The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
May 27, 2013

From the Waste Up – A Movie About Learning to Live Plastic-Free

taina-filmAmong all the depressing environmental films out there, wouldn’t it be great if there were a funny, entertaining one about what it’s actually like to try and live without plastic?  Taina Uitto, who has blogged at Plastic Manners since 2010 about her own plastic-free experiment, has been filming her process since day one.  And last year, she invited 6 Vancouver families to join her.  Now, she is putting the footage together into a feature film called From the Waste Up: Life Without Plastic, which will follow the adventures of these families as they try to navigate modern life without plastic.  (There may be a few other people that you recognize in the film!)

But the filmmakers need your support to get it finished!

Check out the trailer:

Who Is Taina?

Taina is not just a blogger and activist.  She’s also a new mom.  And yesterday, she and I had a really fun Skype conversation to catch up on our lives since we saw each other last at the TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch event in November, 2010.    She showed me her bucket of plastic-free baby toys, including this cute wool fox that she made herself using a needle felting technique…

Taina-Skype

And then she sent me possibly the cutest photo I have ever seen… her baby in a plastic-free bathtub…

taina-baby-tub

 

I remember my mom giving me baths in the sink when I was little.  Okay, maybe I don’t actually remember it… but I’ve seen pictures.  There are so many ways to reduce plastic if we just go back to doing things the way we used to.  Not all things… I will concede that some plastics do indeed make life better.  But there are too many stupid uses for this material, and that is what the folks in From the Waste Up discover.

Cliff Hangers

I asked Taina what she hopes people will gain from watching this film.  She said she wanted to do 3 things:

1) Educate people about the problem (although there will not be too much of this since there are already good documentaries out there about plastic.)

2) Inspire people to make personal changes and show how their quality of life can actually improve.  That is her hypothesis, anyway.  You’ll have to watch the film to see if that hypothesis actually turns out to be true.

3) Entertain.  She says that some of the lengths she has gone to are pretty extreme, and we have to have the ability to laugh at ourselves.

Will you help support this film?  It will be the only way to find out what happens on Halloween when a little girl goes to the door and calls out “Trick-or-Treat.  I can’t have any plastic.”  Or to find out what happens to the woman who swore she would go back to using plastic when the year is up.  Does she really do it?  Taina wouldn’t tell me.

taina-halloween

 

35 comments
Roamin Traveler
Roamin Traveler

the thing is that even my computer, mouse, phone are plastic. What to do???

Roamin Traveler
Roamin Traveler

the thing is that even my computer, mouse, phone are plastic. What to do???

CanadaGuy
CanadaGuy

I think Taina's tone is excellent, refreshing, and belies the urgency of the issue and her passion about avoiding plastic use.


It's nice to see someone take a firm stand.  I am a very outspoken, sarcastic, and sometimes hostile person myself so the hippy dippy universal love must-appeal-to-all tone of most green blogs can get tiring. I usually avoid commenting for that reason as well.  

Taina's blog provides a voice for people like me who don't want to appeal to everyone since frankly, some people are just wrong and need to know it.



CanadaGuy
CanadaGuy

I think Taina's tone is excellent, refreshing, and belies the urgency of the issue and her passion about avoiding plastic use.

It's nice to see someone take a firm stand.  I am a very outspoken, sarcastic, and sometimes hostile person myself so the hippy dippy universal love must-appeal-to-all tone of most green blogs can get tiring. I usually avoid commenting for that reason as well.  

Taina's blog provides a voice for people like me who don't want to appeal to everyone since frankly, some people are just wrong and need to know it.

akintogreen
akintogreen

I cannot wait for this to come out. We have purged ourselves of a lot of plastic, but we are far from plastic free. We are undergoing lots of changes to be "greener" right now. However, I believe in the not too distance future we will be taking on the daunting task of going plastic-free as well. 

Also, when I saw the end of the video about her asking for no straw and still getting one, I thought of a common problem I have at the grocery store. I bring my own bags, but frequently baggers will wrap certain items in a plastic bag and then place it in my re-useable bag!! I make them take it off, but I am just thinking...that defeats the purpose of using re-useable bags!!! :)

akintogreen
akintogreen

I cannot wait for this to come out. We have purged ourselves of a lot of plastic, but we are far from plastic free. We are undergoing lots of changes to be "greener" right now. However, I believe in the not too distance future we will be taking on the daunting task of going plastic-free as well. 

Also, when I saw the end of the video about her asking for no straw and still getting one, I thought of a common problem I have at the grocery store. I bring my own bags, but frequently baggers will wrap certain items in a plastic bag and then place it in my re-useable bag!! I make them take it off, but I am just thinking...that defeats the purpose of using re-useable bags!!! :)

BethTerry
BethTerry

@Frances Thanks for that comment.  I agree with you.  Would you leave Taina a comment on her blog with your thoughts?  I'm sure she would appreciate them.  We all have different ways of talking about plastics (and other environmental issues) and different voices, which is why we are all needed.  And I think that hearing your perspective might help her in developing the tone of her film.

Frances
Frances

I clicked over to Taina's blog and read a lot of it; it was entertaining and well written and ultimately left me depressed and slightly ticked off. The thing that got to me was her frequent reference to "vile plastic". Heaven forbid our lips should touch the plastic lid of a travel mug...though I agree that we need to reduce our use of plastic dramatically, all-or-nothing zealotry isn't practical for many of us. And many of the replacement products have their own set of problems.

Instead of characterizing plastic as "vile", I'm thinking of it as something precious, perfect for select applications but too valuable to be either chosen thoughtlessly or simply thrown away.

