The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
April 22, 2013

Win a Plastic-Free Book! Take the Quiz & Make a Pledge

2013-04-20-Earth-Day-SF-wigHappy Earth Day everyone.  It’s been a busy weekend, what with the plastic sea monster out and about.  I spent several evenings at home braiding plastic bags into a new doo.  What do you think?  At San Francisco’s Earth Day Festival on 4/20 (probably around 4:20pm), a somewhat wobbly-looking guy with an equally impressive head of hair stared at me for several minutes, then held out a funny kind of cigarette and said very earnestly, “YOU can smoke this.”  Really?  Is that how I come across these days?  I said no thank you and continued on my mission.

That mission?  To spread the message that we can refuse disposable plastic! And that there are lots of great alternatives.

2013-04-20-Earth-Day-SF-01

Take the Quiz. Win a Book.

Plastic-Free-3D-cover2-300x364I also wanted to disabuse people of some common fallacies about plastic.  So I asked people to take the Plastic-Free Quiz & Pledge for a chance to win a copy of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.  Now I offer you guys the opportunity too. Please leave your answers in a comment below, and I’ll choose a winner next week.

1)       True or False: Most of the plastic in the ocean comes from ships at sea.

Answer: http://www.cleanwater.org/feature/problem-of-marine-plastic-pollution

2)       True or False: A number in the arrows at the bottom of a container means the container is recyclable.

Answer: /2007/09/wait-are-you-sure-thats-recyclable/

3)       True or False: Plastic labeled “BPA-Free” is always safe to eat or drink from.

Answer:  /2011/04/bpa-free-does-not-mean-safe-most-plastics-leach-hormone-disrupting-chemicals/

4)       True or False: Airports will not let you bring your own water bottle on a plane.

Hint:  http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/airport-water-bottle-security.jpg

5)       What one change will you make this week to use less plastic?

I can’t give you the answer to number 5, but I can help.   How about choosing a alternative from the Plastic-Free Guide?  Or collecting your plastic for a week and taking the Show Your Plastic Challenge?  How about writing a letter to a company?   And while you’re at it, how about signing the petition to urge Trader Joe’s to reduce plastic produce packaging?  There’s a lot to be done this week.  Get to it!

 

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74 Comments on "Win a Plastic-Free Book! Take the Quiz & Make a Pledge"

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Denised
3 years 10 hours ago
Hi! I just wanted to say I found your book while looking for Garbageland at my local library, and have really had my eyes opened! I’ve been recycling for years, thinking that I was doing a good thing, not realizing I needed to consume (no pun intended!) less plastic, and that there were sooooo many ways to reduce the plastic I buy. I’ve made copious lists and notes about websites you listed in your book and plan on passing on all the info I can to my friends and family! I’ve already made your recipe for almond milk, plan on using all… Read more »
2 years 11 months ago

Denised So glad you’re finding plastic alternatives that you can incorporate into your daily life from Beth’s book. I’ve also seen Plastic Free, covered in cellophane at my local library. I love your idea of having libraries wrap the book using a paper photocopy of the book cover. I think you’re on to something…

BethTerry
3 years 1 month ago

Hi all.  I have chosen a random winner for the book and am waiting for them to get back to me.  Thanks for participating!

HouseofCrew
3 years 1 month ago

1.False
2.False
3. False
4. False
5. I am a big coffee drinker and use those paper to go cups with the lid and occasionally the little plastic stopper for the lid. An immediate change I can make is to either drink my coffee “for here” at the coffee shop or bring my own reusable cup for carry out.

Maria
3 years 1 month ago

1-4 False. #5 We have been reusing the same couple plastic bread bags to store and freeze homemade bread. Well, I pledge to find an alternative to storing bread in plastic.

