Archive for March, 2008

March 14, 2008

Weekly Recipe(s): Dinner in a Pumpkin = Therapeutic Cat Food

The nice thing about pumpkins is that they last a really, really long time. We’ve had this one since Thanksgiving and finally got around to doing something with it. We also had some cabbage that was getting old, so I Googled “pumpkin cabbage recipe,” not really expecting to find much, and ended up with this fun meal called Dinner In A Pumpkin. Apparently, it’s something people serve to their kids on Halloween because, you know, that’s the only time of year Safeway has real pumpkins.

The original recipe calls for ground beef. I opted for ground turkey instead and brought my own container with me to the butcher counter at Whole Foods, where they didn’t bat an eye when I handed it to them. And yes, this container is plastic Tupperware, which I already had. I’d like to find something made of stainless steel for buying meat but haven’t gotten around to looking for an alternative.

So, this answers Meg’s… Read the rest

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March 12, 2008

Hi, there. I want to talk to you about ducts.

This post has only the loosest relevance to plastic. Some ducts are made from plastic. And they would get very dusty if not for the plastic filters which catch much of the particulate before it enters the furnace. Of course, I didn’t know any of this before I read Burbanmom’s post a month ago about how we should be changing or cleaning our furnace filters monthly in order to help our heating systems work more efficiently and save energy.

My first reaction was, “Furnace filter? I didn’t even know we had a furnace, much less a filter to clean. We are renters. We program a little box on the wall to turn the heat up to 65F when we’re home and down to 60F when we’re out or asleep, as per Crunchy Chicken’s Freeze Yer Buns Challenge. Hot air magically comes out of vents in the ceiling. You mean, there’s more to it than that?” So I Googled “change furnace filter” and found many photos like the one… Read the rest

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March 11, 2008

Pulling another all-nighter, just like in college

I thought creating a Fake Plastic Fish MySpace page would make me one of the cool kids. That’s what my friend Red said, and I succumbed to peer pressure. But then I found out that that MySpace was soooo two years ago. I really needed a Beth Terry FaceBook page. So I stayed up all night creating one last night. No, it didn’t take all night to create it. But once I got started, I kinda got sucked into this vortex of applications and friends and games and quizzes and oh my lord, this could take over my whole life!

One of my FaceBook friends advises that I should not start playing a game called Scrabulous because, in her words, “it will SUCK YOU IN, MAN!” Just what I need. Another electronic diversion to suck out my soul when I should be out appreciating nature and my kittens and my poor husband, for crying out loud. I’m already addicted to mindless games of Freecell.

What do you guys think? Is FaceBook a good tool for reaching a wider audience… Read the rest

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March 11, 2008

Batter Blaster: What’s wrong with this picture?

Batter Blaster. It’s organic. It’s fast and easy. Just squirt into a pan and fry up some pancakes in seconds rather than minutes. What could be better?

I first read about Batter Blaster back in January on the Organic Picks blog. Cindy expressed total disdain for the product, as did I in my comment on her blog where I wrote, “That is just wrong on SO MANY LEVELS!” My comment caught the attention of a certain Associated Press reporter who emailed me for a follow up. This weekend, her story, including my comment, was published by news outlets large and small, from Fox News, AOL, and San Francisco Examiner, to Ventura County Star, The Sacramento Bee, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Bakersfield Californian. All I can say is, it must have been a slow news day.

As I stated in my comment, it’s not like pancake-making the traditional way is a slow process. In this CNet video comparing canned Batter Blaster with traditional batter-making,… Read the rest

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March 9, 2008

Week 38 Results: 5.5 oz of plastic waste.

More kitty plastic this week. I gave up on the hypoallergenic food from the vet, which actually made them both sick, and fed them boiled chicken, white rice, and pumpkin this week. More on that in a future post. I also purchased a bottle of Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes & Probiotics, which of course comes in a plastic bottle.

