Monthly Archives: October 2008

Less Impact Cats eat homemade food

This is the amount of waste we have been generating each week to feed our cats since they came to live with us in December of last year. 21 BPA-lined cans to be recycled, as well as a cardboard case covered in plastic wrap. The cans never made it to my tally. While I avoid canned foods for us because of the BPA issue, I don’t include them in the tally because it’s impossible to separate out the weight of metal vs. plastic. Still, regardless of the plastic lining, this is a lot of waste. Yes, the cans can be recycled. But imagine how much energy could be saved if we could avoid the cans altogether!

(Our cats could never tolerate dry food.)

So, I went in search of homemade cat food recipes. I found all kinds of conflicting opinions. There are those who insist cats must eat raw meat to be healthy. And there are those who feel that cooked meat and grains are fine. Not wanting to short-change my pets, I called the Nutrition Clinic at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical… Read the rest

Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 1

Today, Enviroblog’s Lisa Frack begins a week-long experiment to live completely plastic-free. I was happy to meet with her while she was visiting Oakland last week and give her a few pointers. But don’t let me be the only one. Check out her blog and give her your best tips!

Two weeks ago, I called for more plastic-free bloggers, and many of you responded. So many, in fact, that it would be an injustice to try and cram everyone into the same post. So this week, we’ll hear from the first 8 bloggers who contacted me. Next week, I’ll post Part 2. And hopefully, as more people join the Plastic-Free Bloggers and Plastic-Free Posse, these posts can become a regular feature.

Imagine the change we can make throughout the blogosphere if more people take on the challenge of reducing their plastic consumption and reporting their results online. We’re creating a plastic-free meme that hopefully will ripple out into the consciousness… Read the rest

Grateful for plastic pollution?

Gratitude is the topic of the Green Moms blog carnival this month, which will be posted on the Best of Mother Earth blog next Monday. With Thanksgiving approaching, we’ve been asked to write about the three green things we’re the most grateful for. Which raises the question:

What’s green?

For example, is it greener to bottle wine in glass or plastic? Most Fake Plastic Fish readers would say glass. But there are plenty of other well-meaning folks who claim plastic is the greener option because of its light weight.

We might not all agree on what products or procedures are the greenest. And some things that we once thought were green (Nalgene bottles for example) turn out not to be after further research. But what green folks have in common, I believe, is the desire to create a world in which life can continue to thrive indefinitely. Life itself is what makes people take up the “green” cause and label themselves and their … Read the rest

Year 2, Week 19 Results: 1.5 oz of plastic waste. No more cat food cans!

Oh joy! I made up a batch of homemade cat food for Soots and Arya yesterday, and they love it. Now I’m their favorite human, not Michael. I’ll write up a complete post with the recipe later this week. I’m just tickled that this week’s plastic cat food wrapper will the the last one for a while.

Here’s the tally:

Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 1 plastic label, cap, and spray tip from a can of Tile & Grout Magic. I have pretty much switched to all-natural cleaning products: vinegar, baking soda, etc. And I’ve given away a lot of my old cleaning supplies on Freecycle. But this can was almost empty, so I decided to use it up this weekend. Didn’t work so great anyway!

Plastic smiley face covering from a pencil. I’ve had this new, unsharpened smiley-face pencil sitting in the pencil holder for a couple of years. Don’t remember where it came from. I had no … Read the rest

I voted today!

Didn’t want to leave it to chance. What if I get hit by a Prius between now and election day and can’t vote? So I turned in my absentee ballot at the Oakland court house on Fallon Street today.

Do you know who you’re voting for? If you’re an absentee voter, why not turn in your ballot now? And if not, you can still vote early in most states and avoid the lines on election day.

Fake Plastic Fish is not a partisan blog. And taking care of the environment is not a partisan issue. Still, I want to tell you that I voted for Barack Obama and got a real lump in my throat as I marked my ballot. This election year has been like no other since I’ve been alive, and I feel privileged to be part of it.

Agree with me or disagree. We all have our opinions. Regardless of who you’re voting for, why not join Ruchi’s Armchair Activists and send letters to both candidates asking them to make environmental protection one of their highest priorities,… Read the rest

Skoy cloths: they’re plastic-free and save many, many paper towels.

I gave up paper towels when I first went plastic-free since all brands come wrapped in plastic. Later, I realized how wasteful the whole idea of paper towels is in the first place. So I switched to natural cellulose sponges and cut-up rags. (Microfiber cloths are a no-no for the plastic-free crowd because they’re made from… uh… plastic.)