Anton
3 years 1 month ago

Hey Beth,
My girlfriend and I love your book. We read it to each other at night time. Just letting you know!

megfio
3 years 1 month ago

1-4 are false. #5 I am new to the whole plastic free lifestyle, but I am committed to live as plastically free as possible and to encourage my friends and family to do the same. I do not want to continue the single use throw away culture and will do what I can to eliminate my home and life of plastics.

chicknlil
3 years 1 month ago
1-4 false 5-1  I will switch from conventional tp to recycled tp, wrapped in paper.   5-2.  I will make sure to bring a reusable mug to the opening of the Farmers’ Market this week.  5-3.  I will make an concentrated effort to ask customers if they ‘need’ a bag for their purchase.  That way I can gently suggest that they don’t take a bag (I’m a vendor).  I don’t buy bags for the market, my extended family saves them and I re-use them.  5-4  I will think about making a display for the market about how plastic sucks and what folks can do to… Read more »
BethTerry
3 years 1 month ago

@chicknlil Hi.  You are the random winner of the book!  But you are signed in as a guest, so I don’t have your email address to contact you.  Please email me at beth [at] myplasticfreelife [dot] com with your contact info.  Congratulations!

Marina Garland
3 years 2 months ago

1-4 are absolutely false! For 5 – I live on a tiny island, and each year all of the islanders get together for one annual meeting. This year I will give an info session about cutting down on single-use disposable plastics and show how simple it has been to remove almost all plastics from my own every day life. 
And if I win the book (I’ve already read it and adored it!), I would donate it to the local library so that its wealth of information could reach more people.

diana12759
3 years 2 months ago

1 – false   2 – false  3 – false 4 –  false
5 – Not buy anything that comes in plastic!

Carol
3 years 2 months ago

#1 – False!
#2 – False!
#3 – False!
#4 – False
#5 – For anything I buy or use that comes with plastic, i will write to the company and tell them my preferences. I’ve been avoiding plastic for a couple months now, so the easy stuff is eliminated. Now for the hard stuff.

xlindamayx
3 years 2 months ago

1 & 4 are false and
for # 5, my county has put a plastic ban at all stores so it is much easier to remember to bring my own.   i made produce bags from old tshirts (small – from my grandson) so i have plenty of  those.  i use mason jars to store leftovers and am slowly getting rid of the plastic containers over time.

Annie Wong
3 years 2 months ago

Questions 1-4 are false
For Question 5, I intend to find ways to reduce my plastic use.

3 years 2 months ago

(I commented but my computer stopped responding. Apologies if this is posting again, but I don’t see my comment below…)
Qs 1-4 are all false!
I am working on remembering to refuse a straw when I go out to eat. If they bring it separately, it’s easy, but when it’s already in the glass… I need to remember to ask when I order a drink!

Heather N
3 years 2 months ago

1-4…False.
5. This week I’m cleaning out the pantry, using up what’s in there. I’m also in search of bulk retailers.

Karen
3 years 2 months ago

1-4 are false. 5. I am just starting on this journey of reducing plastic, so I am still doing things like using reusable containers to pack sandwiches for lunch instead of ziploc bags and using reusable bags at the grocery store. This week I am working to reduce the amount of plastic I use from cosmetics/toiletries, switching to bar soap & shampoo etc.

NatalieA
3 years 2 months ago

1. F 2. F 3. F 4. F 5. Start purchasing from bulk bins and not use plastic baggies for the purchase – will bring my own glass bottles!

EricaDeSimone
3 years 2 months ago
1)       F 2)       F 3)       F 4)       F 5)       What one change will you make this week to use less plastic? I have already made a lot of changes but there are a lot more I can certainly do. Plastic is such a huge part of our lives that removing all of it takes a lot of steps. The one thing I can implement this week? I have been such a sucker for fresh brewed tea from a local gas station. It’s amazing, and I’ve… Read more »
MargoS
3 years 2 months ago

(Yep, 1 through 4 are false.)
#5 – I’ve been working on kicking the plastic habit for some time now (and haven’t missed any of it), and coming up with something new is a little difficult.  I’ve decided to do a fearless analysis of the way I live and the products I use and make an inventory of all the plastic still lurking about.  Then it’s time to start seriously looking for better alternatives and openly acknowledge the plastic that I just can’t or won’t give up.  
(I’m certain I’ll find things I hadn’t even thought about before.)

