The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: September 2009

September 29, 2009

All New Updated Plastic Challenge Web Site!

Update: If you tried out the new site and found it broken in Internet Explorer, please try again. I think I’ve worked out the bugs. Let me know if anything looks weird. Thanks!

If you haven’t taken the Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash Challenge yet, now is the time. The women from See Jane Do are up for it and would love some company!

See Jane Do is an inspirational multi-media project (web, radio, and now print) that seeks to highlight the successes of “ordinary women doing extraordinary things.” I was thrilled to be included in that list and have See Jane Do’s Elisa Parker come visit me, check out my plastic-free progress, and conduct an interview which will be broadcast on KVMR Wed.Oct. 7th from 1-2pm PST. You can listen online as well.

See Jane Do’s article about Fake Plastic Fish was also published in The Union, Nevada County’s daily newspaper, on Sunday, September 27.

Well, I don’t know how extraordinary… Read the rest

September 25, 2009

Project Kaisei’s Messages from the Plastic Sea: Products Must Be “Benign by Design”

Inspired by Captain Charles Moore’s tireless efforts to bring attention to the issue of plastic in the ocean, several new organizations and projects have sprung up recently to investigate the Pacific Garbage Patch and to try and find solutions. One of these is Project Kaisei, which conducted an expedition to the North Pacific Gyre last month and has returned to not only report on the problem but help us find solutions.

At a press conference in Sausalito Tuesday morning, Project Kaisei founder Mary Crowley joined with representatives from the State of California as well as nonprofit groups to announce a partnership dedicated to addressing the problems of ocean plastic pollution. No longer satisfied with blaming individuals for the litter problem, this group is committed to pushing for Extended Producer Responsibility, the philosophy that companies that create products must take responsibility for the full life cycle of those products,… Read the rest

September 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Plastic Laundry Baskets

I received the coolest email this morning from Fake Plastic Fish reader Ellen Simpson, who was inspired by this blog to figure out a way to repair her old plastic laundry basket instead of trashing it and buying a new one. She, in turn, inspired me to fix my own broken plastic laundry basket this morning. Here then, are the tales of two baskets, complete with pictures. First, Ellen’s: from: Simpson, Ellento Beth Terrydate Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 7:23 AMsubject Laundry basket repair

Hi Beth,

I’m a big fan of your blog, and I wanted to let you know you inspired me to do a little green repair this past week. I have a plastic laundry basket that my husband and I have used for years. It’s cracking in a few places, and a few weeks ago one of the handles broke off completely.

My first inclination was to throw it away and get a new one. But then I thought, what would Beth (and her dad) do? I decided to try to repair the handle. Gluing the old handle back on wouldn’t work,… Read the rest

September 23, 2009

Living in the Age of Stupid or the Age of Compassion?

Monday began with me in a classroom in Benicia, teaching children about plastic, and ended in a cheesy piano bar in San Francisco’s Union Square. In between, a phenomenal global event.

Sitting in a Century movie theater in downtown San Francisco, I was taken over by waves of grief for our planet and especially its people. As I emailed to a friend, I think I must have held my breath for the entire length of the Age of Stupid premiere, a film event broadcast to 440 cities in 63 countries.

View the trailer:

Set in the year 2055, after the effects of global climate change have basically wiped out most of humans and other animals on earth, a lone archivist records a message, illustrating it with a handful of the billions of stories he’s collected in a massive database he calls the Global Archive, before transmitting the entire collection into outer space as a cautionary tale to future civilizations. The big question: Why didn’t we save ourselves… Read the rest

September 22, 2009

Bringing Ocean Plastic to a Classroom in Benicia

What the heck do I know about teaching kids? What if they won’t listen? What if I say the wrong things?

Those were the worries I had after agreeing to join Water Education Specialist Sue Alfeld in a Bay Area classroom to discuss my journey to cut back on plastic. Organized by The Bay Nature Institute in Berkeley as part of their “Blogging for Biodiversity” program, I planned to come and observe Sue’s lesson on ocean plastic and the fate of Laysan albatross birds and also participate in sharing my own experiences.

(Read more about Sue’s program in the Bay Nature article, “Turning Back The Plastic Tide.”)

