Archive for October, 2009

October 14, 2009

Just Say “No” to 7-Eleven’s Plastic-Wrapped Bananas.

Plastic-wrapped bananas are redundant and stupid, aren’t they? I mean, really. Bananas already have a natural wrapper. But 7-Eleven wants to make sure they stay fresher even longer. So 27 stores in Dallas, Texas are testing out the new plastic-wrapped bananas. If successful, the chain plans to sell them in all of its stores.

According to this article in USA Today (forwarded to me by Fake Plastic Fish reader James Langford), “7-Eleven recognizes that the wrapper could be an environmental issue and has asked supplier Fresh Del Monte to come up with a wrapper that’s biodegradable.” Um… it already has a biodegradable wrapper. It’s thick and yellow and decomposes in about a week, as evidenced by the contents of my compost bin.

Since 7-Eleven does appear to be somewhat concerned about its environmental footprint, let’s help them realize the error of this packaging choice. Please make a quick phone call… Read the rest

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October 12, 2009

Tapped: Even More Arguments Against Bottled Water

I just finished watching the new documentary, Tapped, a polemic against the bottled water industry.  As regular Fake Plastic Fish readers know, I’ve written extensively against bottled water myself, providing a multitude of reasons to avoid the stuff: Bottled water is not as strongly regulated as tap water; it requires more energy to bottle and ship than tap water; it negatively impacts local community water supplies; it turns over control of a public trust to private companies; and of course, the plastic bottle lasts in the environment virtually forever.

Tapped covers all of these points and even some that were new to me.  View the trailer below or click here.

The film begins with the statement,

By the year 2030, two-thirds of the world will be lacking access to clean drinking water.  This is a problem every single person will be dealing with regardless of where they live in the world.

Many of us think that taking shorter showers and neglecting… Read the rest

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October 9, 2009

Would You Use A Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray?

I can’t tell you the number of times since I started Fake Plastic Fish that people have asked me what I do for ice. The answer has always been that I just keep using the same plastic ice trays that I owned before I started Fake Plastic Fish. I know, I know. I don’t like to put food in plastic because of possible chemicals leaching. But it’s my understanding that chemicals leach more from plastic when it is heated and that plastic interacts more with fats in foods. So I figured freezing water in plastic was safe.

Is it? I honestly don’t know. And since so many people have asked about a plastic-free option for ice, I decided to try out the stainless steel ice cube tray sold by Fake Plastic Fish advertiser, NoPlastic.Ca, a Canadian company that sells all kinds of plastic-free home alternatives. I asked the owner Ramin to send me a tray to review, and here it is:

We had a metal ice tray like this when I was growing up. I think ours might have been… Read the rest

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October 8, 2009

No Impact Man Book Discussion: Chapters 2 & 3

As I mentioned before when discussing the first chapter of No Impact Man, the discussion questions are open to anyone, whether you have read the book or not. So please feel free to join in!

DAY 1: A Stuffed Up Nose

Chapter 2 begins with Colin, having decided to embark on the No Impact Project, waking up the morning of Day 1 unable to blow his nose.  See, Colin didn’t plan ahead of time what eco-friendly changes his family would make.  No, he chose more of a sink-or-swim method, figuring it out as he went along. As he writes,

The idea was not to become an environmental expert and then apply what I’d learned. The idea was to start from scratch — with not a clue about how to deal with our planetary emergency — and stumble forward. To see what I could find out. To see how I evolved.

And in fact, that’s exactly how I started Fake Plastic Fish. First, I wanted to see what my impact actually was (hence, collecting my plastic) and then find… Read the rest

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October 7, 2009

Learning Where My Food Comes From: A Field Trip to Straus Dairy Farm

After reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and seeing the film, Food Inc., I added the task “Visit farms and ranches where my food comes from” to my ongoing, never-ending “To Do” list.  And it sat there.  And sat there.  Until a couple of incidents spurred me to get serious.  First, reading about the very sad fate of male chicks to which I have been inadvertently contributing even though I buy Certified Humane eggs and second, seeing how much fun Colin Beavan had visiting a local farm in the film No Impact Man.

How many of us really understand how our food is produced?  Labels on meat and dairy products are full of pictures of happy animals in beautiful rustic settings with plenty of space to roam and be free.  But is that the truth?  And how can we make decisions about what food products are healthy, sustainable, and in line with our values if we don’t have complete information and … Read the rest

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October 1, 2009

I’m 44 Years Old and Finally Got a Rack!

I was kind of a late bloomer, always jealous of other girls’ racks and fearing I’d never have one myself. Even my younger sisters got theirs ahead of me. No, I didn’t suddenly pump myself full of plastic to impress the boys. It’s my new Drying Rack, people! What the heck did you think?

Inspired by Citizen Green’s excellent tips for hanging clothes to dry, and committed more than ever to saving energy after seeing The Age of Stupid last week, I was determined to figure out a way to hang dry at least some of our clothes. The trouble is, we don’t have a yard for installing the kind of contraption Linda has, and we don’t have room in the house to put one up either. Our laundry room is basically the back hallway which has barely enough room for Michael and me to squeeze past each other. We also don’t have the right kind of wall space to put up one of those expanding dry racks.

So I was happy to find a link to a different kind… Read the rest

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