Archive for December, 2008

December 31, 2008

Skoy Cloth Winners & One Reporter’s Plastic-free Week

While you guys are all are out whooping it up tonight, I’ll be here in the office printing out reports and closing my company’s financial year. Such is the life of a Fake Plastic Fish whose alternate identity is Intrepid CFO. But don’t let thoughts of me plugging along spoil your fun. Bang some pots and pans and kiss someone for me at midnight. (I do hope to be home before midnight, but we’ll see…)

In plastic-free news, Trine Tsouderos from the Chicago Tribune decided to try and live without plastic for a week. She called me and Plastic-free Posse member Katrina for advice and quoted us in her article. Read about her plastic-free experiment here and leave comments if you’d like. She’s been getting some rough comments from readers who doubt that plastic is a problem in the first place.

And now, here are the random winners of the Skoy Happy Holidays Giveaway. (To ensure that this contest was completely fair, … Read the rest

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December 30, 2008

Fake Plastic Fish in the movies. Or at least YouTube.

Here are some snippets from the market research video I referred to in yesterday’s post. A quick, rough, and unscripted tour through some of the green aspects of our kitchen. Future videos, should we choose to make them, will be much more polished. But this one is fun, if only for the appearance of a couple of curious cats halfway through.

You might need to turn your sound volume up to hear it.

 … Read the rest

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December 29, 2008

Year 2, Week 28 Results: 8.8 oz of plastic waste.

Well, we can’t say I didn’t end the year with a bang. Look at all that plastic, most of which was acquired new. And some of which is exactly the kind of packaging I routinely rail against. But I have excuses explanations for all of it, I assure you!

First, plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began:

1 plastic bag of Ocean Spray craisins. Found in the back of the refrigerator while cleaning on Thursday. Do I know how to celebrate Christmas or what? These things expired two years ago, apparently. Dumped them into the compost and have the bag left to deal with.

1 bottle of Spectrum Essentials wheat germ oil & cap. Another discovery, expired and forlorn in the refrigerator. And at this point, I have no idea why I bought this stuff in the first place. I must have read that it was good for me. Any ideas?

New plastic waste:

1 large plastic clamshell from a new Flip Video camera. Here’s where the justifying begins… Read the rest

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December 24, 2008

Skoy Happy Holidays Give-Away

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate this holiday, and happy December 25th to those who don’t. In keeping with the spirit of giving, I asked Skoy if they would send me some cloths to give away to Fake Plastic Fish readers, and they were nice enough to send me five packages.

I reviewed Skoy cloths back in October. Please check out that post for the details. I loved them then, and I love them even more now. The Skoy cloth I started using months ago is still in great shape. It rinses out easily, dries fast, and never smells bad. And of course, it will be 100% compostable at the end of its life (if that day ever comes.)

Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, the packaging is plastic-free. And this current batch has even less packaging. See the photo. Each pack of four cloths is tied together with raffia and includes a small cardboard instruction card.

Why am I pushing these cloths? Because it’s rare that I find a product I like so much and that can replace… Read the rest

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December 23, 2008

Hey Klean Kanteen! What’s with the plastic cap?

January 2011 Update: Good news. Klean Kanteen has developed a plastic-free cap! The new Reflect Klean Kanteen water bottle comes with a bamboo/metal cap with a silicone ring. If you purchase the bottle via BuyGreen.com, a portion of the proceeds go to support MyPlasticFreeLife.com.)

Friday I had the great privilege of hanging out with Ruchi, she of the Arduous Blog, who came to town for the holidays. We ate apple pie with caramel sauce and ice cream. We walked around the Castro. We chatted with the new owner of the Eco Boutique on 18th Street. We should have gone karaoke singing, as according to her current blog post it’s something Ruchi loves to do. Instead, we visited the one and only Rainbow Grocery.

Ruchi needed a new Klean Kanteen. Her old one was rudely stolen, as regular readers of her blog know, shortly before she left London to come home. And Rainbow Grocery sells them, along with bins and bins of every bulk item you could imagine and some … Read the rest

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December 23, 2008

California Academy of Sciences: A Visit to the Greenest Museum in the World

What’s it like inside the world’s greenest museum? That’s what I wanted to find out. Michael, David, and Nancy just wanted to explore and have a good time. So we all BARTed out to Golden Gate Park on Saturday to visit the new California Academy of Sciences museum.

