The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: July 2008

July 15, 2008

Fudge and Styrofoam, a confusing combination

So, you guys know how much I love Fudge is My Life fudge sauce from San Francisco, right? I’ve gushed over it here and here and here. But I buy it only occasionally, one jar at a time, from the grocery store. (It’s pretty pricey.) So it was a huge surprise a few days ago when I opened my front door to find a big cardboard box from the Fudge is My Life company sitting on my porch.

I was pretty sure I hadn’t ordered it in my sleep. But I had my suspicions about who did send it, considering the mountain of Divine chocolate I had sent him and mom for Father’s Day. And I was right. The card inside read, “Happy Bday, Beth. Now both of our sweet tooths are happy! Ray.” Ray is my dad, and he had waited all this time to send a birthday gift (my birthday is in January) because I kept saying I didn’t need anything… especially not anything new. But really, who doesn’t need a case of fudge sauce?

In addition to the note, the case… Read the rest

July 9, 2008

Help! I’m on the Low Carbon Diet and I need some advice.

So a few weeks ago, I started to write about how I and a couple of guys from Green Sangha had begun the Low Carbon Diet challenge (as if we all need one more freakin’ challenge right now!) but I was tired and feeling fluey and never finished the post.

Well, I’m back on it. But I’m stuck. The guys and I pretty much flew through Section 1, patting ourselves on the back for having done almost everything on the list already:

1) Reducing garbage — I have next to none. 2) Turning down hot water heater and using less hot water. Check. 3) Reducing dish washing water. Check. 4) Washing and drying clothes efficiently. This needs work. We do wash everything in cold water. And we can’t afford to buy new appliances right now. But I have been remiss about looking into drying racks or clotheslines. Mainly cuz I just don’t want to. (Don’t be mad, Burbanmom.) 5) Turning down the thermostat, and getting a programmable one. Check. 6)… Read the rest

July 8, 2008

Dear GPC Pet Products,

Here’s my weekly consumer letter. Okay, not actually weekly. I didn’t write one last week. But I sent this one twice, both as an email (via and as an actual letter. Does that make up for last week?

July 7, 2008

GPC Pet Products1600 Oregon StreetMuscatine , IA 52761

Dear GPC Pet Products:

I have been using World’s Best Cat Litter for several months now. I find it to be very effective and efficient; a little goes a long way. I have two cats, and compared to other litters I have tried, World’s Best clumps the best, tracks less, and smells better.

However, there is one aspect of the product that I don’t care for, and that is the packaging. It saddens me each time I must dispose of the heavy plastic bag, a bag that is not recyclable in my community and that is made from a non-biodegradable material. I urge you to consider switching to a biodegradable paper bag instead.

I have tried SweatScoop… Read the rest

July 8, 2008

Berkeley’s Green 4th of July

I love living in the Bay Area. Especially after reading Life Less Plastic’s post about all the plastic and Styrofoam at her city’s Taste of Chicago festival.

Here are some images from Berkeley’s Independence Day celebration at the Marina:

I especially love that the garbage containers are labeled “Landfill” and explain what goes to the landfill and why it’s important to choose recyclable or compostable alternatives. All the disposable dishware at the event were compostable. And there were water stations for filling up reusable bottles.

The “greening” of this event was the doing of my friend Mary Munat, aka Green Mary. In February, I wrote about Janice Sitton, my event greener friend in San Francisco. Mary is my other event greening friend, and she’s been doing it since 2000. Here’s how she got inspired to do this work, excerpted from her web site:

Mary’s epiphany came … Read the rest

July 4, 2008

Fear of unpunctuated silence, or emptiness sucks.

The Blogger posting screen is blank and white and taunting me. I’ve been procrastinating starting this post for the last two hours because I’m not sure what shape it should have or how to begin. So I’ll just dive in and see where the words lead. Maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have deleted these introductory sentences altogether. Or maybe not.

This week, I started letting go of some things. Monday, I uninstalled the Microsoft games from my computers. No more killing time playing Freecell or Spider Solitaire. No more distracting myself while waiting for files to upload or programs to backup. No more splitting my attention with reruns of “House” playing in one corner of my screen and a game of Freecell going in another. I’m letting in a little empty space, and it sucks.

Tuesday, I used up the very last of my fairtrade organic coffee from Peaberry’s, washed out my new porcelain coffee cone as well… Read the rest

July 2, 2008

Blogher: Where the smart girls are.

Today is the last day to register. I’ll be there. Will you?

On June 6, Clif commented, “After checking out the blogs of Crunchy, Chili, etc., I just realized what happened to all those girls who got A’s in class and contributed all the poetry and stuff to the middle school yearbook while we boys were having fistfights and sneaking cigarettes…they grew up to start blogs!”

Well, many of those “girls” will get to meet up in person the weekend of July 18-20 in San Francisco, CA. I’m so excited that the Blogher conference for women bloggers will be hosted in my town this year. I’ve registered for all three days. But you don’t have to sign up for the whole conference. If you can only make one day, I’d suggest Friday the 18th, since that’s the day of the Blogging Birds of a Feather Meet-Up for Green/Social Change bloggers. It will be hosted by Britt Bravo of Have Fun * Do Good, whom I interviewed… Read the rest

July 1, 2008

Check out my brand spankin’ new bike

Okay, it’s not such a great photo of my new bike. But it’s a fabulous pic of Arya praying to Ceiling Cat to please let this be the last time she’s forced to look cute in Beth’s new bike basket.

Here’s me on my new Giant Suede DX W 21-speed women’s bike with upright handlebars and nice wide padded seat. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. A bike I will actually ride.

Yes, I’m all about buying used. When my computer monitor died, I replaced it with a used one. When my hair dryer died, I learned how to fix it. When we’ve needed cat supplies or a kitchen door, we checked out Craigslist and Freecycle and Urban Ore. And I can’t even remember the last time I bought clothes that someone else hadn’t previously worn. But buying a bike was different.

Michael, a former bike messenger and owner of 5 or 6 bikes, has from time to time found used bikes for me and fixed them up. And they would collect … Read the rest