Paul
3 years 2 months ago
Hey Beth! I finally got my bread from whole foods by using a cloth bread bag. I have to go as soon as they open so they haven’t already had the time to package up the daily bread which does have a center plastic “window”. It’s annoying having to go at 7am to get my bread, and I doubt they will ever fix their bread display properly so we can pick out bread and put it in our own bags at any time we want (Go WF!) but I actually had someone behind the counter call me a smart shopper… Read more »
uttama
3 years 2 months ago

1-4 are false
to reduce plastic i will carry my lunch to work with me in a pyrex container along with a reusable titanium spork.

Cecile
3 years 2 months ago

All false. This week I am going to make more cloth bags for groceries,
for myself and extended family. And I plan to start speaking up when
something doesn’t make sense, such as when a booth at earth day gave me a
recycled paper notebook that was wrapped in plastic. There was no
reason for such a book to be wrapped in plastic. I need to start telling
people that it doesn’t make sense.

Cecile
3 years 2 months ago

All false. This week I am going to make more cloth bags for groceries, for myself and extended family. And I plan to start speaking up when something doesn’t make sense, such as when a booth at earth day gave me a recycled paper notebook that was wrapped in plastic. There was no reason for such a book to be wrapped in plastic. I need to start telling people that it doesn’t make sense.

3 years 2 months ago

All false!  I feel a little on the spot on that last question, but I think one thing I’ve been dealing with lately is plastic given to my children.  I am pledging to say no thank you to the junky toys and wrapped candies from seemingly everyone (today it was the dentist!) we encounter.

Amanda A
3 years 2 months ago

All are false!  I just signed the petition, and I pledge to not use plastic produce bags anymore.  I’ll bring my own hand-knit produce bags or do without (a bunch of bananas doesn’t really need a bag in my opinion).

Theresa P
3 years 2 months ago

1-4 are all false. I teach graduate social work students and am proposing we host a booth at next year’s Earth Day Fair in our city. It would be fun and inspiring to have the entire booth focused on plastic-free living aiming for zero waste. To have your book at the booth for people to look through (with a sign indicating they could purchase an e-version) would be awesome. I do hope I’m chosen to receive the book as the campaign for my local library to purchase it has failed.

Tracey
3 years 2 months ago

All are false.  I plan to not buy my son anymore disposable plastic bottles of water.  He is very hip to the idea.

3 years 2 months ago

All false.  To reduce plastic in my life one of the things I’m doing right now is raising goats and producing  our own milk.  I’ve had them for a year but they are kidding this month for the first time. : )

Chris
3 years 2 months ago

All False, I am going to write to my council and ask them to start hard plastic recycling they have it in Suffolk so why not in Essex

Teresa
3 years 2 months ago

All false.  I am only going to buy books that are ebooks, also just being more aware of what I take for granted and making one change a week (I stopped buying paper plates now am going to stop buying paper towels).  Thanks for all you do to bring awareness!!

3 years 2 months ago

All false.
I am going to write to my council and ask them to offer extra recycling for plastic pots which can’t currently get collected by them. I have found out that local supermarkets’ plastic bag recycling banks can take these other plastic items, but they don’t advertise it, I’m assuming because they don’t want to be overrun with stuff, but this seems ridiculous to me, and I don’t see why our council couldn’t take this on. Other councils (in the UK) do collect it so I want to try and get them to do it here too! Steph, Brighton, UK.

3 years 2 months ago

Yup, all false. 
In terms of what I’m going to change… I know you’re probably talking about personal lifestyle changes, but instead I decided to write to my city councilman asking him to support a proposed five cent fee on all disposable grocery bags here in Denver. If I can influence that legislation even in a small way, it will do much more than any personal changes I might be able to make. And, I might make some repairs to a few of my reusable grocery bags too!

