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February 27, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Posts…

 

I was happily surprised this morning to discover that this blog has been added to Blogger’s list of Blogs of Note which means that it appears on the front page and dashboard of Blogger for 10 days, available to anyone who logs on to their Blogger account. This was completely unexpected and welcome. And what’s even more unexpected is that at 9pm, as I write this, Fake Plastic Fish has already received 6 times more visitors than it ever has before, and the night isn’t over.

So welcome to the new visitors to this blog. Fake Plastic Fish is my attempt to live sustainably by significantly reducing my plastic consumption and plastic waste, from carrying my own bags when shopping to drinking from a reusable metal water bottle to using solid shampoos and lotions instead of those bottled in plastic. Each week I photograph and tally my plastic waste. The amount has gone down a lot since I first started, but as you can see from the following picture, even someone like me who is trying very hard can still end up surrounded by plastic. It’s everywhere! (This photo represents the first six months of plastic collected.)


So what’s wrong with plastic? Many things. It’s made from petroleum. It never biodegrades. It pollutes our oceans and causes harm to marine animals. And chemicals from plastic can leach into our own food and damage our bodies. Here’s a summary of the main problems that plastic causes.

So what can we do about it? Here’s a list of plastic-free changes that I’ve made so far. Is this an issue that you care about, and if so, how are you dealing with plastic in your life? Does it bother you? Do you think individuals can make a difference? What are some solutions?

I’ll get back to the posts I had originally planned tomorrow. This was a good night for me to take a break anyway, as for two nights in a row I’ve only slept about 4 hours each, so I’m a little brain-dead right now. Please, talk amongst yourselves!
 



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46 comments
Moving Forward
Moving Forward

I recently moved to LA and live in a condo... it is amazing to me that they do not provide a method to recycle. they have only one dumpster for all of the trash. If it is really as important as the government wants us to believe, they need to make it easier than forcing me to separate it and then driving it to a recycle center. I was recently in Seattle at Microsoft... there were recycle boxes outside EVERY office. WOW what a difference!

Lauren Chong Sng
Lauren Chong Sng

FABULOUS blog and have you bookmarked now. Also, because of your blog, today I'm sewing (TMI WARNING) pantyliners, rather than buying anymore containing plastic. Found you thru Blogs of Note -- congrats!

BeCcA-B33
BeCcA-B33

Please Read My Blog And Comment

jared
jared

Clicked on your blog on the blogs of note. I found it really informative. Thanks!

Shadows of the goddess designs
Shadows of the goddess designs

very interesting blog :) Saw you on bloggers list . YOU have helpeed me become more aware of the plastic use in my life.

Jun Nee
Jun Nee

I'm scared of fish =[Cos I got dropped into the sea when I was really young by accident. Or mayb Im just scared of the ocean and everything in it O_O Gratz on the good work tho ^^

dh4j
dh4j

Great and inspiring blog. I'm so glad you were featured-- congrats--and I had a chance to visit. I must become better and more aware and people like you make it happen! Thanks...

Moon
Moon

We too, are trying to be as green as we can. I try to only use my oven when I have a "full load." Cooking a few different items at the same time.Keep up the good work, I love the suggestions for conservation.

AnOldiebutagoodie
AnOldiebutagoodie

I really like your site. I don't have long to look today but I will be back and I noticed you did ask for a comment.You also include a lot of interesting links and you've mentioned a lot that I must admit I had not given thought to before.keep blogging!

techie_chick
techie_chick

Good News! M&S in the UK have announced that they will be charging for plastic bags. See more here. They're at the top-ish end of the UK food market cost-wise, but it's definitely a start. Speculation has it that other stores will follow suit.

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE
ALMOST MRS AVERAGE

Hey FPF, congratulations! I just popped into Blogger and saw you in the line up....that's just brilliant...keep it up ;-D

CindyW
CindyW

Great job Beth!!! That's awesome. More people need to avoid using plastic products/packaging. Better yet, companies need to reduce plastic consumption. Perhaps they should subscribe to this blog

Melissa
Melissa

Thank you for you informative blog. I teach my boys to recycle and to be Eco-minded and Eco- friendly. Education is so important and I will be using your blog as a resource for me and my family. Thanks again.

Freya
Freya

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog as it appeared on the blogs of note list. I think your efforts in reducing plastic waste are extremely commendable...it would be good if the supermarkets would follow your lead and change their packaging!