Michael and I arrived first and checked out the cafeteria, conveniently located right inside the front doors. There was lots of organic food in evidence, as well as compostable foodware. There were also chips and cookies in plastic wrap and Mylar bags. Ah well. Nothing’s ever perfect, is it? Checking out the unattended waste station with its bins labeled Recycle, Compost, and Landfill, we spied all types of waste indiscriminately tossed into all three containers, as well as visitors reading the signs and incorrectly attempting to guess what they meant.

A staff member posted at the waste station to help educate guests might have been in order. Michael and Nancy … Read the rest

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December 22, 2008

Year 2, Week 27 Results: .6 oz of plastic waste.

I failed to notice last week that another 6 months had gone by since the inception of Fake Plastic Fish. We’re just swimming right along here with no end in sight. Small victories are what we are after. Step by step, day by day, people waking up to their impact on the planet and what they can do about it. If we look too far ahead, we put ourselves in danger of either becoming overwhelmed by the immensity of the problem or lulled into complacency by promises that the earth will sort itself out one way or another. And yes, that’s true. The earth will be fine, no matter what we do. But life as we know it… that’s another story. And that’s what we work to protect moment by moment in the here and now.

Okay, enough philosophizing. Another week, another tally.

Plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began:

1 plastic Oral B dental floss container. Okay, I’ll say it. I don’t floss often enough. … Read the rest

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December 19, 2008

Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 3

Here is the next segment in a series of posts on bloggers joining the plastic-free movement. These folks have taken the challenge to reduce plastic in their lives and blog about their efforts. The first two posts can be found here:

Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 1Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 2

Plastic-Free Bloggers (blogs primarily dealing with plastic)

PlasticLess NYC. Juli Borst is a classical singer and founding member of the Take Back The Filter campaign, and now she’s begun an awesome new blog. Since starting PlasticLess NYC in the middle of November, she’s already written 23 posts, tallying her plastic waste and covering a wide range of topics. I’m thinking maybe I can retire soon.

Juli first started following environmental blogs after joining The Compact in late 2006. Giving up buying new things led to giving up buying a lot of plastic, and blogs like EnviroWoman and Fake Plastic Fish, … Read the rest

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December 18, 2008

Liquid Soap Fail: What am I doin’ wrong?

This is a 1000 gram block of olive oil soap I bought from Body Time (a shop in my neighborhood) a while back. It was completely unpackaged. I thought I would use it to make liquid soap — to replace the Dr. Bronner’s we have been using for dishwashing once it’s gone. I figured all I’d need to do is dissolve the bar in a pot of water and voila! Liquid soap. Did I check any recipes or instructions? No way, man. It just seemed way too obvious.

So, I put the entire block of soap in a stock pot on the stove, filled it up with water, and started stirring. And stirring. And stirring. Thinking I’d save time, I didn’t bother grating the soap beforehand. So yes, this process took hours. Hours of gas stove energy. Hours of occasional stirring.

After the whole thing was dissolved, I let the pot cool. When I checked it the next day, I found a huge stock pot of solid soap!

Okay, I guess an entire kilogram of soap (2.2 pounds) requires more water.… Read the rest

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December 16, 2008

Homemade Chocolate Syrup: Delicious & Plastic-Free

Hershey’s. Nestle. Santa Cruz Organic. Ah!Laska. Dagoba. What do these syrups have in common? (Besides some form of chocolate?) Some are conventional. Some are organic. Fair trade. But all of them are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles. How can products can be labeled organic when they are packaged in plastic? Shouldn’t chemicals from plastic packaging be considered in organic certification?

Well anyway, Michael and I need our chocolate syrup in order to be happy. So I found a very simple recipe and have tweaked it to perfection.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe

1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened) (Purchased from bulk bin in my own container.)

2 cups sugar (From bulk bins — I use 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar.)

1/4 teaspoon salt (Bulk bin.)

1 cup cold water (Tap, of course!)

1 tablespoon vanilla (Glass bottle with small plastic cap.)

Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone. Add water… Read the rest

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