The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
January 11, 2010

Deserves Changes contest: I need your votes!

Deserves Changes contest

Wow! I wouldn’t ordinarily interrupt my usual blog schedule for something like this, but I am just so pleased and honored. Gail Johnson from GlassDharma, the company that makes the glass drinking straw that I carry with me everywhere to avoid plastic, nominated me a while ago for the Deserves Changes contest. And I’ve just been informed that I have been selected as one of the ten finalists!

Here is what Gail wrote about me in her nomination:

I would like to nominate Beth Terry as someone who Deserves Changes in her life because she has acted as a change agent in the Bay Area but reaches worldwide in her influence with her blog, FakePlasticFish. com. Her beginning statement is: “Our oceans are filling up with plastic: plastic that harms wildlife and never biodegrades; plastic that enters the food chain and leaches toxic chemicals. This blog is a record of my journey to live with as little unnecessary plastic as possible. Won’t you join me? Fake plastic fish may be cute, but if we don’t solve our plastic problem, they could be the only kind we have left….”

At a time where many people feel overwhelmed and want to take the head in the sand approach to the environment, Beth has educated and offered many options for people to apply to their daily life such as using glass drinking straws instead of plastic.

Beth is a great researcher and writer. Some of her recent topics in her blog include: Reconciling Disneylands personal impact with environmental impact, Recycle vs. Refill: Conversations with HP, Cartridge World and Silo Ink and Notes on a Plastic-Free, Shopping-Free Holiday. Beth has created an amazing amount of material in the 3 years she has blogged, asking the hard questions and acknowledging that this is a process and that we are all in this together!

Beth is a contributing editor for BlogHer and has served on their Green Team in an advisory capacity for their conventions. She was also single-handedly responsible for creating the “Take Back the Filter” campaign for Brita water filters. She worked with Brita and Whole Foods Market in Oakland to develop a viable recycling program for Brita water filters. She was given an award for this work by the city of Oakland.

Beth is on the board of the Bay Area organization Green Sangha -Inspiring Awakened Action which is a spiritually based environmental activist group with a number of projects such as getting major magazines to switch to recycled paper. She is particularly interested in their Rethinking Plastics campaign . She not only is a masterful wordsmith, she knows how to weave photos and video clips into her stories in a way that informs, entertains and inspires others to make changes in their lives. Here a video clip she included last April after watching Oprah on Earth Day.

Beth would be very honored and excited to be picked as the winner of the Deserves Changes contest. She knows she could use assistance and coaching in her presentation, delivery and better ways to make an impact. Although she has accomplished a lot, she is ready to play an even bigger game!

Why I want to win: While the prizes are fantastic, I see this as an opportunity to get the word out about plastic pollution and what we can do about it. I want to find ways to reach out to as wide an audience as possible.  As you know, this cause has changed my life, and I’d like to share that inspiration with others.

The voting process is very simple.

  1. Just select the radio button near my picture, fill in your first name, email address, and click the button.
  2. Then click the button again on the second page to confirm.
  3. Look for the confirmation email and click the link to confirm your vote.

Will you please vote for me and spread the word through your social networks? The other nine women in this contest are phenomenal. I will need all the help I can get!

37 comments
Renata
Renata

Voted for you! You deserve it! And congrats on the book - which is not selling out - but helping to spread your message to the world. I very much enjoy your detailed, informative, thought-provoking and inspiring comments. Keep up the good work!

Condo Blues
Condo Blues

Denisse, It saddens me when someone confuses success with loss of mission. After all don’t we all strive to do things like write books so we can reach more people? Please think this through. When someone is successful it advances our cause. I can only guess that your comments come from being jealous that someone wants Beth to get a smidge of recognition for all of the hard work she does - for free on her own time and with her own money - to promote reducing plastic consumption. Winning this prize will teach her new skills so she can take her campaign to the next level and reach more people. I'm sorry you can't recognize that. .-= Condo Blues´s last blog ..Ditching the Disposables – Furnace Filters =-.

Alline
Alline

Hi Beth - I just voted, and am keeping my fingers crossed. Am also giggling about the idea of Fake Plastic Fish, The Movie (see Jennifer's comment, above). Something between "Erin Brokovich" and Travolta's "A Civil Action," chock full of action, peril and drama, not to mention commuting on BART with "garbage." Now, who are we going to cast as YOU?

Beth Terry (* The speaker, not author of FPF!)
Beth Terry (* The speaker, not author of FPF!)

Hi Beth - I did it. You very much deserve it! I just hope they don't think it was YOU voting for yourself! LOL One of the hazards of this shared name. Just keep posting these nominations and we'll keep voting for you! The Other Beth .-= Beth Terry (* The speaker, not author of FPF!)´s last blog ..Resilience Step #2 – Perspective =-.

Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama
Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama

Voted and tweeted! And, btw Denisse, Beth won't make much from a book . . . well, unless it gets picked up into a movie and even then. Trust me - very, very few people really make money from writing a book. I've been published from a major publisher and had a publisher-funded PR campaign, and you don't make that much. And blogging is hard work. It costs money to have your site hosted, it costs money if your site gets hacked and you need help, and there are significant opportunity costs for all the time spent researching and blogging. Beth has spent years working on the site. .-= Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama´s last blog ..Why you need to stop using disposable plastic-how the ocean garbage patches will grow =-.

becky
becky

wow! reading that list of women is truly amazing and inspiring. you're right, beth, the competition is tough. however, i still believe you are the most deserving, you got my vote and i hope you win. i too wish there was a place for comments from voters. i would have gladly explained how much you have influenced my life, how your research continues to educate me, how your uphill but ever persistent fight daily inspires me to do more, how your solutions to avoid a plastic purchase have become a part of my life too. (right now i have your make-your-own-chocolate-syrup recipe out on my counter to whip up sometime this week.) also, a plastic-less package of 48 rolls of recycled toilet paper from Seventh Generation is waiting to be put away this morning. just two examples that come to mind as i type. about negative commenting on environmental blogs, i've heard that some of these commenters are paid for their time for their efforts at negating the influence of blogs such as yours, inserting a level of doubt, or trying to influence with criticism. i'm not saying that's the case here, but just something to keep in mind as we read comment sections on your blog and others. thank you again for all you do.

David
David

Denisse: Ditto to the above comments about your comment. Sad to say you probably won't be reading this, so I guess I am preaching to the choir. I would ask you: If "selling out" by writing books and taking money for advertising makes one "dirty" and no longer able to give honest, ethical opinion, have you then sent Beth a check for the value you have received to date before she "sold out"? How else would she receive compensation for the hard work she has done? Staying small (and poor) serves no one and there is nothing ethical or spiritual about having little or no money. Your judgement of what is, is what creates divisions / us & them / and ultimatly is the stuff wars are made of. This has obvoiusly pushed one of my buttons, so I will sign off now and work on my own stuff about this. My hope is that you would do the same.

May
May

Voted for ya. Good luck!

anonymous
anonymous

Hey Denisse: You really have a lot of nerve saying what you did to Beth. Do you have any idea how much time she puts into this blog and related plastic-education activities, for how little material recompense? This is basically a full-time job, in addition to her real job. Plus, since she goes without a certain number of conveniences others might take for granted (frozen dinners, canned cat food, a car) she has even less free time. She gets a token amount of money from advertising and the republication of her posts on other blogs, and she gets a few freebies -- which she generally gives away to readers. In fact, if she wins the Deserves Changes prizes, she'll probably give away half of them, and things like massages, well, she deserves those. To say that Beth has "sold out" is totally ridiculous; if she's trying to make money off this cause, she's doing it wrong. So, if you like, don't read her blog anymore, because accumulating readers, while certainly gratifying, is not her main goal, any more than making a profit is; her aim is to get people to reduce their use of plastic. As long as you will do that, I don't think she really cares what you think of her.

Thom_SoCal_HP
Thom_SoCal_HP

Congratulations! I enjoyed talking to you about HP cartridge recycling. Your piece was extremely thorough and I appreciate you taking the time to chat. Good luck!

Alexandra
Alexandra

I voted for you and good luck. As for Denise, really do you realize how much work goes into a blog like this, especially when research is involved? One cannot find this type of info on television, unfortunately. I know several people who follow my blog have reported back that they love Fake Plastic Fish and some have joined the Compact, described on these pages. I salute Beth for what she does and am delighted to hear she is writing a book. Denise, few people make money on books. And, it is not easy to write a book based on a successful blog. Or, to get a book published. I don't understand why you feel bloggers should not accept sponsorship or advertising. Beth has guidelines she applies. You're still not okay with it? I truly wish more blogs about the environment received media attention. Fake Plastic Fish stays on message. Wishing Beth millions more readers in 2010! .-= Alexandra ´s last blog ..Bayside Meanderings on a Winter Afternoon =-.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Denisse, your comment makes me so sad. I realize you need to do what you need to do. But I need to respond to this. I have been working on Fake Plastic Fish basically for free for 2-1/2 years. The advertising on this site pays for maintaining the site and allows me to attend plastics or blogging-related events. That is all. My criteria for accepting advertising on this blog are so strict that I'll never make much money from advertising. Please see my Advertising/Review policy. I have a job in order to feed, clothe, and shelter myself. I have never been in it for the money. I get very little sleep, staying up late working on Fake Plastic Fish and trying to figure out how to reach more people with the information about plastics in the environment and what they can do to make a difference. Through this blog, I reach a tiny handful of people. Perhaps a book will help reach people who don't read blogs or green websites. I don't see myself getting rich off a book about plastic in the environment. In other words, I'm not quitting my day job. What's more, I spend quite a lot of time researching alternatives to plastic and letting readers know about new products that are plastic-free or good for the environment so they can vote with their wallets and support small businesses that are trying to do the right thing. And do I get paid for promoting other people's businesses? Except for products which they send me to review, mostly no. There are some advertisers on the sidebar. The rest of these businesses are basically getting free advertising from me. Is that right? As for this contest, I was completely humbled and honored to be nominated by my friend Gail. I see it as another avenue for reaching people. And I am sorely in need of some of the wellness and coaching services that are part of the prize package. I am sorry to admit that since starting Fake Plastic Fish, I have neglected some of those aspects of my life. Having help with my physical and mental well-being can only make me a better activist and blogger. To my recollection, this is the first time I have ever asked my readers to support me in getting this kind of amazing help and assistance. And I don't plan to make a habit of it. I'm really sorry if one post and a book, which I haven't even started writing yet, mean this website has gone commercial. I hope that you will continue to visit Fake Plastic Fish and learn about ways to reduce plastic consumption as I make new discoveries myself and continue working to protect the planet. .-= Beth Terry´s last blog ..What’s Clogging Up Your Life? A Story of Unwatched Videos & Other Stuff =-.

