

    I keep hoping someone will discover how to break plastic goods down into raw materials again using nano tech…seems like it should be possible!

    Meanwhile, it’s easy to carry cutlery in your bag or leave it in your desk or glove box. I carry nice chopsticks and my favorite spoon in a little pouch that lives in my bag. And switching to glass food storage is a worthy investment, esp if you buy on sale. In Hawaii, plastic shopping bags are no longer available – now if only plastic water/soda bottles would disappear too!

    The kissing video! so good.

  37. Kari says...

    Thank you so much for that article on plastic. There really is no excuse, anymore, for how much we all use.

  38. Katie says...

    Well that kiss cam vid has me crying in the best way <3

  39. Mary says...

    Echoing other commenters…I’d like to think that I make an effort to not use plastic, but I am still such a big offender! Going to try and commit to practicing more environmentally friendly actions from here on. Thanks Cup of Jo for that much needed kick in the pants.

  40. Erin says...

    That plastic article. I am an environmental scientist and that just makes me cringe. I am REALLY going to re-re-evaluate my family’s relationship with plastics. I am also on my town’s Green Team/Environmental Commission – hopefully, we can put some community outreach initiatives in place.

  41. Sarah Kang says...

    I don’t buy very many plastic toys for my kids which I always felt good about but I definitely am an offender of things on this list! Going to take my thermos along with me more often now. It’s so easy but I rarely do it!

  42. Joana says...

    Bravo for adding a ‘thing’ in your list that concerns the environment and prompts us to give much needed love to our planet Earth.
    As always, thank you fab CoJ team! xx

  43. Lauren E. says...

    That article on plastic kind of blew my mind… I thought I was a hero because I carry a reusable bag with my in my purse but I use so much of this other stuff, too! Coffee cups? Cutlery? I am committing to make a big change here and now.