The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: December 2010

December 30, 2010

Announcement: Fake Plastic Fish becomes My Plastic-Free Life

Fake Plastic Fish is an awesome blog name. But sometimes awesome things have to change. I’ll explain why in a second. But the important thing is that before the end of the year, fakeplasticfish.com will become myplasticfreelife.com.

Change Your Bookmarks, Feeds, Subscriptions, Links:

The site URL is scheduled to change tomorrow (12/31) around 12pm Pacific Time.  So please don’t make these changes until then.

1) If you subscribe to Fake Plastic Fish via a feed reader, you will need to subscribe to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/myplasticfreelife. 2) If you subscribe via email, you don’t need to do anything. I will switch you over automatically. 3) If you have bookmarked this page, please change your bookmark to http://myplasticfreelife.com 4) If you have been kind enough to link to Fake Plastic Fish on your blog, either in a blogroll or in a post, I would be sincerely grateful if you would change the URL to http://myplasticfreelife.com.… Read the rest

December 28, 2010

Collect Your Plastic. Change Your Life.

Daniell-R-Guest-Post-2

Danielle Richardet is a Fake Plastic Fish reader and writer of the blog It Starts With Me, on which she chronicles her project cleaning up the beach near her home in North Carolina.  A couple of months ago, she and her family took the Fake Plastic Fish Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge, and took their weekly household plastic waste from this:

to this:

Doing the challenge, spreading out her plastic and really seeing it helped Danielle figure out what changes she needed to make in her life. I asked her to tell her story here. Of course, I’m hoping to inspire you to do it too. A 2011 Resolution? Here’s Danielle in her own words…

I made my first plastic-free change back in 2005 way before I knew anything about plastics. The first plastic product that I “gave up” was boxed cake mixes… and I certainly didn’t do it because it was in plastic. Nope… I stopped buying boxed cake mixes because I disagreed with all of… Read the rest
December 25, 2010

Wanna Hang Out With Me?

Invite me to your party. I’ll be the one who heads straight into your kitchen, opens the cupboard, and takes out a glass to use instead of plastic. I’ll rummage through your drawers for reusable silverware. Or I’ll take out the little bamboo set I carry in my purse. Your guests will find me charming.

Bring me homemade Christmas cookies in a plastic bag, and I’ll dump them out into another container and thrust your bag back at you, making you swear to reuse it. You’ll thank me for pointing out your mistake.

Or leave me treats in a plastic Ziploc bag on my desk chair at work, and I’ll regift them to a co-worker instead of bringing them home. Maybe you’ll never find out unless you see the link to this post on Facebook.

Arrive at my parents’ house with an abundance of groceries to cook a holiday dinner, and watch how I thank you by taking pictures of all your plastic bags and containers and posting them on my blog.… Read the rest

December 21, 2010

Washing Our Hands of BPA this Winter

Seventh-Generation-recycled-toilet-paper

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is not just a worrisome chemical in hard plastic water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups.  Almost all canned foods are full of the stuff.  And our biggest source of exposure could be the thermal paper cash register receipts we handle every time we shop,  especially during the holiday season.  The fact is that BPA is in a lot of surprising products we touch every day and in higher levels than we previously thought.  Will our government protect us from this chemical? Or must we as consumers take matters into our own hands?

Keeping BPA out of children’s bottles, toys, cups, & dishes

As BlogHer CE Amy Gates reported back in September, Senator Diane Feinstein hoped to give a nice present to U.S. kids this year. She planned to introduce an amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act that would have banned the use of BPA (a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer and birth defects) in baby bottles and sippy cups,… Read the rest

December 20, 2010

Did you miss TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch? Watch it all now!

tedx-beth

Finally!  The videos from the TEDx conference in L.A. last month have been posted.   Here is my talk on living la vida sin plástico, as well as links to/descriptions of all the speakers and performers that day.  Learn how plastic affects people  across the globe, animals on land and sea, and what individuals, businesses, and communities can do about the problem.

(Video link: TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch – Beth Terry – Living Plastic Free. Please click link to visit Youtube and view/rate/share this video with others.)