Hazel
3 years 2 months ago
All false.  My pledge is to remember to take a reusable container *every* time I go shopping so I don’t have to deal with plastic/cling film from cheese etc. I’m good at remembering cloth bags and fruit andd veg bags, it’s the tubs I forget. Interesting to read your reply re:sea plastic. When trying to explain about the problems with plastic to friends and family, plastic sea pollution is the thing everyone is horrified by, but it’s also the easiest thing to distance yourself from. “I don’t throw litter in the sea so it’s someone else’s problem.” (I live about… Read more »
Natalie
3 years 2 months ago

1.-4. = False 
5. I’m going to start taking glass jars to the store for use when buying from the bulk bins.  I had wanted a way around those little bags that get used for just an hour or less, and usually leak anyway.  Fabric reuseables make the employees unhappy since you can’t easily see what’s in them.  I don’t know why it took me so long to think of bringing glass jars!

MD Kennedy
3 years 2 months ago

All the answers are FALSE!  I will start bringing my empty Dr. Bronners bottles to a store I found near me (Grassroots – have to give them a plug!) that refills – and I won’t have to buy new bottles!  buddyanasta (at) gmail (dot) com

3 years 2 months ago
1. False 2. False… it indicates the type of plastic and the recycling of each numbered plastic is dependent on the recycle facility and what they accept/allow. 3. False! There are so many chemicals in plastics ! 4. False! I bring my Klean Kanteen every time I board the plane… and they even refill it for me on the plane (although I try avoiding that as their water is all bottled on the plane). (I also bring my own coffee kanteen.) 5. This week I’m going on a road trip to hike in So Utah. To reduce plastic, I made… Read more »
faeriefyre1
3 years 2 months ago

1) false
2) false
3) false
4) false
5)  Start making my own bread with bulk bin flour and remembering to remind my husband to take reusable bags with him to the store

Becky
3 years 2 months ago

All are False.  #5 – I just found out this week that I can bring my container of Charlie’s laundry detergent into a nearby store and get it refilled – yay!  As a bonus, it’s $4 cheaper than buying another plastic container of detergent – double yay! :)

Sashira
3 years 2 months ago

False to it all! 
This week I brought all of my own cloth grocery and produce bags with me while I shopped. I’m bringing zero-waste lunches to work. I bought plastic-free gifts for someone’s birthday. I’m going to write a letter to my favourite grocery store to see if they’ll consider selling their lettuce without the plastic bags.

Emily
3 years 2 months ago

Just found this blog and am already hooked. 
The answer is false to all questions.
Thank you for doing this.

Cheryl
3 years 2 months ago
Thanks for enlightening me about the water bottle on the plane.  I recently flew and assumed I couldn’t bring a bottle (empty or filled) on board.   I had to buy a Poland Spring bottled water before boarding, but from now on I know I can bring an empty container with me and fill in after going thru security!  (That’s my answer to #5).  BTW, my husband and I were on a cruise and I was happy to see very little waste on the ship–NO disposable dishes, cups, napkins, etc.  There was liquid body soap and shampoo in metal containers… Read more »
ctulkoff
3 years 2 months ago

All are FALSE – D! We’re bringing our own cotton bags for buying produce at the market. We’re also bring our own bags and containers for use in the bulk foods section in our store.

kjfinnegan0302
3 years 2 months ago
I got them all right! :D  I’m always looking for more things to do to reduce my plastic.  This week I’m looking for alternatives to use for my summer job, a schoolage daycare.  I like to have the kids eat snack on reusable dishes and wash them, but I need to find cheap dishes that are unlikely to break when the kids drop them (which they will).  I also need containers to sort toys into, and some new games and activities etc.  So many kids things are made out of plastic.  I wish my budget was big enough to buy… Read more »
ShannonC79
3 years 2 months ago

All are false! This month I am carrying reusable bags and bringing home zero plastic shopping bags!!

