In Hot Water

Per a widely held fable, a frog dropped into a pot of gradually warming water doesn’t realize he is about to be boiled until it is too late. Our reaction to growing evidence of manmade climate change seems similar. The only problem is, the popular fable is wrong. The frog does jump out. We humans do not have another planet to jump to.

After our summer filled with climate change triggered disasters, here are a few steps that we can individually adopt or resume:

– Grocery shopping: While refilling food from bulk bins is not resumed yet, reusable mesh bags for produce and reusable grocery bags are broadly accepted.


– Coffee fix: When visiting a corporate Starbucks location (not inside the Vons), it is now perfectly ok to ask for a drink in your own reusable cup. After a pandemic pause, the coffee shops are returning to their sustainable ways. Staff will request you put your cup in a ceramic mug, as to not handle your cup. I successfully tested around town, and found that employees are getting used to this returning practice.


– Clean takeout subscriptions: Visitors and locals can subscribe to use and exchange M’Porte containers for leftovers (participating locations have them handy, so no need to carry them around) and takeout. For a $2.99/month subscription, customers can avoid disposable containers at participating restaurants. No problem for visitors; they can either signup for $0.99/day or $1.99/week. If you have already purchased your M’Porte container, you are welcome to trade it back-and forth for 2 years, without fee. After the 2-year period, you can select a subscription option.

o Del Mar: Americana, Elixir, En Fuego, Jake’s, Viewpoint Brewing Co.
o South of Del Mar: Amplified Ale Works, Cafe Gratitude, Encontro, Pachamama, Teriyaki Grill
o North of Del Mar: Bliss Café, GOODONYA Organic, Harney Sushi, Ki’s


– Cosmetic and Cleaning Supplies: With The Nada Shop at the Lumberyard and EarthWell Refill in Kensington, there is no reason to keep buying container after container of detergents, creams, and cleaners. Both refill stores carry shampoo, laundry detergent, various cleaners, cleaning vinegar, cream, clay, dishwasher liquid and several other reusable products to facilitate sustainable living. Just show up with clean empty containers! Their products are environmentally friendly, of course.

– Recycling plastic bags, films, wraps: Many grocery stores accept plastic bags in a bin near the entrance. For clean, dry plastic films, plastic bags and bubble wraps, all Target locations offer in store drop-off.

– Getting around town: Consider eco-friendly means of transportation, from just walking, cycling, or using a gasoline alternative. What can be better than sprinting up our daunting Del Mar hill, with restaurant leftovers stored in a reusable container in your tote-bag, a good dose of cardio, O2, and Vit-D thrown in for free?