The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: September 2007

September 18, 2007

Plastic Art

Watch this video. It’s kind of a horror show because we know how detrimental this plastic will be to wildlife when it finally detaches from the fence, and there’s not much we can do about it. But it’s also kind of beautiful because, well, just watch how the sheets blow in the wind like that grocery bag in American Beauty. I have no idea where this plastic came from. I recorded the video on July 13 from the platform of the Rockridge BART station, and today about half of the plastic is still there, blowing as the cars race by on Highway 24.

This painting hangs on my wall. My brother, Will Terry, made it. He’s an illustrator. He uses acrylics, plastic paint, for a living. His work is lively and beautiful… and plastic. The work itself may not pollute like the plastic blowing on the fence, but the production of the paint undoubtedly caused some environmental destruction.

I don’t have anything wise or even ironic to say about… Read the rest

September 17, 2007

Some of my best friends are plastic bags!

Recently, I’ve been reading quite a few anti-plastic bag articles that contain statements like, “Plastic bags are evil,” and advocate taking all your plastic bags to the local recycler and replacing them immediately with reusable bags.

Now, as you know, I’m all for refusing new plastic bags while shopping and bringing my own reusable bags with me. I don’t see any need for the creation of new plastic bags in this world, not with all the environmental problems associated with their manufacture and disposal.

But once a bag has been created, once it’s already here in this world, is it really evil? I don’t think so. In fact, a few weeks ago I posted an ad to my local Freecycle group requesting used plastic grocery bags from anyone who had a bunch they weren’t going to use. Why? Because far from being evil, plastic grocery bags are quite handy.

Look at it this way. If we’re all trying to reduce the amount… Read the rest

September 16, 2007

Week 13 Results: 10.7 oz of plastic. Yikes!

Pretty heavy this week. But most of the weight comes from a giant Hershey’s chocolate syrup container we bought ages ago. We do have our priorities, after all. So here’s the weekly tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 8 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).

1 Emergen-C packet. I thought I’d used these up but found one more in my suitcase this week.

1 Brita pitcher filter. We have retired the Brita pitcher. We’re filling up a pitcher from the filtered tap water from now on.

1 Ultra Dishmate liquid dishwashing cleaner cap. See below.

1 New Chapter Organics Every Woman vitamins lid. The bottle is glass. Only the lid is plastic. I will continue to buy these and add the lid to my collection.

1 plastic shelf hook from a pair of socks I bought and hadn’t yet worn.

1 lid from a container of Hershey’s syrup. See below.

Recyclable items purchased before… Read the rest

September 14, 2007

Weekend Discussion: 8 Random Facts

Britt Bravo of Have Fun * Do Good tagged me to participate in the 8 Random Facts About Me Meme.

At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate because it felt like a chain letter. But since I usually throw out a discussion question on weekends, I thought it might be fun for readers to comment with any number of random facts about themselves. If you do choose to leave a comment, please tell us at least your first name.

Okay, the rest of this post will follow the instructions for the meme. At the end is a list of blogs that I am tagging. Please know that there is absolutely no pressure to participate. If you are too busy or don’t like this kind of stuff, just ignore it.

First the rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts

2) List 8 random facts about yourself

3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them

4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Then the facts:

1. When I was… Read the rest

September 13, 2007

My Disney Adventure, Part 3: Racing & Riding

Thanks to Michael (er… I mean, the polar bears) for filling in for me yesterday. I’m wide awake and ready to write the final installment of my Disney adventure story. But actually, I’m having a hard time coming up with the words. All I really need to do is talk about plastic and environmental issues at Disneyland and during the Disneyland Half Marathon. But every time I start, I’m stopped by a kind of cognitive dissonance. Part of me is repulsed by the whole corporate engine of Disney and the vulgar consumerism it promotes.

But another part, the little kid that loves dolls and stuffed toys and pretty lights and music, is fascinated by the park itself and all the make-believe worlds within it. I and my inner child had such a good time with our friend David, and his inner child, rushing from ride to ride and laughing and screaming our heads off, that it’s hard to settle down and get serious about recycling bins and plastic containers… Read the rest

September 13, 2007

A Special Message from the Polar Bear Community

While Beth is taking another night off from blogging in order to get some much-needed and well-deserved sleep, we bring you A Special Message from the Polar Bear Community:

Hey Humans:

Our habitat is shrinking due to global warming. If current trends continue, TWO-THIRDS of our population will be driven out of existence.