Connie Curtis
3 years 2 months ago

1) F, 2)F, 3), 4)F, 5) buy food in less packaging and just buying things I only need. Would love your book. I have cut down my husbands and I plastic down quite a bit but I know there are things I could do that I just havent thought of or dont know how. Your book would be amazing to have. Love your blog.
Connie

3 years 2 months ago
All false. When I moved I had to start over completely. Wooden hangers & glass storage jars came from thrift stores. I made unpaper towels, dish sponges, grocery bags and all kinds of reusable things out of cotton and linen materials from thrift stores also. When people say it’s impossible to avoid plastic I play a game with them. I tell them their house has just burned down and insurance is going to replace everything. Then we list everything they need and want and I tell them the non-plastic option for each thing. The list ends up being at least 90%… Read more »
3 years 2 months ago

1. False
2. False
3. False
4. False
5. I will start using reusable shopping bags!

Pam West
3 years 2 months ago

1. False
2. False
3. False 
4. False
5. I have just started using my own cloth produce bags, and will use them despite the dirty looks I have recieved from some store employees when they see my bags coming.

eascello
3 years 2 months ago

1. False
2. False
3. False
4. False
5. I will use my own bags for produce and bulk foods!

FrancesCox
3 years 2 months ago
Questions 1-4 were false (I already have the book-ebook, I wanted to try the quiz to see if I learned anything yet-LOL). I’m trying to do better but this is hard. You (meaning myself) don’t realize how much new stuff has plastic in it (seems like EVERYTHING!!!!) I watched YERT and they had a corn challenge as they were traveling, one person couldn’t eat any food products with corn in them for a week and she ate a yogurt (they also were using your suggestion to ask if they could have carry out put in their own containers to reduce their… Read more »
AliceDilts
3 years 2 months ago

I did pretty good on the test!  I have been following a Druid path that has helped me to make life changes (as part of the First Year you make three changes).  Thanks for the blog posts!

Green Life
3 years 2 months ago

1- False
2- False
3- False
4- False
5- I’ll start composting and I will craft with the plastic I already owned.

R Peterson
3 years 2 months ago
False, False–in my town almost all of our plastic can be put in the recycling bin but I do not know how they are recycled, False, False, I’ll give you as many as I can as I am always trying to do better, say no to plastic shopping bags, bought a locally made hand soap that was not wrapped in any packaging, shopped at the farmer’s market with my reusable bags and bought my produce and meat packaging free. I’ve hung onto many plastic containers that I have had to buy stuff in but am upcycling them in my garden… Read more »
sanielj
3 years 2 months ago

1. false
2.false
3. false
4. false
5. reading your blog and book.thanks

cdj383
3 years 2 months ago

I have to add that it bites that I have to have a Face Book account to sign the petition. Sorry, I don’t have one, and I won’t be signing up for one. I would love to see other login options.

BethTerry
3 years 2 months ago

Chelsie J Causes.com is working on creating other ways to login.  Yes, I agree that you shouldn’t have to have a FB account.  Originally, they were only a FB app and have broadened out since then.  There will be other ways to join the campaign.  I’m going to work with the Plastic Pollution Coalition (the organization that posted the TJ petition) on this.

cdj383
3 years 2 months ago

Wonderful – thank you!

Jill P
3 years 2 months ago

1-4, False.
5. I just signed the Trader Joe’s petition and posted the link on FB.
Thanks for your inspiration!  i have taken a plastic bag from a store since January 2012!

cdj383
3 years 2 months ago
I want to win a book! (ebook I hope) 1)       False – most surely. I’ll still watch the video though. 2)       False – depends on your municipality and local recycling centers. I’ve leaned this the hard way. 3)      False False False! 4)       False – you may bring an empty water bottle and fill it after passing through security.  5)       What one change will you make this week to use less plastic? I will stop using plastic produce bags!  I will stop using disposables!  I will reduce as much food-related plastic packaging as possible (can’t stop husband from buying… Read more »
Elizabeth
3 years 2 months ago

F, F, F, F…….Finish reading PLASTIC FREE, which I actually got our library to PURCHASE.  I would love to own a copy to lend out, and own…….and plan to give it to my adult children, nieces, nephews and friends as gifts.  Nothing could be a more perfect gift for them and our future.  I adopted my 82 yr old mother with dementia a green turtle for her birthday tomorrow, since she wouldn’t understand the book, but many of these turtles are found full of plastic bags.

