The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: July 2007

July 10, 2007

Beth redeems herself: These cupcakes are mad sick, ya’ll!

Can a 42-year old use that expression without sounding like an idiot? Who cares? This post is not even about plastic. It’s about cupcakes that rocked my world tonight, and I MADE THEM! The only reason I’m posting about them here is to redeem myself for the pita disaster a few nights ago. Just look at these pictures and drool…

Black bottom cupcakes with cream cheese & chocolate chip topping/middle and dark chocolate cake bottom. Take a closer look:

They are moist and gooey without being underdone with a chocolaty goodness that can only come from a Benevolent Universe. Wait, did I say that? The chocolaty goodness is going to my brain. I meant to say careful recipe reading, a bit of imagination, and a lot of luck!

Here’s the recipe that I adapted from the Joy of Cooking. All adaptations were purely in the service of richness, moistness, and intensity of chocolate experience.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

(According to the Joy of Cooking,… Read the rest

July 9, 2007

Preserve Toothbrush Update: Response from Recycline

Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2007 14:07:35 -0400From: “Tever Dooley” td@recycline.comSubject: RE: Online Information RequestTo: Beth Terry

Hi Beth,

Thank you for your support of Recycline and the Preserve Toothbrush we really appreciate the plug on your blog!

I am very happy to say that we do work with several dentists nationwide who offer their patients the environment-friendly Preserve Toothbrush. We are unable to imprint on our regular Preserve Toothbrush due to the curve in the handle, however, we do offer a flat-handle toothbrush that is also made from 100% recycled plastic and 100% recyclable that dentists can have stamped. I see that you are going to your dentist at the end of the month. I would be more than happy to either send you our dental intro packet for you to share with your dentist or we can send your dentist one directly and mention that you recommended we contact them. Please let me know which you prefer.

Recycline®, has been… Read the rest

July 8, 2007

DIY Homemade Tooth Powder (plus info on Preserve toothbrushes)

Well, I said I’d do it and I did. I used up the last of a tube of Crest (and believe me, I squeezed out every delicious bit before sending the tube to plastic purgatory) without having found a plastic-free replacement product. So I made my own tooth powder with the ingredients pictured above:

1 cup of baking soda1 cup of salt1 tsp of stevia powder (an herbal sweetener)1/2 tsp (give or take) of wintergreen essential oil

I shook it all up in a parmesan cheese container that I rescued from plastic purgatory and set it lovingly in its new home in the bathroom cabinet beside Michael’s shaving cream and my bottle of Act fluoride rinse.

(Act fluoride rinse is another product I’ll have to worry about eventually. But I still have 2 bottles left, so won’t think about it just yet.)

And then… and then… with no small amount of trepidation… I tried it. I sprinkled a little in my left palm and with my right hand, ran my wet toothbrush… Read the rest

July 8, 2007

And speaking of bread…

We may not be able to find plastic-free pitas, but here in the Bay Area are a whole slew of bakeries that deliver their bread fresh to grocery stores, wrapped only in paper. Here’s a list. All of these breads can be found at Berkeley Bowl, and many of them are at Whole Foods, too. Click an image to view the company’s site:

Bread Workshop in Berkeley

And of course bagels are sold in bins with no wrapping at all.

I’m going to have more to say about Berkeley Bowl later, but I just had bread on my brain tonight after the pita party, and it’s nice to appreciate some nice things we can get easily without plastic. Those who live in the Bay Area are very fortunate. I don’t know if people have access to this kind of fresh bread in other parts of the country. … Read the rest

July 7, 2007

In which our heroine attempts to bake… with unintended results


My friend Mea, in response to my lament about not being able to find pitas without plastic, sent me a recipe so I could bake them myself. Mark, do not laugh! I did not mistake BisQuick for flour this time. I did, however, misread 1 1/4 cups of water as 1/4 cup of water and was very confused about why the “dough” would not get doughy. (I kept adding water, thinking I was doing the wrong thing but not knowing exactly which wrong thing I was doing.) But okay, even before I put in the flour, the yeast would not do much of its yeast thing. And after letting the breads rise for the prescribed 45 minutes and finding that no rising had actually taken place, I put them in the oven to see what would happen. And what happened are these little bread stepping stones. The outside is hard. The inside is heavy and doughy. And the pocket… um… let’s just forget that they were supposed to be pockets. They taste okay.

