The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: November 2009

November 9, 2009

No Impact Man Chap 4: Wanting Is Not Getting

I just got back last night from a weekend meditation retreat, during which I sat in silence, ate in silence, walked around the retreat center in silence, and then snuck into my room to read Chapter 4 of No Impact Man. (Reading on retreat is discouraged. I do not encourage you to do such a think. Tsk tsk. Bad Beth!)

I’m really kidding about the “tsk tsk” because Chapter 4 actually fit in quite beautifully with the spirit of this weekend. While it’s one of my favorite chapters because it’s where Colin Beavan writes about plastic and its effects on our health and that of the planet, it’s also beautiful in how it explores what causes human beings to overconsume in the first place.

One day, early on in the project, Colin gets it into his head that if he can only find a particular type of net shopping bag that he saw in France, his life will be so much better and he’ll suddenly be the environmentalist he wants to be. He’s… Read the rest

November 4, 2009

Baking Soda: So Many Uses; So Little Money… and Plastic

I hear people bemoaning the high cost of “going green.”  And while organic food does cost more than its chemical-laden counterpart, I’m here to tell you that it’s easier to spend more for healthy food when you save money in other ways.  We can skip many of the green cleaners, deodorizers, and personal care products, most of which are fairly expensive.  To that end, baking soda is our friend. (Ha! I rhymed.)

What’s so great about baking soda?

1) It’s cheap. On, a 1 lb box is $1.40. But I save money and packaging by buying it from the bulk bin at my local natural foods store, filling up my own reusable cloth bag.  That way, it’s only 89¢/lb!

2) It’s simple. One of  the ways I try to protect my health and that of the planet is to buy products that contain the lowest number of different ingredients possible.  Baking soda is just about as simple as you can get.… Read the rest

November 3, 2009

Dianna Cohen: Getting the Message from Her Own Art

Dianna Cohen is a painter, but she doesn’t use a paint brush. Trained at UCLA, she gave up the brush for materials most people consider trash: bags, boxes, little pieces of plastic. This year, she helped to found the Plastic Pollution Coalition. After twenty years, she finally started to get the messages from her own art. During my weekend in L.A., Dianna put me up in her art studio. I got to live with her artwork for three days and pick up a few messages myself.

Over lunch, Dianna explained to me about her art process and her passion for protecting the environment. While in college, she became intrigued with the different shades of brown paper bags and began creating collages, stitching them together with a needle and thread. One of my favorite pieces is this beautiful abstract piece made with cardboard boxes:

Her interest in plastic bags arose at a homeopathic shop in Belgium that provided the bags with colorful flowers printed on them. Dianna … Read the rest

November 2, 2009

New Fake Plastic Fish Discussion Board Is Up!

As you may have noticed, I added a new menu bar last week with links to nowhere. Those links represent my hopes and dreams for this web site and are a motivation for me to create the missing pages sooner than later!

Well, the “Discuss” link went live last night. It’s a brand new discussion board for us, who are trying to reduce the amount of plastic in the world, to ask questions, post interesting articles and links, offer suggestions, drum up support for actions and campaigns, or just vent the frustration we sometimes feel when confronted with unnecessary plastic crap.

The discussion board is up and ready to use. And several Fake Plastic Fish readers have already shared a rant and a question. amidalailama is a member who emailed me privately about ways to freeze vegetables and fruits for the winter without zip lock bags. Since I live in an area where we don’t actually have real winters and therefore don’t do much freezing… Read the rest