The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: March 2009

March 31, 2009

How many environmentalists does it take to spoil the party?

Apparently just one: me, insisting, “No thanks. No really. No, I don’t want it. Seriously, no!” to the guy at the theater door trying desperately to hand me a plastic goody bag full of Sing Along Grease paraphernalia. Here are my friends Red and Jen sporting theirs:

Included in the plastic goody bag:

1) Plastic pom poms2) Plastic sunglasses inside plastic baggie3) Plastic bubble soap4) Black plastic comb (for slicking hair back)5) Fake cigarette (have no idea what it’s made out of)

Without these implements, one cannot (the organizers would have us believe) participate fully in the Sing Along Grease Experience. Do you think that stopped me from belting my lungs out on “Hopelessly Devoted“?

No way, man! There are worse things I could do than say no to cheap plastic toys for a few hours. I could fume in my seat, self-righteously grumbling about plastic while everyone else had all the fun. But you know that’s… Read the rest

March 30, 2009

Year 2, Week 41 Results: 14.7 oz of plastic waste

As you can see, I never found a taker for those 16 American Idol DVDs. Did anyone actually think I would? Here’s the full tally for last week:

Plastic purchased before the plastic project began: 16 2007 American Idol DVDs. What was I thinking when I burned the full season of American Idol onto DVDs? Did I really think I would ever watch it again? What a waste of polycarbonate. I can’t even remember who was on the show 2 years ago. But OMG I have 5 words for this season:

Adam Lambert Ring of Fire.

Can I get an “Amen”? Still, while love may be a burning thing that makes a fiery ring, the only place I’ll be burning Adam’s performances is into my own brain.

Melted plastic pot lid knob. I discussed this tragic event in detail a few days ago. Turns out the whole pot is pretty much hosed as well. There are black streaks actually burned into the stainless steel bottom, and I’m afraid to continue using it. *Sigh* Visiting my friends… Read the rest

March 27, 2009

Ice Cream Cones Are Green…

That’s the title of my latest post on, which lists some very simple (to me, anyway) steps people can take to start reducing waste. Please check it out and leave a comment if you’d like:

And speaking of Blogher, are any of you going to the conference this summer? If so, please, please, please click on over to Blogher and VOTE for a Green Bloggers Meetup. We only have 8 votes so far and will probably need many more, and soon, in order to get a “Room of our Own.”

IMPORTANT: You must be logged in to the Blogher site in order to see the links at the top of the post to click to indicate you would attend. Simply leaving a comment will not count your vote.

Oh, and one final non-Blogher related item: The reader who won the Lunchbots Duo, Old Dog, has not responded with his/her mailing address. Old Dog, you have one more chance. Please email meRead the rest

March 26, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Burning Plastic: Mindfulness Fail

I thought the smell was coming from my computer. I even turned the machine off and opened it up to make sure the fans were working properly. Then I remembered… Oh crap! I’d put water for pasta on the stove probably an hour before! Here’s what happened when I attempted to remove the lid:

The whole house smells toxic. My poor kitties. This is why I shouldn’t multi-task when one of the tasks involves fire. It’s not like this was the first time I’d ever put something on the stove and forgotten about it.

Sad. The melted knob will go into this week’s plastic collection… once it cools down and solidifies again. The metal lid? I’ll have to find a metal recycler to take it to. Either that, or maybe handy RobJ can figure out how to make a new knob for it. Preferably out of wood this time.

It’s a small amount of waste, certainly, but nevertheless avoidable if I had paid attention to what I was doing. Which is… Read the rest

March 25, 2009

Plastics in the Sargasso Sea. Researchers knew about this… WHEN?!

It’s Science Wednesday here at Fake Plastic Fish! Thanks to Wallace “J.” Nichols for forwarding the following article to me. Nichols is the Founder/Co-Director of

Here’s a summary of the article. Based on what we know about marine plastic, can you guess when it was written? ABSTRACT Plastic particles, in concentrations averaging 3500 pieces and 290 grams per square kilometer, are widespread in the western Sargasso Sea. Pieces are brittle, apparently due to the weathering of the plasticizers, and many are in a pellet shape about 0.25 to 0.5 centimeters in diameter. the particles are surfaces for the attachment of diatoms and hydroids. Increasing production of plastics, combined with present waste-disposal practices, will undoubtedly lead to increases in the concentrations of these particles. Plastics could be a source of some of the polychlorinated biphenyls recently observed in oceanic… Read the rest

March 24, 2009

Plastic At My Singing Lesson and How to Recycle Used CD’s and DVDs.

