The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: March 2009

March 11, 2009

Do you have an Eco Confession?

We did a terrible thing yesterday and will now be stripped of our official green membership card. Actually, Michael did it. But he wouldn’t have if I hadn’t begged him to.

We turned up the thermostat on our hot water heater.

Icebergs will melt and polar bears will be stranded because I couldn’t handle one more luke warm shower. This morning, standing in the steamy heat while my skin turned red and blistered, I thought, “How can something that feels so good be so wrong?” And then I started belting out Like A Virgin.

My mom would totally understand. Here’s a picture of her in Hawaii recently when the temp dropped to a frigid 70 degrees F!

This post has nothing to do with plastic but everything to do with questions about how willing we are to make personal sacrifices to care for the wider world outside our own skins. And my skin was screaming for heat.

Fake Plastic Fish readers sometimes make little comments about how they… Read the rest

March 6, 2009

Plastic Gift Cards: Re-use, Recycle, Speak Out!


I’ve been carrying around two plastic movie theater gift cards for over a year. Gifts from co-workers, they are much-appreciated because they represent gifts of experiences (movies) rather than more stuff. The fact that I still have them simply means I need to get out more. But the cards themselves, of course, are made from plastic. And what happens to that plastic at the end of its life? Unlike credit cards which must be destroyed for security reasons, some gift cards can keep on giving.

The Problem

Gift cards are made from PVC, one of the most toxic plastics from cradle to grave. Each year, according to Plenty Magazine, “a whopping 75 million pounds of polyvinyl chloride material from plastic cards enters America’s waste stream.”

Reduce, Re-use

Several companies (Target, Borders, REI, Wal-Mart) offer biodegradable gift cards made from corn, while others provide reloadable cards, also decreasing the need for new … Read the rest

March 4, 2009

Clothesnik saves plastic, if only dry cleaners would use it!

Way back in October, my friend Doug sent me a Clothesnik canvas garment bag to try out. I finally had a chance to use it last week. We haven’t taken clothes to the cleaners since July of last year! Unfortunately, it took a while to find a green cleaner that would actually use the bag. More on that later. First, I want to tell you about the Clothesnik.

The Clothesnik is a 100% cotton garment bag and laundry bag in one. Toss dirty clothes into it and tie up the bag using the strings at the bottom. Or use it clean as a garment bag to replace the disposable plastic bags the cleaners give out. If you don’t want to pay for the laundry service to clean the Clothesnik bag, wash it at home and return with it to pick up the clean clothes. Or don’t use it as a laundry bag. There are just so many options.

Our problem was finding a cleaner to use it correctly in the first place. A while back I wrote about green cleaner Blue Sky, which uses CO2 to clean clothes, one of the… Read the rest

March 3, 2009

A Jedi is always prepared…

… with her/his reusable travel mug or water bottle. And this post is just an excuse to show off the depths of our geekitude last Saturday at San Francisco’s WonderCon comic book convention.

Really, it was a wonderland of plastic… plastic action figures, plastic-wrapped posters, plastic bags, plastic boobs (I think). We only went for the opportunity to dress up in costumes left over from the short film Reservoir Jedi, made by Michael and his friend Andy several years ago, and for the chance to see what Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher look like up close these days.

But even at a fantasy convention, the rules of Fake Plastic Fish apply. Michael had his Klean Kanteen, I had my travel mug, and we both refused the plastic swag bag offered at the entrance to the fest.

We walked around looking fabulous (I would so totally dress like this every day if I could get away with it) but did not buy anything but coffee. On the way to the convention center, … Read the rest