The thing is, sponges get gross and don’t dry out quickly, so they tend to smell bad after a while. And the rags I was using weren’t particularly absorbent. Then, a few weeks ago, I read about Skoy cloths on the Crunchy Domestic Goddess blog, and thought they sounded like a great idea.

Skoy cloths are 100% biodegradable, as they’re made from cotton and cellulose. They’re also chlorine-free and contain water-based colors and inks. While highly absorbent like sponges, they are thin and dry out fast. The company claims that one Skoy cloth can replace 15 rolls of paper towels… Read the rest

Year 2, Week 18 Results: .9 oz of plastic waste. Monday Lessons.

Here is what I learned on Monday:

1) If the Red Cross’s finger prick test reveals that my iron count is below the allowable level for donating, do not exclaim, “Why of course!” when the technician asks if it would be okay for someone else to come in and re-do the test, just to make sure. Instead, get up from the desk and walk away. It’s not worth spending the remainder of the day on the couch freezing and unable to think a coherent thought simply because the second test came out just barely over the allowable level. Hmmm… my blood didn’t change in one minute. What did?

2) If I am laid up on the couch unable to think a coherent thought, do not allow rascally kitties to write my entire post in LOLspeak, giving headaches and big groans to some Fake Plastic Fish readers. Realization: Even though icanhascheezburger.com routinely saves our marriage, Michael and I must recognize that not everyone in the universe thinks it’s… Read the rest

Speshul Anounsmint frum SootsnArya

So HAI Faek Plasstick Fishy peeplz! U all noz last week wuz our 1 yr BIRFDAY! C us sellebrating? OK Soots ur doin it rong akshully. Party hat FAIL. Ennyway Mommybeth iz anemick tonite after she donated blud. Maybe iz becuz we vampire kittehz sucks her blud at nite nyeh heh heh no not till Halloweenz. So she lets us rite post if Big Klumzy Guy will soopervize.

Mommybeth sez nao dat we iz BIG CATS not lytl kittens she will cookz us fud “frum skratch” 2 avoyd plastick rap and BPA canz & we don get dis will she skratch at our skratching post & fud will jus appeer? Y don *we* jus do skratching ourselz & cutz out midllman or midllwomin or wutever. Wao daz a lot about skratching we gess *dis* wuz a skratching post LOL. Mommybeth sez she will put up weakly plasstik tally 2morow wen she not feelz so weekly.

O hay also u allz votez 4 Obama rite rite rite?? he iz verry kool & we wud votez 4 him but we are 2 young & plus were CATZ & we triez 2 get… Read the rest

Find the plastic contest winner!

Last week I held a contest to find a big mass of plastic hidden in some photos from Vajrapani Retreat Center. And the winner is… JULIE who wrote, “I definitely think it’s the decking around the larger building. I’ve been at houses with the reclaimed plastic decking before.” Julie, please email me your address so I can send you the book.

Click to see larger sizes.

All who guessed that it was the railings or the decking on the bridge were on the right track. But the bridge and walkway are all wood, as are the handrails and all the wood of the deck structure (risers, etc.) around the building except for the floorboards themselves. So it was hard to tell at first that the steps and floor boards are plastic. I could tell by looking at the boards from the side. And also from the slipperiness of the boards after some rain.

I wanted to find out more info about the “greenness” of recycled plastic decking vs. Forest Stewardship… Read the rest

Report from the North Pacific Gyre. Join the Posse!

Monday night, researchers Dr. Marcus Ericksen and Anna Cummins from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation brought their presentation to the Marin Humane Society to share with us their findings from several trips out to the North Pacific Gyre, aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To the left is a photo of actual objects removed from the carcasses of dead Laysan albatrosses. How a bird eats a toothbrush, I don’t know. But it truly saddens me.

Green Sangha’s Stuart Moody wrote up a terrific summary of the information presented, which I share with you here:

Waste & RecyclingHalf of the plastic made every year goes to landfill. One quarter of it is “unaccounted for” (litter, blow-away, and otherwise lost). What about the 5% that gets recycled ? At Puente Hills, the nation’s largest landfill, located in LA County, all of the baled plastic gets sent to China for recycling.

Plastic soupAlgalita estimates 2.5 million… Read the rest