Oh, and by the way, in my attempt to bake… Read the rest

July 6, 2007

Eye Drops

Every night I use one or two of these tiny single-use plastic vials of Refresh Endura eye drops and then throw them away (now, in my plastic purgatory, of course.) And each night I hope as I close my eyes that the drops will work and I’ll be able to open my eyes pain-free the next morning. I have a chronic condition called recurrent corneal erosion, and Refresh Endura drops are the only thing I’ve found, amid all the different drops and ointments and treatments that will work to keep it at bay.

Those who don’t use eye drops might be wondering why they don’t come in a bigger multi-use bottle that would use less plastic. The answer is that then the drops would have to contain preservatives to keep organisms from growing in them. Organisms that could cause blindness from an eye infection. Preservatives that can be very irritating and to which many people are sensitive or allergic.

So, here’s a case where I think the use of plastic… Read the rest

July 5, 2007

Store/Product Report: Lush (Some more good news)

03/25/2008 UPDATE: Warning to those who would order Lush products through the mail. I have had several reports from readers who ordered what they thought would be naked chunks of shampoo or deodorant, only to have them arrive wrapped up in a ton of plastic. So either be very specific in your ordering instructions that you don’t want any plastic packaging, or don’t order from Lush. Reading the comments on my updated 03/24/08 blog post might be helpful to you.

When you walk into a Lush Cosmetics store, (there is one at 240 Powell Street in San Francisco, as well as locations throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world) you are greeted not by rows and rows of products packaged in plastic (as you are when you enter The Body Shop, for example), but by big unwrapped chunks of solid soap as well as shampoo, deodorant, bubble bath, and massage oil. That’s right, big solid chunks of these things! They are sold by weight. You tell the staff how much… Read the rest

July 5, 2007

It’s official: Oakland bans plastic bags

Good news reported in yesterday’s Oakland Tribune:

The Oakland City Council Tuesday banned petroleum-based nonbiodegradable shopping bags in an effort to reduce the amount of waste Oakland sends to landfills and prevent the plastic bags from polluting the environment.

The ban would apply to stores with gross annual sales of more than $1million, which would include all supermarkets and chain drug stores.

However, the measure would not apply to restaurants or fast food eateries.

“It’s a good first small step,” said Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown). “It’s not going to solve all of the problems in the world.”

The new law does not apply to the sacks provided by grocery stores to bag fresh fruit and vegetables or meat, only those bags shoppers get at the check stand.

So, this ban does not address the problem of all the plastic bags used for bulk foods at stores like Berkeley Bowl.… Read the rest

July 3, 2007

Uganda bans plastic bags, promotes banana leaves

Sun 1 Jul 2007, 13:24 GMT

KAMPALA, July 1 (Reuters) – A ban on plastic bags in Uganda took effect on Sunday to cut down the stinking piles of rubbish that litter its dusty capital and other urban areas, breeding germs and poisoning water supplies.

Officials want Ugandans to instead use banana leaves, the traditional material for carrying goods.

Uganda’s ban followed a similar one on Tanzania’s Zanzibar islands last year. There have also been moves in both Kenya and mainland Tanzania to raise duties on plastic bags, which dot Africa’s urban and rural landscapes with depressing regularity.

Ugandan Finance Minister Ezra Suruma announced the ban on “buveera” — polythene bags in the local Luganda dialect — during his budget speech last month in the east African nation.

“Due to serious environmental concerns and the difficulties in the disposal of polythene bags and plastic containers,… Read the rest