The thing is, when it comes to Soots and Arya, I would do anything to help them feel better. These cats are pure, unconditional love. And I don’t mean that I think they love me or that I’m anthropomorphizing them. I mean that when I look in their faces, I get such a feeling of joy that I think I might understand a tiny fraction of what it feels like to be a mother. They can bite and scratch and poop on the floor and ruin the slippers I just finished knitting, and none of that matters.

So anyway, I cooked them chicken that we already had in the freezer in plastic packaging. I didn’t buy this chicken, and I wouldn’t… Read the rest

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March 7, 2008

Weekly Recipe: White Bean, Tomato, & Olive Bread Gratin PLUS daily food log

Once upon a time, there was a young guy, let’s call him “R,” who was courting a beautiful lass we’ll call “B.” She invited him to her house for dinner and cooked him frozen broccoli smothered in Cheeze Whiz. It was love at first bite. They got married and had 5 kids, the oldest of whom believed for many years that veggies came from the freezer and that everything tastes better with cheese. She’s learning that veggies come from the ground and that she won’t die without cheese. But it’s a process and she’s still taking baby steps in the slow food department.

Why did I start with that story? Because a few weeks ago, The Biscuit Queen, who is also blogging about her quest to live plastic-free, asked to see a list of everything I eat for a week because she’s having trouble finding the types of plastic-free bulk foods that I have access to here in the Bay Area. And my first thought was, “Oh,… Read the rest

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March 4, 2008

Stories@deadgadgets.com wants your dead gadget stories!

Remember this picture of my plastic waste from Week 35? Remember my rant about the HP monitor that couldn’t be fixed and how HP makes products that have to be replaced rather than repaired? I ranted here. I ranted on the Californians Against Waste site. I ranted in emails to HP. And then I found out about The Electronics Take Back Coalition (http://www.computertakeback.com).

The Electronics Take Back Coalition is a national coalition of environmental and consumer groups who promote green design and responsible recycling in the consumer electronics industry. They have several strategies, including:

Promoting legislation to require manufacturers to take back and recycle our old electronics

Using direct public pressure on manufacturers to offer responsible recycling programs to their customers, and to adopt green design principles.

Working with institutional purchasers to amplify the demand for green products.

Promoting recyclers… Read the rest

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March 4, 2008

The Business of Green Part 3: Tracey TieF of Anarres Natural Health

Tracey TieF has a wholistic health practice in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada called Anarres Natural Health. She’s also a Fake Plastic Fish reader and frequent commenter, and a few weeks ago she emailed me a copy the newsletter she sends out to all her clients. I was blown away. Hers is exactly the kind of business we need more of.

Besides using all natural and sustainable ingredients (she doesn’t use Indian Sandalwood or Rosewood which come from un-sustainably harvested and endangered plants), supplying the electricity for the clinic from 100% wind power, choosing suppliers who are local, small enterprises, and striving to serve the entire community through Pay-What-You-Want-Days, Tracey has a big ole anti-plastics campaign going, which she calls the The End of The World of Plastic 2008 Challenge.

Here is an excerpt from her previous e-mail newsletter:

5. Bonus article: Take The End of The World of Plastic 2008 Challenge… Read the rest

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March 3, 2008

Week 37 Results: 3.5 oz of plastic waste.

My kitties have been conspiring to increase my weekly plastic waste. I know that’s what they’re talking about when they’re curled up together pretending to sleep. Soots decided to get diarrhea and start pooping outside his litter box so that in desperation, I’d go out and buy new litter, medicine, and food, all in plastic bags. Such a bad kitty!

I’m about at my wits end. Just ask Michael. The vet gave me special hypoallergenic food for him (which, naturally, comes in a plastic bag) as well as de-worming medicine (5 mini plastic bags). We’re also trying a different kind of litter (World’s Best Cat Litter) which comes in a plastic bag. The new food is not helping and neither is the medicine so far. But I gotta say, World’s Best Cat Litter works sooooo much better than SwheatsScoop, I’m almost ready to say, “Screw it. Give me the one that works even if it comes in a plastic bag.” It clumps… Read the rest

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