Andrew Glazebrook
Andrew Glazebrook

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one collecting plastic junk,I posted this on one of my blogs last Oct Plastic JunkIt really narks me when I see all this packaging getting binned, I've always tried to collect and re-use stuff that would otherwise be thrown away.

R2K
R2K

Great idea for a great blog! Visit me some time and say hi!

SootsandArya
SootsandArya

We very happi 4 u & ur blog of note. Next maybe u get Macarthur jeenyus grant! 1 millyun bux buyz much nom noms 4 kittehz!

Dianne G.
Dianne G.

I love your site and love your commitment to the environment. I have reciently started making re-useable grocery bags out of previously loved t-shirts and would love to get your opinion on them. My blogspot is www.t-shirtbags.blogspot.com and my e mail is zoeydianne@gmail.com thanks so much for your time and keep up the encouragement for all of us to go green! Dianne G. from Idaho

Rejin L
Rejin L

Nice going, Beth. It is great that you are giving people (lots of people) the information we need to reduce our dependence on plastic.On the shampoo question: I haven't found a solid shampoo locally, (ok I admit I haven't looked for one). Instead I've been refilling my shampoo bottle at a local food coop. Next time I'll ask if the bulk bottles they get it in are sent back for refilling, too.

Gray Matters
Gray Matters

I would like to learn more about solid shampoo - have you posted about this product before?

jank
jank

I only briefly perused your site, but I've bookmarked it for later. You've got a tremendous amount of info here and it will take quite some time to go through it all.I didn't notice during my brief visit--have you looked into linoleum as opposed to vinyl floors? Pulling up your vinyl floors just to replace it linoleum would be a complete waste, but future building projects could be encourage to use linoleum instead of vinyl. I understand that all parts of linoleum are made from easily grown crops (flax,primarily) and, at the end of it's usable life I understand linoleum is biodegradable. I need to look into more when it comes time to replace some of my floors.Your site really great, keep up the good work

MamaBird
MamaBird

Yay, Beth! I am so happy that you will be able to get the word out to more people. I have learned SO much from reading your blog. Keep up the great research and practice.MamaBird at surelyyounest.comps Anonymous above was asking what you use for shampoo in solid form and I seem to recall, if you are sleeping (be quiet, kitties) that it was from Lush. HTH anonymous.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

That was really an interesting and informative one..Well written. An example to a new blogger like me.I am wondering if ever we will be able to stop using plastic things!

Blue Collar Crunch
Blue Collar Crunch

Way to go, Beth! You are a role model, and it's great that even more people will to be inspired by all that you do.I second burbanmom...field trip time?:) Congrats!

Andy
Andy

go go go keep going i love what u are doing

Dawn
Dawn

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and admire the work you're doing. It must not be easy collecting all the plastic you use everyday. You've inspired me. Yes, I can do more. Thanks for that. There is always more we can do. Recycling just isn't enough. Elimination, that's the key. I've added you to my very short list of blog favorites so I can visit again. Congrats on Blog of note. If you have a moment, check out my blog @ http://www.dawnarmstrong.com

Anonymous
Anonymous

I think people are willing to make sacrifices to clean up the world, it's retailers who use tons of plastic that we never see. I don't just mean the kind of plastic that consummers can consciously avoid -- I try not to buy overly-wrapped things. I mean the packaging that arrives in the back rooms of stores. Clothes coming individually packed in plastic, which goes straight to the trash so the pristing clothing can hang at stores. What could we do about that, especially since we never even see it!!

organicneedle
organicneedle

This is exactly what I was looking for. The LIST!!!!!I wrote a little blurb about how you have really awakened me to the impact of plastic and how I was going to have to dig through your site for more tips on how to move to the next level of plastic reduction in my home. You have done my homework for me. *I especially love the tip about asking companies to not include the plastic packing. Have you tried this with Amazon?

Jeffrey Paswick
Jeffrey Paswick

this is the greatest thing i have ever heard of. thank you so much for helping my mind!!!

E. R. Dunhill
E. R. Dunhill

Fake Plastic Fish,I'm glad to see so many people taking note of such a noteworthy effort. This reminds me of a (comparatively cursory) personal environmental audit I did in college.I've been carrying a reusable water bottle for a few years, but I continue to be flummoxed by certain applications of plastics in food packaging. For instance, I eat a lot of granola bars, and have yet to find a good recipe for making them myself. If you or any of your readers know of such a recipe, I'd love to hear about it.-ERD

Pass It On Plates
Pass It On Plates

Hi Beth,I, too, found your blog in Blogs of Note this morning. My family has been taking small steps to eliminate plastic and other non-green products/waste. It's nice to know we can use you as a role model for what we're aspiring to and I'll be returning to learn more and pick up tips from you. Thanks!Here's a question: My business ships out stoneware plates in what looks like large pizza boxes, and I need to pad the plate in the box so it doesn't shift around. Soy peanuts are too messy and I'm resisting using bubblewrap. Can you suggest an alternative? (Besides blank newspaper or tissue, which tends to be a little too bulky for the box?) Thanks - again...Cheers!Pam

David
David

I'm new to blogging and discovered yours. I took some good info away from it. Thanks.