On top of that, this past week saw the publication of a report about how the Canadians are asserting THEIR claims to the Arctic. Not to mention the Americans, the Norwegians, the Danes … (Much as we like the Canadians, being nice people who generally don’t invade anyone and have those cool Tim Horton’s restaurants, we feel that the best claim to the Arctic is OURS.)

We think the governments of these countries are actually excited that the polar ice is shrinking because that will make it easier to send ships up here to look for resources.

Oh, did we mention what these resources are?


Oil and gas.

Of course.

And what’s… Read the rest

September 11, 2007

Going to bed now…

I know I promised stories of fun and adventure in Disneyland. But I had to work late tonight, and I have to go in early tomorrow. So the fun will have to wait a day. Until then, ponder page 43 from the August 2007 issue of the Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine, “Spirit”:

Click the image to see it larger and read the text. I’m not sure what to make of this. As I said, I saw a lot of plastic on my Southwest flight, and I saw it being collected in plastic bags. I’ve sent a letter to the company via snail mail inquiring into their environmental practices. Does this one page in their magazine reflect the company’s thinking on environmental issues or simply those of one magazine contributor? We’ll find out… … Read the rest

September 10, 2007

My Disney Adventure, Part 2: Eating & Sleeping

As I mentioned in Part 1 of My Disney Adventure, I rushed to reserve transportation and accommodations at the last minute without planning ahead. This is not recommended.


If I had done some research, I might have found a more eco-friendly place to stay. Instead, I went for availability and price, booking a room at the Alamo Inn & Suites on Katella Ave simply because it had the best rates through

On the plus side, the hotel is located just across the street from Disneyland, so no driving is required to get to the park. As far as I can tell, that is the only environmental plus. And since there are so many other hotels also within walking distance, there’s sure to be another with a better eco-philosophy.

Now, here are a few negatives: Coffee service in the lobby with Styrofoam cups and plastic stirrers.

Plastic drinking cups in the room.

Plastic-lined waste cans in the rooms and no means of recycling.

Plastic packets of shampoo… Read the rest

September 9, 2007

Week 12 Results: 5.5 oz of plastic

Yikes! This was a rough week, plasticly speaking. Between trips to Southern California and my doctor’s office, I unintentionally picked up a lot of plastic. Even (gasp!) a Styrofoam cup! How did that happen? Hold on, and I’ll tell you. Here’s the tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 6 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).

1 spray pump from a bottle of Fantastik household cleaner. We’ll be using homemade spray cleaner from now on.

Label, pump, and lid from a can of Gillette Satin Care shave gel. This was my last can. I’ll be experimenting with shave soaps in the next few weeks and let you know which one works best for me. Right now, I’m using Lush Emperor of Ice Cream soap, which is very rich and moisturizing.

1 bag of Sunspire organic chocolate chips. These are all gone, and I’ll be buying bulk chocolate chips in the future.

1 Garofalo… Read the rest

September 7, 2007

Weekend Discussion Question: How Far Would You Go?

Today (Saturday, 9/8/07) at noon, Egan Sanders, the “Bagonaut,” will be lowered by crane into a canvas bag 8′ tall by 6′ wide outside the Sam’s Club in San Angelo, TX. He will remain there for 24 hours “to raise awareness of the environmental challenges that plastic shopping bags present.” Volunteers at the event will hand out free canvas shopping bags in exchange for non-perishable food donations for the local food bank. At 7pm, movies will be projected using the giant canvas bag as a screen.

If you live near San Angelo, TX, please stop by and say hi. I’ve communicated with Egan, and he seems like a down-to-earth guy with real concern for the environment and a great sense of humor. He also espouses a philosophy which I heartily endorse:

Plastic is not the enemy; it is a useful material that has created many products for our society. Plastic bags are not the problem – it is how we use and dispose of them… Read the rest