Isn’t singing a plastic-free activity?

Not when your teacher records your lessons on CDs. I’ve had two singing lessons so far and have been spending my free time doing funny exercises with my lips and various other parts of my personal sound system. Good thing I never get embarrassed anymore.

You might not think a singing lesson would involve much plastic, and if so, you would be living in the last decade. My teacher records each lesson onto a CD for her students to take home and use for practice. The recording is a great help. The disposable polycarbonate plastic CD, not so much. So I asked if there were some other way to save the lesson… on a Flash Drive perhaps? Turns out, she has another machine that records onto SD cards. I have an SD card in my camera. Perfect! Each week, I can download the recording from the card into my computer and reuse the same card each time. This method could potentially save many, many CDs, depending on how long… Read the rest

March 23, 2009

Your opinion please! Year 2, Week 40 Results: 3.1 oz of plastic waste.

I need your opinion about whether or not to include a particular item in my tally. But first, here is all the rest of the plastic for this week.

Plastic purchased before the plastic project began: Plastic bottle of Dr. Weil’s Balanced Cal/Mag tablets and plastic cap. As bad as I’ve been about flossing, I’ve been worse about taking my vitamins and minerals. And my doctor is insistent that I need to be taking calcium. So I fished out this bottle from the back of the cupboard. Fortunately, it had not yet expired. I finished it this week. I’ll be switching to New Chapter Organics Bone Strength Take Care formula, which is all organic, from plant sources, and comes in a glass bottle. I already take their Every Woman II multi vitamin, which are so mild you can take them on an empty stomach. The glass bottles, of course, do come with a plastic cap. I emailed New Chapter tonight to see if they had any plans to take them back for recycling.

Plastic… Read the rest

March 20, 2009

Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 4

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written a Plastic-Free Blogosphere post, and there certainly are more folks joining the ranks. So here’s Part 4 in this ongoing series. The first three posts can be found here:

Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 1 Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 2 Voices of the Plastic-Free Blogosphere, Part 3

Plastic-Free Bloggers (blogs primarily dealing with plastic)

Please Pass on the Plastic. Like so many others, Michelle Walrath started her blog because she was upset after learning about the Pacific Garbage Patch. And through her work with a non-profit called Environmental Grassroots Education, she learned about how dangerous many chemicals and plastics are in our lives.

Besides blogging, Michelle, with her husband, recently worked with a team of filmmakers to produce a new documentary called Tapped, which they are hoping will be picked up by festivals. Tapped examines… Read the rest

March 19, 2009

Does your new Eco-Dentist offer foot massages?

Just wondering. Because mine totally does.

(Okay, just to be clear — the foot massage is not performed by the dentist. That would be weird.)

Transcendentist in Berkeley, CA is the practice of Doctor Fred Pockrass, founder of the Eco Dentistry Association, and is the first certified green dental practice in California. When I made the decision to switch all my medical care from San Francisco to the East Bay, for the sake of convenience and also to save fuel miles (Yes, public transit uses fuel, too!), I chose a new dentist who is almost as anti-plastic waste as I am!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, take a look at the waiting and reception area:

Dr. Pockrass’s spa-like office matches his philosophy that patients are more than just mouths and teeth. To that end, he and his wife Ina have created a space that is not only beautiful, but as non-toxic as possible. Wall and floor finishes are water-based and no-VOC. A special water filter… Read the rest

March 18, 2009

I eat a lot of bread!

Last Friday, Arduous wrote a hilarious piece in response to Michael Pollan’s request for readers’ “food rules”. Instead of healthy rules for eating, her post, “Things That I Call Dinner,” confesses menu items such as candy, s’mores, and plain spinach with apples.

My own rule for Michael Pollan, which I left in a comment to his article, is “Real food doesn’t come packaged in plastic.”

That’s all very well and good. What I didn’t say was that sometimes days go by during which I’m too busy or lazy to eat anything but plastic-free bread. That can’t be healthy, can it?

Granted, we do have the best bakery in town. La Farine on College Ave bakes fresh, whole grain, organic bread every day. And I bring my organic cotton ecobag to carry it home… avoiding all packaging, paper or plastic.

Keeping it fresh is another story. Once home, I store the bread inside the… Read the rest