Shannon Hodgins
Shannon Hodgins

Yeah! Congrats on Blogs of Note! I was happy to log on and see your blog listed. I hope others get as many good ideas and encouragement from your blog as I have. Keep it up! Shannon

Alexander Savage
Alexander Savage

Lovely, your really doing something worthwhile. I like that! =)

kayINSPIRED
kayINSPIRED

Wow! Congrats on this new cause. I would love to say that I am doing my part in helping solve this but right now there are other things going on and this is not my main thing. But I totally admire you for this. Soon .. I hope to join the bandwagon.

Lizette
Lizette

I'm from a small town in Ontario, Canada. The next town over (also small) is taking steps to ban plastic bags. I'm hoping that our town will do the same soon. There's been talk so you never know.Thank you for all you do! I am so glad I found your blog, you're in my favourites now for sure ! Keep up the great work.Oh, one more thing ... Our local grocery store sells cloth bags for .99 cents, I use them to give a present to someone instead of usuing a gift bag or wrapping paper. Hoping that they'll reuse that bag for grocery shopping.

Joyce
Joyce

Hi, Beth,I've been reading you for months and only recently felt comfortable writing back.I gre up with a special awareness of the issue of garbage, landfills, and recycling because my dad served on the local city council baci in the early seventies when our community neede d to site a new landfill. He became very aware that we could not keep throwing more and more stuff away! He helped legislate one of the first curbside recycling policies in the US. Although I've been a life-long recycler/composter and generally environmently aware, the posts about plastic in the ocean are what have completely grabbed me. I don't live near a coast, but I would imagine there is similar damage being done to our lakes and rivers here in the Midwest. It's both fascinating and scary to read about the gyre.All this has really led me, and some of my family, to be even more concious of our efforts to reduce the use of plastic and be very serious about recycling it. We're no where near living at the level you have striven for, but the conciousness-raising has been very benficial. Thanks for your hard work on the blog. I second the kudos from the other readers!

Burbanmom
Burbanmom

Yeah! Congrats Beth, now you'll be able to educate even MORE people about the detriments of plastic and the alternatives available. Hmmmmm.... sounds like it might be time to take us all on another field trip! Maybe a plastic manufacturer of some sort (assuming they'd let you in!)...Way to go, Beth! You hella deserve it!

theseventhgeneration
theseventhgeneration

My gripe is with the plastic toys you get with *meals* at *fast food restaurants*. Because they (the "restaurants") feel so free to give them out, they should also provide a giant recycling bin to take them back when the kids are through with them, just like the supermarkets now provide a recycle bin for the plastic bags. This might be a start. Of course, the better solution would be to not give them out at all, but I don't see that happening.Great blog!!!

Scott
Scott

BethCongratulations! Your blog certainly deserves this attention. Your endeavors against plastic are just as inspiring to me as No Impact Man's against, well, pretty much everything unsustainable. You have given me the gumption to make lots of changes in how I buy things and plastic is now one of my enemies. It is really, really, really tough to avoid plastic though and I am always amazed at your results. Bravo for you...seriously. Now get some sleep. Scott at Least Footprint

Everymatter
Everymatter

are you working towards removing plastic from world to save environment of our planet.you have really written good.everymatter

Anonymous
Anonymous

Congratulations for acknowledgment of work well done. Please don't let this new fame go to your head and have extensions woven in your hair. Here is a specific question: What is this lotion you're now using that has no plastic packaging? In a previous blog I was led to by clicking on a word with a red line underneath it, you wrote you were using a solid shampoo and something about lotion and I got the impression you'd found a solid lotion which is an impossibility. You will know who this is from from the previous sentence. I am too embarrassed by my lack of computer vocabulary to use my name.

Anna
Anna

Congrads, my friend, for a job well done to get to the list of Blogs of Note. Could not happen to a nicer fish.I must have been your post about olive oil that got you there. Don't you think?Enjoy the CFL spot light! Anna www.green-talk.com

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