Topic 1: Plastic Pollution and Ocean Health

Captain Charles Moore: Ten Years Later, the Gyre is All Around Us

Dianna Cohen (filmed at TED Mission Blue Voyage):  Tough Truths About Plastic Pollution

Fabien Cousteau: Ocean Animals and Plastic Pollution

Ben Lear: song performance

Topic 2: Plastic Pollution and Terrestrial Animals

Bharati Chaturvedi: Not Just the Ocean — A Report from India (pre-recorded… Read the rest

December 11, 2010

Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree

recycled-christmas-tree

Last week, I got an email from Cascades Boutique generously asking if they could send me a 100% FSC-certified recycled cardboard Christmas tree.  Of course they hoped I would review it on my blog. Well, I’m not really a Christmas tree kind of person. My feelings towards the holiday haven’t changed that much since my post last year about learning how to love Christmas and my other post about holiday buying. Still, I love the idea of a recycled cardboard Christmas tree, which makes irrelevant the eternal question of which tree is greener — a live tree or an artificial one made from plastic.

So I’ve asked Cascades to send a recycled Christmas tree to one of you. (12/14/2010 Update: Winner announced below.)

There are several style, sizes, and colors/patterns to choose from.  Classico (41″ tall), Moderno (52″ tall), or Piccolo (24″ tall).  Plain green, plain white (which is great for kids to color themselves),… Read the rest

December 10, 2010

How Green Are Your Charitable Gift Cards? And How Much Money Actually Goes to the Charity?

Tisbest

In my post on green holiday gift giving last month, I mentioned donations to nonprofits. Several commenters suggested charitable gift cards, so I decided to look into them.  Giving directly to an organization that you know your giftee supports can be a great idea, but if you’re not sure in what way your recipient is philanthropically inclined, charitable gift cards are a good alternative.  The way it works is that you buy a gift card in the amount of your choice, and your giftee then visits the web site to enter the gift card number and choose which charity will get the money.

But with several different gift card organizations to choose from, how to you decide which one to support?

If I buy a $20 gift card for my co-worker for Christmas, will her selected charity receive that entire amount? It depends on the policies of the gift card service I use. Most will deduct processing fees before sending the money to the charity. Some services charge a fee to the… Read the rest

December 7, 2010

November 2010 Plastic Waste Tally

2010-11_Results
1.6 oz Plastic Waste [1.6 oz new/0 oz acquired prior to June 2007]

November brought new clothes (see below), a TEDx presentation, and all kinds of nutty experiments that I’ll be writing about in December. It also means 2010 is almost over. I had hoped to keep my plastic waste under 2 pounds this year (last year’s was 3.7 pounds) but sadly, that’s not going to happen. I’m already up to 1.99, and ironically, part of November’s plastic waste is the indirect result of the TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch conference early this month.

Not really. I’m making excuses, as you’ll see.

Beth’s November plastic waste collection

Plastic purchased before June 15 2007 and used up in the last month (.5 oz):

Nothing. This month, it’s all new plastic.

New plastic waste (1.6 oz):

Plastic packing tape from package ordered from Hempest.com. I am aware of the stereotype that women love to shop for clothes and will… Read the rest
December 1, 2010

Letter from Will Terry, a “normal guy and not some tree-hugging freak”

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Last Friday night, my brother Will and I were hanging out on the phone discussing our book-writing aspirations: his dream of writing children’s books (He’s already a fantastic illustrator of books that other people write.  See the end of this post for an amazing demo) and mine of creating a plastic-free book to inspire or at least entertain the masses.    

Will’s not a treehugger, but unable to avoid my plastic-free influence, he wants to help me figure out the best way to speak to a wider audience of people — people like him who care, but maybe not yet enough to act.  So he wrote the following letter to you guys.  Overlooking spelling, punctuation, and the fact that he was most likely drunk on half-cooked brownie mix when he composed it, what do you suggest? 

Dear Fake Plastic Fish readers:

I was thinking about plastic the other day partly because I had run out of things to think about but also because my big (big … Read the rest