Well, those worries melted away as soon as I met the warm and totally down to earth Sue. And the education started before we even got to the classroom. After picking me up at a bus stop near Benicia Middle School, Sue showed me where she and many residents of the area had gathered to collect trash during Saturday’s… Read the rest

September 21, 2009

In which I run into No Impact Man again, and nothing happens…

… you know, because of that chemistry accident several years ago while he was working late at the lab so that now things just slide right through him instead of creating an imp… Oh, forget it. That was the scenario Michael created tonight after we saw the No Impact Man movie again and heard Colin Beavan, the No Impact Man himself, answer questions at the Shattuck movie theatre in Berkeley with our friends Nancy and David. I’m guessing Michael has seen Watchmen one too many times.

Anyway, while the movie is a great gateway into the No Impact project (in fact, it’s powerful enough to make some bloggers cry), the No Impact Manbook is the hard stuff, the thing your parents warned you about. And I think it’s about time to start discussing! Don’t worry. If you don’t have the book yet, you can still play. The book is simply a springboard for the important questions I want to ask. Still, I highly recommend reading this… Read the rest

September 17, 2009

Obama & the Ocean Need You! Participate & Win a LunchBots Eco!

10/08/2009 Update: Heather is the winner of the LunchBots Eco stainless steel lunch container. Congratulations. And thank you everyone for all your work.

Our oceans are filling up with plastic. But you know that or you probably wouldn’t be here. Aside from personal changes to reduce plastic in our own lives, there are a few things we can do in the next few days to be part of a bigger solution. Check out instructions at the bottom to learn how to win a prize from Fake Plastic Fish.

1) Today: Obama wants your opinion. And it’s not about health care or Kanye West!

If you live near San Francisco, you have a rare chance to make your voice heard in Washington. The president has created an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, which will be holding a public meeting today in downtown San Francisco to gather recommendations for a “national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. … Read the rest

September 16, 2009

Year 3, Month 3 Results: 8.6 oz of plastic waste

It’s been another month already. Life is just flying by. And I haven’t had a drink in two days. Now, before getting into this month’s tally, I just want to clarify something I wrote on Monday. Many readers took exception to this statement:

Alcohol helps to quell the fear of unpunctuated silence, the endless possibilities of what could be if I sat with my feelings instead of trying to push them aside. Wine especially is so damned tasty and enjoyable and helps me forget what a loser I am.

Contrary to MonkeyJen’s assertion that I am clever because by writing that I am a loser, I got all of you to write and tell me I’m not, I wasn’t fishing for compliments or even reassurance. The fact is that I have an addiction problem. There, I said it. And part of addiction is feeling like crap. Feeling like you are nothing without your crutch and then feeling like you are even worse because of your crutch. And then fearing that if people … Read the rest

September 14, 2009

Where’s That Money I Left Lying Around?

I know it was there the last time I checked. Where’d it go?

When I heard the topic of this month’s Green Mom’s Carnival was “Conserving Resources,” I was stumped. I mean, I write about the topic every single time I post, right? Using less plastic = conserving resources. Plastic comes from oil. Use less plastic and conserve oil. Almost every consumer product these days comes packaged in plastic. Buying fewer products in plastic packing = buying fewer products in general = conserving resources. All of our electronic devices are made from plastic. Avoiding plastic means buying fewer technological toys = conserving materials and energy, right? What new thing can I say on the topic?

All this conservation should make a difference in my wallet. So how did I find myself at the ATM last week unable to withdraw cash because my checking account was empty? “Wait!” I thought. “I don’t buy things! There… Read the rest

September 11, 2009

Bag It!

What’s better than having Oprah show up on your door step with Tim Gunn and the ghost of Ed McMahon to inform you that you’ve won a billion dollars, the end of environmental degradation, world peace, and a fabulous new wardrobe made from fair trade organic chocolate that you can actually eat once it goes out of style? Um… probably nothing. But yesterday, I experienced maybe the next best thing.

Jeb and Jim from Reel Thing Productions showed up on my door step to spend the day filming and interviewing me about plastic for their new documentary Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?, directed by Suzan Beraza, a film which “chronicles the global production, use, and disposal of plastic bags and other plastics.”

Check out the trailer for the film which is expected to be completed by the end of the year:

I wish I had thought to photograph or record them as they were recording me because the guys were funny and committed and serious with… Read the rest