Hana Kralova
Hana Kralova

Very cool. Big thank you to anybody who reduces plastic use!

Hana Kralova
Hana Kralova

Very cool. Big thank you to anybody who reduces plastic use!

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Agreed. It's sad how everything is engineered to break so thst it must be replaced.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Agreed. It's sad how everything is engineered to break so thst it must be replaced.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Agreed. It's sad how everything is engineered to break so thst it must be replaced.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

And disposable plastic is the result of stupid humans. Neither Taina nor I are arguing against the existence of electronic devices. However, disposable electronic devices, which is what planned obsolescence has created, is another stupid use of not only plastics but toxic metals as well.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

And disposable plastic is the result of stupid humans. Neither Taina nor I are arguing against the existence of electronic devices. However, disposable electronic devices, which is what planned obsolescence has created, is another stupid use of not only plastics but toxic metals as well.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Pacific Garbage island isn't the result of plastic existing but tge result of stupid humans.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Pacific Garbage island isn't the result of plastic existing but tge result of stupid humans.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Pacific Garbage island isn't the result of plastic existing but tge result of stupid humans.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Plastic isn't all bad. It's great for certain products. I don't prefer drinking from plastic containers or giving my kids plastic containers, but plastic is a must when building electronic devices and anything else that is modern and needs a low conducting body such as a tv. It would be nice if plastic was the only thing crude oil became.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Plastic isn't all bad. It's great for certain products. I don't prefer drinking from plastic containers or giving my kids plastic containers, but plastic is a must when building electronic devices and anything else that is modern and needs a low conducting body such as a tv. It would be nice if plastic was the only thing crude oil became.

Aaron Moyer
Aaron Moyer

Plastic isn't all bad. It's great for certain products. I don't prefer drinking from plastic containers or giving my kids plastic containers, but plastic is a must when building electronic devices and anything else that is modern and needs a low conducting body such as a tv. It would be nice if plastic was the only thing crude oil became.

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Thank you for this. It comes at a time when I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle among my circle of family and friends, and have been backsliding.    When faced with the "what difference can I make" frustrations, something like this is just the uplift I need.  Most definitely supporting their film!!!

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Thank you for this. It comes at a time when I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle among my circle of family and friends, and have been backsliding.    When faced with the "what difference can I make" frustrations, something like this is just the uplift I need.  Most definitely supporting their film!!!

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

@Roamin Traveler Hi.  I do use those things, but I don't buy them new.  For me, "plastic-free" means not acquiring new plastic.  So, for example, if my computer breaks, I try to fix it.  If that doesn't work, I will try to find a secondhand machine rather than buying a new one. The point is to reduce the demand for new plastic to be produced rather than simply chucking things and buying new every few months.  Check out this section of my Plastic-Free Guide:  http://plasticfreeguide.com/#repair  My book has many resources for finding things secondhand or learning to fix things when they break.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator moderator

@Roamin Traveler Hello! Yes, items you mentioned like your computer, mouse, and phone are all made from plastic and so are mine. This all feels very overwhelming at first. The best thing you can do is start small. Find ways of avoiding the purchase of new plastics. Such as buying toilet paper that's wrapped in paper instead of plastic, buying groceries in bulk, etc. Just realize this is huge problem that we all face and it can't be fixed overnight. 

BethTerry
BethTerry

Roamin Traveler Hi.  I do use those things, but I don't buy them new.  For me, "plastic-free" means not acquiring new plastic.  So, for example, if my computer breaks, I try to fix it.  If that doesn't work, I will try to find a secondhand machine rather than buying a new one. The point is to reduce the demand for new plastic to be produced rather than simply chucking things and buying new every few months.  Check out this section of my Plastic-Free Guide:  http://plasticfreeguide.com/#repair  My book has many resources for finding things secondhand or learning to fix things when they break.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

Roamin Traveler Hello! Yes, items you mentioned like your computer, mouse, and phone are all made from plastic and so are mine. This all feels very overwhelming at first. The best thing you can do is start small. Find ways of avoiding the purchase of new plastics. Such as buying toilet paper that's wrapped in paper instead of plastic, buying groceries in bulk, etc. Just realize this is huge problem that we all face and it can't be fixed overnight.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator moderator

@CanadaGuyWell said! Taina comes across as someone very relatable and non judgmental. The experience she has after ordering a coke without a straw but then ending up with one anyways has happen to me too. It's so frustrating! 

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

@CanadaGuy See?  All voices are needed in this effort.  (BTW, am I hippy dippy?)  :-)

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

CanadaGuyWell said! Taina comes across as someone very relatable and non judgmental. The experience she has after ordering a coke without a straw but then ending up with one anyways has happen to me too. It's so frustrating!

BethTerry
BethTerry

CanadaGuy See?  All voices are needed in this effort.  (BTW, am I hippy dippy?)  :-)

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

@Frances Thanks for that comment.  I agree with you.  Would you leave Taina a comment on her blog with your thoughts?  I'm sure she would appreciate them.  We all have different ways of talking about plastics (and other environmental issues) and different voices, which is why we are all needed.  And I think that hearing your perspective might help her in developing the tone of her film.

CanadaGuy
CanadaGuy

@BethTerry Nah you are far more diplomatic than I would be but this is why it's so important that we have blogs like yours.  You deliver the message in a way that relates to many people. We need as many voices as we can get -- Taina's, yours, and anyone else to show people why they need to avoid plastic and wasteful behaviours in general.  More importantly, we need people to show them HOW to do this without going broke or removing themselves from the modern world.  Blogs like this one and books like yours do just that.

As for hippy-dippy, well you do live in the Bay Area so.... :-D