The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
March 26, 2013

Meet Ericka, My New Intern!

For nearly 6 years, My Plastic-Free Life has been a one-woman show.  Wait.  That’s not right.  This blog would not exist and would have no purpose and probably no content without all of you.  But what I mean is that in terms of actual blogging, responding to emails and blog comments and forum posts and challenge participants, keeping up with social media, scheduling interviews and talks, and doing all of the other work involved in keeping this ship afloat, it’s just been me.  And I still have to do my accounting job to keep a roof over my head.

erickapicSo it is such a relief to finally have some help this summer.  I met Ericka Alicea a few years ago after giving a presentation on plastic-free living for a class at San Francisco State University.  Ericka will be all over this site, moderating and responding to comments, posting in the forum, responding to email, and conversing on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites.  She’ll also be working with me to get a Trader Joe’s campaign off the ground finally.  (Yay!)

Here’s a little about Ericka in her own words:

Greetings! I’m Ericka Alicea, Beth Terry’s new intern. I’ll be helping out with managing her blog, myplasticfreelife.com. I’m currently a student at San Francisco State University where I’m majoring in Geography; my focuses are environmental studies, renewable energy and sustainability. I first met Beth when she gave a talk to my ‘Geography of Garbage’ class. Yes, this is a real class and I wish everyone had the opportunity to take it. I run into plastic challenges everyday and enjoy learning new ways of limiting my plastic consumption and becoming a better steward of the earth. Besides being a student I’m also a home brewer, snowboarder, weight lifter, and dessert maker. I look forward to interacting with members of the blog and hope for the opportunity to even meet some of you.

Please welcome Ericka and leave a comment with any words of encouragement or questions for her.

101 comments
rmm635
rmm635

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator rmm635  

thanks for sending it but i'm not able to sign it because i'm not a FB member.  i looked for it online yesterday and was taken to petitions that have already closed.  please let me know if there's a non-FB way to sign it.  regards, risa

rmm635
rmm635

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator rmm635  

 many thanks, Ericka.  the one from 2012 is the one i was looking for.  doesn't look like the campaign got started; please let me know if it has.

 keep up the good work,

Risa

rmm635
rmm635

Thanks for all you're doing, Beth.  I'm trying to find the section where you ask about starting a campaign re Trader Joe's use of plastic to forward to a friend who shops there.  Please advise.

rmm635
rmm635

Thanks for all you're doing, Beth.  I'm trying to find the section where you ask about starting a campaign re Trader Joe's use of plastic to forward to a friend who shops there.  Please advise.

BethTerry
BethTerry

@Cheryl Hi Cheryl.  The Life Factory caps are made from polypropylene.  As with all plastics, I would not subject them to high heat.  My personal opinion.  We don't know exactly what additives are in it.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

@Peggy MastrudeI appreciate your comment and find it so comforting knowing others have been living a green lifestyle long before societies current environmental awareness begins to reach momentum.

shelleyshell7
shelleyshell7

Hi!  I have been avoiding many plastics for several years now and gradually making changes.  Now that I have started to read Beth's book, "Plastic Free" I am even more aware of everything that is plastic in my house and am wondering about not replacing plastic items.  I wonder if there is an alternative to a plastic bottle brush?  I really need one and I'd rather not buy plastic.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for all this inspiration!

shelleyshell7
shelleyshell7

Hi!  I have been avoiding many plastics for several years now and gradually making changes.  Now that I have started to read Beth's book, "Plastic Free" I am even more aware of everything that is plastic in my house and am wondering about not replacing plastic items.  I wonder if there is an alternative to a plastic bottle brush?  I really need one and I'd rather not buy plastic.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for all this inspiration!

Peggy Mastrude
Peggy Mastrude

At 82, I have for the past 40 years (living in California - move from New York City) using paper, cardboard, and cloth carrying devices, recycling my small pans of daily dishwater into the garden, scraps to the worm compost, vegetarian since age 9 for animal respect, indirectly from that a cancer survivor of 20 years,  respecter of universal consciousness among humans.  My sense is that fellow beings really want our planet to be cared for.

Not everyone can stop using products now in plastic.  However, Green Design, BeGreen, Green Products, to name a few already have biodegradable containers.  Can your staff begin with contacting producers of foods in plastic, and persuade a major industry to change to biodegradable packaging - As with the Pharmaceutical Index created recently, everyone wants to be first on the "bandwagon." Competition has its purpose.  Some company will respond  to putting their products into biodegradable containers, and others will follow.  Lloyd Atler has had success with his Planet Green program of simple and small.  You will be successful with your efforts.



Jen Blecha
Jen Blecha

Hey Ericka - this is fabulous!  I'm so proud and happy that our Geography of Garbage class inspired you and helped make this connection with Beth.  You probably know she's coming in to speak in our class next week. This is really exciting - good for you for pursuing this internship. I'm sure you'll be a tremendous help to Beth.  - Jen Blecha, SFSU Geography


Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

LiveFyre is being wonky and deleting my posts--I've had to rewrite it a few times--sorry, Ericka for any double posts!

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

LiveFyre is being wonky and deleting my posts--I've had to rewrite it a few times--sorry, Ericka for any double posts!

