The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: April 2009

April 13, 2009

Year 2, Week 43 Results: .05 oz of plastic waste… Again!

Just so you know, my scale will only weigh in increments of .1 oz. For the past two weeks, it has measured my plastic waste at 0.00, so I am guessing at .05 because I know that reality is somewhere between 0.00 and .1.

The full tally for last week: Plastic baggies of nuts and bolts for my Fake Plastic Fish display. I’ve spent all weekend getting ready to table at Oakland’s Earth Expo this Wednesday. Normally, I would use Green Sangha’s Rethinking Plastics display. But this week, it’s not available. So I made my own!

Saturday, I created a 4-panel display board using the front of an old door that Michael found, hinges from Ohmega Salvage (after spending an unsuccessful hour searching through bins of hinges at Urban Ore), and non-toxic zero-VOC stain from Eco Home Improvement. The only new parts were the nuts and bolts which came in little plastic baggies.

Then, I spent yesterday creating my Fake Plastic Sea Monster costume:

Okay,… Read the rest

April 10, 2009

Plastic-Free Soap Nuts

UPDATE: Sadly, LaundryTree has closed its doors.  You can now buy plastic-free soap nuts from Life Without Plastic, but don’t leave just yet!  This is still a great story about how to get companies to change their packaging.  It also contains practical information about soap nuts and how to use them.

The original post…

Put on your fuzzy slippers. Grab a mug of cocoa. Sit back, and let me tell you a little story about why it’s worth it for us to ask for what we want. There’s free stuff at the end, so hang in with me.

Have you ever done your laundry with soap nuts or been curious to find out how they work? Soap nuts grow on a tree called Sapindus mukorossi (Chinese Soapberry) and contain saponin, a natural surfactant which foams just like soap. I’ve wanted to try soap nuts since I first spotted them in a natural grocery store a couple of years ago but have always been deterred by the plastic in the packaging. Although they are… Read the rest

April 9, 2009

Dear Planet Earth, Are you sad? Or am I just anthropomorphizing again?

Dear Planet Earth,

How are you? I am fine. Well, not exactly fine. I stay up late at night blogging. About you. Sometimes with a glass of organic wine. I’m kind of obsessed with you, actually. Wondering if you’re doing okay. If you’re sad about how we drill into you to fill up our cars, cut down your trees to wipe our butts, remove your mountain tops to keep our lights burning, and pump noxious gases into your atmosphere. Does it piss you off that massive areas of your oceans are filled up with our bottle caps, cigarette lighters, and cheap plastic toys, that coral is dying and beaches are washing away?

A lot of people have ideas about how to save you: recycling batteries, turning the lights off for an hour, or not turning off the lights, watching a movie, carrying our own bags, etc. There are even iPhone Apps to Help Save the Planet. Do these things make you happy?

And will you still be our BFF? We’re giving up buying new plastic and reducing… Read the rest

April 8, 2009

Future Weather: My Interview with an Eco-Conscious Filmmaker

Thanks to Green L.A. Girl Siel for pointing out a Philadelphia filmmaker who wants to change the way movies are made.

Jenny Deller wrote the script for the film, Future Weather, a drama centered around a teenage girl who is not only worried about the future of the planet but also the changes taking place within her own family. In an email to me, Jenny wrote:

Essentially, Future Weather is a story about leaving home and facing change, a rite of passage that I think will be necessary for our society to confront the uncertainty of a changing planet. Part of my desire to tell this story came from my own anxiety about global warming and questions I had about procreation in the 21st century — how do you bring children into such a compromised and potentially dire situation?

What attracted me to this project, even more than the theme of the film itself, was Jenny’s blog and her concern with conducting a movie shoot (scheduled for this summer) as greenly… Read the rest

April 6, 2009

Year 2, Week 42 Results: .05 oz of plastic waste

It was a pretty great week, plastickly speaking. But for some plastic envelope windows, I’d have had almost none. And speaking of envelope windows, various readers have suggested that they are made from glassine and not really plastic. The full answer that while some envelope windows are indeed made from glassine (a paper product), others are made from polystyrene. And nowadays, a few envelope windows are made from compostable PLA. (Reference:

The trouble is that you can’t always tell the difference. Some envelopes come printed with content information. For example, the Sierra Club’s mailings always state that the envelope is made from recycled paper and glassine and is fully recyclable. I don’t include those in my tally. But if this information isn’t provided, I have to assume they are plastic.

But what about the fact that recyclers… Read the rest

April 3, 2009

New FPF Video & Volunteers needed for Bay to Breakers!

Remember last year when I dressed as a Brita filter for the Bay to Breakers to promote the Take Back The Filter Campaign? And remember how I said I wouldn’t do it without at least one volunteer? Tanya and Christa accepted the challenge and were awesome!

This year, I would love to find more volunteers to help me bring the North Pacific Gyre (aka Pacific Garbage Patch) to San Francisco to let people know about the problem with plastic.

As you know, for almost two years now I have been hoarding my own plastic waste. In fact, I’ve amassed quite a collection, as you’ll see in the most recent Fake Plastic Fish video:

(If you’re viewing this post via email or reader, you’ll probably need to click onto the blog to see the video.)

My idea: I envision us in beautiful plastic costumes, created from as much of this plastic collection as possible, twirling together across San Francisco, imitating the motion of the Gyre. (I’m inspired… Read the rest

April 2, 2009

Okay, okay!

I am not ready to publish a new post, but I just can’t leave the previous one hanging like that. OF COURSE it was an April Fool’s joke. Well, the part about me quitting Fake Plastic Fish and taking a job with Johnson & Johnson was a joke. Sadly, the part about toxic chemicals in J&J baby products is not. So if you haven’t had a chance to follow the links and learn more, please do so.

Most of you guys understood the joke. Surprisingly, most of my family members did not. They were all congratulating me! And Michael was all, “What? You took a new job and didn’t tell me?” It was pretty funny for half a second.

So I’m working on some more videos. Had hoped to have one posted this morning, but as always, it took longer than expected. Will have it completed tonight and included in tomorrow’s post along with a request for volunteers for something fun coming up in May. Stay tuned… … Read the rest

April 1, 2009

Goodbye to Fake Plastic Fish. Hello Johnson & Johnson.

April 2 2009 Update: The following was written on April 1. Please keep that in mind as you read it. I have not stopped writing this blog!

Well, it’s been a good run. But just this morning, I accepted a job in the marketing department of Johnson & Johnson (Shhh… my current employer doesn’t know yet) and one of the stipulations is that I stop writing Fake Plastic Fish. After all, most of their products come packaged in plastic.

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, I’ve got good news. Their bottles are all recyclable, so it’s okay. Also, they recycle their office paper and turn off the lights when they leave the office, so they really are a green company.

Whatever you do, do not read today’s “emergency” Carnival by the Green Moms. These women have some problems with Johnson & Johnson, specifically the chemicals in the company’s baby products.

But J&J has assured me that these… Read the rest