The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: May 2008

May 14, 2008

Have Fun * Do Good: An interview with Britt Bravo

Britt Bravo is a fellow Oaklander (what’s the feminine version of “fellow”?) who’s been blogging since 2005. But unlike most bloggers who write mainly about themselves, Britt’s blog focuses on other people who are making change in the world. She spends a lot of time interviewing people, so I thought it would be fun to interview her. Enjoy.

1) Please describe Have Fun * Do Good a little bit and explain the name.

Have Fun * Do Good ( is my personal blog that I started on my 35th birthday in August 2005. I named it Have Fun * Do Good because I wanted it to include stories that made people (including myself!) feel hopeful, and inspire them to take action.

2) What was the initial inspiration for starting your blog?

My neighbor, Jory Des Jardins, is one of the Founders of BlogHer. Her blog, Pause, was the first blog I’d ever read. Before that, I’d only heard about blogs on the news in relation… Read the rest

May 13, 2008

Dear (Blue Vinyl DVD Distributor) New Video,

New Video687 Marshall AvenueWilliston, VT 05495

To whom it may concern:

Thank you so much for the Blue Vinyl DVD. I am looking forward to sharing it with my friends and helping them to become aware of the problems created by PVC production, use, and disposal.

As you can see, I am returning these packaging materials to you. I appreciate the effort to protect the DVD during shipment. However, it has been my experience that DVDs travel very well in only a simple case without an extra box or plastic packaging material.

In my efforts to tread lightly on the earth, I am seeking to reduce the amount of waste I produce considerably. I find extra packaging of this kind to be unnecessary and, in this case, kind of ironic considering the subject matter of the DVD. And while I realize that the plastic air cushions in the box are made from LDPE rather than PVC, nevertheless, they are plastic, which is not biodegradable and will last in the environment forever, whether it … Read the rest

May 12, 2008

Week 47 Results: .05 oz of plastic waste and A CONTEST

So the million dollar question is: Why do organic bananas come with a little bit of plastic around the stems when regular bananas do not? Inquiring minds want to know. There’s plenty of speculation, but I haven’t heard the definitive answer from an expert. So here’s the contest: Since I don’t actually have a million dollars to spend, I’ll give away your choice of Sierra Club’s Hey Mr. Green, which I reviewed last week, or the Ridley plastic bag carrier, also reviewed last week, to the first person who can find the answer to the banana question. It must be an answer from an actual expert. A produce clerk might be okay if they really seem like they know the answer and are not just speculating out of thin air. But I’d really like the answer to come from someone in the banana industry, and I just don’t have the time to find out for myself. I’m sure the rest of FPF readers will thank you for your efforts. Oh,… Read the rest

May 8, 2008

Let me be your guinea pig, please!

Seriously, if you have created something that you think will help us reduce waste and won’t just add to the mountains of garbage, plastic or otherwise, littering our world, send it my way to try out. But don’t send any plastic packaging or I’m liable to ship it right back to ya. I received two nifty items in the last few weeks, both packaged sans plastic and both very cool.

The first was from Bibi Rogers, who has created a company called 4U2ReUSE. Bibi has sent me several emails explaining how important this project is to her and her vision for a healthier planet. While out on a kayaking trip with her son, they came upon a beach littered with plastic bags, the sight of which profoundly affected her. She wanted to do something to solve the problem. Experience told her that carrying reusable bags was the best choice, but often people forget to bring them. What if they had a cute carrier to store their old plastic bags in so they could reuse them… Read the rest

May 7, 2008

In Sierra Club’s book Hey Mr. Green, the method is the message.

This phrase, “The method is the message,” has been running through my head now for several weeks. I think it’s a corruption of “The medium is the message,” but I like it for the way it conveys my meaning, which is as an answer to the age-old question, “Do the ends justify the means?” To me, the means, the medium, the method ARE what is most important.

That’s why my recommendation of the children’s book Michael Recycle was somewhat tepid. A book about recycling that’s not printed on recycled paper? Something’s not connecting there. It’s like the seminar on “Greening Your Law Firm” that Michael and I attended during which three of the four panelists were drinking the bottled water provided by the facility while explaining how their firms had given up bottled water. Or the forum on protecting the SF Bay where plastic-wrapped snacks were served as the speakers… Read the rest

May 7, 2008

Dear Santa Sabina,

The following is a letter that I am sending off tonight to the Santa Sabina Retreat Center, where I spent this past weekend, and about 12 previous weekends since 2000, sitting in silence. I share this letter here only to demonstrate that we can have a voice, write our letters and make our calls, and do it all in a spirit of sharing and love rather than confrontation or hostility. I love Santa Sabina. I truly do. Here’s the letter:

Dear Santa Sabina Center:

As a participant in Jon Bernie’s meditation retreat this past weekend, I write this letter in a spirit of gratitude for the beautiful space that you provide for rest and silence. This note is meant to thank you and also to offer some suggestions.

I’ve been attending Jon Bernie’s retreats at Santa Sabina ever since the very first one in 2000. Every time I come back, I feel like I’m returning to a loving home. From the care taken for the lovely gardens to the wholesome meals to the little bits of poetry… Read the rest

May 5, 2008

Week 46 Results: 3.0 (?) oz of plastic waste.

Wow. I almost, almost had a plastic-free week. Thursday, we had a special meeting at work, including Chinese food for lunch. I asked that mine please be delivered in a cardboard container instead of Styrofoam. Well, I guess the order-taker understood the “no Styrofoam” part but not the cardboard. While everyone else’s lunch came in a Styrofoam container, mine was packed in a Polypropylene (#5 PP) clamshell. I didn’t even know they made clamshells out of PP!

I couldn’t bring the container home with me because I was leaving directly from work for my retreat, and there was still food inside, so I left it in the refrigerator. I’m sure the food’s been eaten by now and the container tossed. What are ya gonna do?

So that’s my tally for last week. (Like my artwork?)

Thanks to Michael once again for filling in. The retreat was perfect, in the perfectly imperfect way I wrote about a week ago. More on that in a future… Read the rest

May 1, 2008

I can has floor?

So, with Beth away, I have the floor. Actually, the cats have the floor. They have pretty much the whole apartment. But I should vacuum the floor to protect them from nasty chemicals.

OK, so I’m digressing already. Unlike my previous filling-in-for-Beth posts, this one won’t have a big, unifying theme, like polar bears or general forgiveness. Instead, it will be a bunch of short notes on various plastic- and sustainability-related matters as I’ve been dealing with them. There won’t be a lot of links or pictures, either, because they take a long time to insert, and unlike Beth, I don’t like to, and can’t, stay up all night to write the post. If it were totally up to me, I would just make my supper, make my lunch for tomorrow, and then sit down on the couch with the newspapers and, I would hope, the cats. But Beth has committed me with today’s post. Alternatively, I’d write the post over the weekend, but … Read the rest