The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: August 2009

August 6, 2009

My Green Chicago Trip, Part 1: Hostel vs. Hotel

So, I’ve been blogging (whining) about the Blogher Conference in Chicago, but did you know I stayed a few more days to hang out and see the city? This was my vacation, and wow did I need one.

During the conference, I roomed with Micaela Preston (Mindful Momma) at the Chicago Sheraton, the same hotel where the conference was held. And while I can deal with a pillow-topped bed a few times in my life, I couldn’t afford to stay at the Sheraton for the remainder of my trip.

Instead, I moved to the Chicago Hostel, where I shared a dorm with several other women half my age!

Less luxury, for sure. But certainly more green, and in a way, more fun!

The Sheraton provides many individually-wrapped amenities. Take a look at what is provided in the bathroom. Also, a hair dryer (not shown.)

At the hostel, you get soap and a hair dryer. And the soap comes in a bulk container, so you only use as much as you need. Zero waste.

So what did I bring? Here’s a peek at the contents… Read the rest

August 5, 2009

What I learned from #BlogHer09

Despite the impression I might have given in my previous post, “Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff,” the BlogHer conference was not only about swag and vendors and overconsumption. The experience had a huge impact on me, bigger than I can properly articulate at this point. But for right now, here are my photos and a few thoughts, in chronological order, beginning with Thursday night.

1) It doesn’t really matter if I order my martini with “no plastic spear” for the olives…

if I drink so much that I end up sick and needing a plastic bottle of this…

2) When we ask for “greener” sponsors, “organic” is not enough.

How organic is a product that is more plastic than food? And that is promoted with a ton of paper waste?

3) Green moms party by hanging out at cocktail parties testing their purses for lead. Thankfully, Jennifer’s XRF Analyzer did not find any lead in my organic hemp… Read the rest

August 4, 2009

The Dangers of PVC Plastic

The Center for Health, Environment, & Justice has released its Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. It’s a free downloadable guide to all the products kids might need for school, from binders and notebooks to clothes, electronics, lunch boxes, and a host of other products. It includes a comprehensive guide to suppliers as well as general rules to keep in mind.

So what’s wrong with PVC?

I’ve ranted about PVC products quite often on this blog, but in case you missed those posts, here’s a quick summary:

1. PVC is the only major plastic that contains chlorine, so it is unique in the hazards it creates. During production, PVC plants can release dioxins which harm workers and community members who live nearby. Residents of certain towns in Louisiana, which is home to half the PVC production facilities in the USA, have been shown to have much higher concentrations of dioxins in their blood than the average U.S. … Read the rest