Jenevra
3 years 2 months ago
1. False 2. False 3. False 4. False – This is the same for Canada, just have to be empty the bottle before you go through security and then you can fill it after you’ve cleared security. I believe baby bottles are the only exception under a certain fluid amount but you’d have to look into the current rules before you travel. 5. Continuing my house purge (plastic containers and other unused items) to get ready for the garage sale. Also, as cruel as it may sound to some but I don’t allow my kids to get Happy Meal toys… Read more »
chloegrice
3 years 2 months ago
The answers to 1-4 are all false… I’m trying so hard to avoid plastic but it’s pretty difficult, even when you are aware of the consequences… I live near the sea in Cornwall, England, and after storms the beaches nearby are often covered in miniscule balls of – yep you guessed it – plastic, which are only slightly bigger than the sand: the first time I saw it I was horrified. It was a real wake-up call. I’m used to seeing lots of plastic littering the beaches (which I collect to make into art) but the sight of the coastline being… Read more »
ErinBartlett
3 years 2 months ago

1-4. False 5. I am going to start using the bulk bins more and use reusable bags/containers instead of the plastic bags they provide.

3 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the quiz, it was informative.  I signed the Trader Joes petition and will forward it onto friends.  I love Trader Joes, but their packaging has to go.  Do you have any suggestions for busying roasted nori in bulk?  My kids love it but I refuse to buy it because of all of the packaging.

RuaLupa
3 years 2 months ago
1) False – they are mostly from seaside cities 2)False – it is the number that determines recyclibility, either way best to skip one time use items 3)False – it can be harmful if heated or freezed, or other chemicals in product. 4)True – YET, an empty reusable one is usually acceptable – just fill on plane 5)Admittedly this week we’re looking at and possibly in the midst of negotiating purchasing a house. This week not so good. We’ve already downsized plastic use and are left with bread bags (I am saving to buy a reusable container for storing homemade… Read more »
Eve Stavros
3 years 2 months ago

RuaLupa Best & cheapest way to store homemade bread: Cut side down on a cutting board, with a brown paper bag covering the whole thing.  Keeps the cut side fresh/soft, which the crust stays, well, crusty!

RuaLupa
3 years 2 months ago

Eve Stavros thanks for the tip! I’ll be using that for the time being then. My goal is to be as little resource reliant as possible. Thus, I’ve been incrementally obtaining reusables to replaces disposables, and paper bags unfortunately only go so far and therefore have to be purchased frequently. In the long run there is less resource extraction and everything associated with that, and more money in my pocket.

BethTerry
3 years 2 months ago

RuaLupa Hi.  Actually, you can fill it BEFORE you get on the plane so you don’t have to use bottled water from the plane.  Just fill from water fountain inside security gates.  Some airports even have bottle filling stations.

RuaLupa
3 years 2 months ago

BethTerry 
Never flown before and am in Canada, which I am unsure if its different here. I knew of the plastic coming from elsewhere, like fleece sweater bits from the washing machine getting into the waterways. I was under the impression that Most plastic pollution in the ocean is from seaside communities. I hadn’t known about it being that way with recycling plastics in other places. Again I’m referencing my knowledge of how it is in Canada.

Lisa
3 years 2 months ago

F, F, F, F, I signed the Trader Joe’s petition.  Also, I am currently making a bunch of beautiful reusable wine gift bags out of donated fabric for a fundraiser for a local animal rescue organization.

LaureenHudson
3 years 2 months ago

F, F, F, F, and… I’m replacing the garbage in my boat that was plastic bags with a washable, reusable  container.

AVH
3 years 2 months ago

1-4 are all false!
5. I have dozens of old T-shirts from various events in life that I don’t want to throw away, so I’m going to get some use out of them by sewing them into cloth shopping bags. We already use some of those “reusable” shopping bags, but they just aren’t very durable.

AllysonMcDaniel
3 years 2 months ago

1. False
2. False
3. False
4. False
5. I will start remembering to look for new items used first instead of going straight to the store (like we just did a few weeks ago for our paper shredder). I will also quit buying so many packaged foods and just make things myself.

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