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

Hi Ericka,

I wish I could take a course in the geography of garbage (as I'm a bit obsessed with the garbage problem--I wrote a blog post called "The Myth of Throwing Things Away" and extensively reviewed Beth's book as well as Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land). Can you list any books you've read for the course that you'd recommend? (BTW, here's the link to the post mentioned, in case you care to take a look: http://www.joyfullygreen.com/2013/01/the-myth-of-throwing-things-away.html)

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

Hi Ericka,

I wish I could take a course in the geography of garbage (as I'm a bit

obsessed with the garbage problem--I wrote a blog post called "The Myth of

Throwing Things Away" and extensively reviewed Beth's book as well as

Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land). Can you list any books you've read for the

course that you'd recommend? (BTW, here's the link to the post mentioned, in case you care to take a look:

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green


Hi Ericka,

I wish I could take a course in the geography of garbage (as I'm a bit obsessed with the garbage problem--I wrote a blog post called "The Myth of Throwing Things Away" and extensively reviewed Beth's book as well as Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land). Can you list any books you've read for the course that you'd recommend? (BTW, here's the link to the post mentioned: http://www.joyfullygreen.com/2013/01/the-myth-of-throwing-things-away.html.)

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

Hi Ericka,

I wish I could take a course in the geography of garbage (as I'm a bit obsessed with the garbage problem!) Can you list any books you've read for the course that you'd recommend?

Cheryl
Cheryl

Ericka-  What's your opinion about washing (www.lifefactory,com) the Life Factory glass bottle tops in the dishwasher?  

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

@hannah Eve Stavros Thanks, Hannah.  I make mascarpone, which I guess I could use instead of cream cheese, since it's pretty thick.  My homemade yogurt I end up eating before I can strain it for baking use!

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Welcome Ericka!  I'm sure Beth is stoked to have you on board and I look forward to your posts & "meeting' you through the blog.  As a dessert maker, perhaps you can give us some plastic-free tips for desserts.  I find some ingredients, like chocolate, cream cheese, most flavorings, are hard to find plastic-free alternatives.  I have managed to make a plastic-free tiramisu & posted it somewhere around here... Anyway, welcome!  Eve

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Welcome Ericka!  I'm sure Beth is stoked to have you on board and I look forward to your posts & "meeting' you through the blog.  As a dessert maker, perhaps you can give us some plastic-free tips for desserts.  I find some ingredients, like chocolate, cream cheese, most flavorings, are hard to find plastic-free alternatives.  I have managed to make a plastic-free tiramisu & posted it somewhere around here... Anyway, welcome!  Eve

Listy13
Listy13

Congrats Ericka

-Listy

Listy13
Listy13

Congrats Ericka

-Listy

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

shelleyshell7   Good job on making changes, gradual is best so that this new lifestyle doesn't feel so overwhelming. Can you tell me what you use the plastic bottle brush for? That might help give me ideas for an alternative.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

Joyfully Green   Sorry to hear you had to rewrite your post a few times. I'll let you know if I come across anymore interesting books regarding garbage.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

Joyfully Green  Hey, nice blog! Garbage Land is a great book. I'd also recommend Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, by Heather Rogers. Two other books I've read for my geography classes that I really enjoyed were Planet of Slums by Davis, M. and The Long Emergency by Kunstler.

BethTerry
BethTerry

Joyfully Green Thanks for that awesome blog post.

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

@Cheryl Hi Cheryl.  The Life Factory caps are made from polypropylene.  As with all plastics, I would not subject them to high heat.  My personal opinion.  We don't know exactly what additives are in it.

hannah
hannah

@Eve Stavros Do you mean unsweetened chocolate? I always find chocolates in bulk at the co-op. Cream cheese you can make easily yourself! Either get (raw) milk and let it sit at room temp until it separates, or you can make yogurt (or buy if you have a plastic free-alternative) and strain it to get the right texture. They both don't taste just like store bought, but they are both better IMO and I'm sure would be great for baking.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

Eve Stavros   I must find how you managed to make a plastic free version of tiramisu since I haven't found a non plastic version of mascarpone cheese. I love your idea of providing plastic free dessert recipes. I have tons of tips and look forward to sharing. One strategy I use is buying all of my flours in bulk as well as sugars and spices. Do you have a particular dessert recipe in mind?

rmm635
rmm635

@Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator @rmm635  

 many thanks, Ericka.  the one from 2012 is the one i was looking for.  doesn't look like the campaign got started; please let me know if it has.

 keep up the good work,

Risa

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator Joyfully Green Thanks very much for the suggestions, Ericka! I always love a good book about garbage! (lol) Thanks also for the blog compliments.

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

@hannah @Eve Stavros Thanks, Hannah.  I make mascarpone, which I guess I could use instead of cream cheese, since it's pretty thick.  My homemade yogurt I end up eating before I can strain it for baking use!

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator Eve Stavros Cheesecake is one in particular, and ice cream (w/o a special machine). I do buy all flours, sugars, spices, coconut, etc. in bulk.  Flavorings like almond extract are esp. hard to find w/o plastic. For mascarpone, I use 2 C heavy cream, heated to just under a boil, add 2 tbs lemon juice or vinegar, let cook for 5 min.  Then, I pour it into a canning funnel lined w/a coffee filter and let it drain in the fridge for 24 hrs. Just the right amount for a batch of tiramisu.  And then there's the lady fingers...sigh...which I've had mixed results with, but keep trying.

rmm635
rmm635

@Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator @rmm635  

thanks for sending it but i'm not able to sign it because i'm not a FB member.  i looked for it online yesterday and was taken to petitions that have already closed.  please let me know if there's a non-FB way to sign it.  regards, risa