monkeyjen
monkeyjen

You can't help ANYONE if you're sitting in a cardboard box. Beth deserves to get some credit/$ for all the hard work she does. She's writing a book because this is her passion. I have the pleasure of actually knowing Beth in person. Trust me, lugging around all manner of reusable food conatiners/utensils and asking repeatedly for no plastic cup, no straw, etc - is not making her famous or rich. She does those things because it is her calling. People are entitled to make a living - Denisse - if you knew how much TIME Beth puts into this cause, you would be ashamed of yourself. Just ask her poor husband! 'Going commercial' would have more to do with what you did with that commercial success after the fact, rather than just having or looking for commercial success. I, for one, know that writing a book would help Beth reach more people and encourage her to do even more good works. MAYBE she could even quit her day job - because, oh yeah, in addition to all the work she does here, she also has a regular job. Shame on you, Denisse.

Denisse
Denisse

am sad to say that i will no longer be looking at your site... you have gone commercial why you ask well you are now writing a book and making money when it stsrted out as a save the world site... now it is a make beth money site am sorry you lost your way

The Raven
The Raven

Congratulations! You deserve it! .-= The Raven´s last blog ..Turning Off Your Brain =-.

Karen@therubbishdiet
Karen@therubbishdiet

Done it :-) Good luck x .-= Karen@therubbishdiet´s last blog ..The Rubbish Diet Challenge Week 1: Starting with the basics =-.

ItsTheJourney
ItsTheJourney

You got my vote, Beth.... so deserving... can't wait to see what you will do next ! .-= ItsTheJourney´s last blog ..Reducing Risks In My Kitchen =-.

Nick Palmer
Nick Palmer

You got mine. All the others really deserve recognition too but mostly for their activities at the personal level - what you do helps everybody in the move to sustainability on the widest level. .-= Nick Palmer´s last blog ..“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Well, that was then… =-.

Lara S.
Lara S.

Voted!! I read the list of gifts though, and I hope you are able to find enough plastic-free gifts in there! :)

EcoYogini
EcoYogini

totally voted. although the other women are fantastic, so are YOU :)

Lisa
Lisa

While you're right the other nominees are all wonderful and deserving, you got my vote, too. Rock, rock, rock on!

Linda Anderson
Linda Anderson

I happily cast my vote for you, Beth. You deserve the recongnition. .-= Linda Anderson´s last blog ..January’s Stupid Plastic Crap =-.

Greg
Greg

You got my vote too.

jan
jan

you got it! done.

Greg
Greg

Got my vote too.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

Voted! Will Tweet too. Hope you win!

Pure Mothers
Pure Mothers

Of course. Just did it and forwarded to family and friends! .-= Pure Mothers´s last blog ..10 Little Things That Make Me Happy =-.

Eleanor
Eleanor

Done. I'll cross my fingers for you! I had to stop reading the other people's nomination blurbs, though, everybody started looking so wonderful. Isn't it nice that you've got such fantastic competition for this particular contest in your community? I get warm fuzzies when I bump up against ordinary people doing extraordinary things, even just reading about them happening 3000 miles away. Good luck!

Kellie @ Greenhab
Kellie @ Greenhab

You've got it Beth! Hope you win! .-= Kellie @ Greenhab´s last blog ..In the kitchen... =-.

Mamma M
Mamma M

Wow! That is awesome! Congrats! What an honor! Where do I get one of those glass drinking straws, and does it come with a case? .-= Mamma M´s last blog ..Sharing my Wedding Ideas that Include Children =-.

Gene
Gene

Voted, Tweeted (unusual for me; I don't usually use Twitter) and posted on Facebook. Good luck! .-= Gene´s last blog ..Greetings from Oakland =-.

Hillary
Hillary

Happy to do it! I only wish there was a spot for voters to give testimonials about how awesome you are. :)

Pure Mothers
Pure Mothers

Of course. Just did it and forwarded to family and friends!

.-= Pure Mothers´s last blog ..10 Little Things That Make Me Happy =-.

Mamma M
Mamma M

Wow! That is awesome! Congrats! What an honor! Where do I get one of those glass drinking straws, and does it come with a case?

.-= Mamma M´s last blog ..Sharing my Wedding Ideas that Include Children =-.