The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

September 29, 2007

Weekend radio – Trash Challenge Interview

Wednesday, I had a phone interview with Tess Vigeland of NPR’s Marketplace. You know, Tess from the Trash Challenge. Today, her radio segment on the Trash Challenge included pieces from our interview. You can listen to it or read the transcript here:

Lessons from the trash challenge

The interview was quite a bit longer and included stuff about composting and why I decided to participate in the Trash Challenge to begin with. You can listen to (almost) the full interview here:

Trash Challenge: Into the Dustbin of History

Also, from the Marketplace web site:

“Be sure to tune into all the programs of American Public Media in November for a special project called “Consumed.” We’ll be airing an entire week’s worth of stories and interviews about America’s consumer culture and whether it’s sustainable.

“On Marketplace Money we’ll be devoting our entire show the weekend of November 17th to the question “What’s wrong with trash?” We’ll have stories about our throwaway habits, how tough it is to “unplug” from the marketing machine, and I’ll profile a group of folks in New York City who forage Prospect Park for plants and go dumpster-diving for perfectly-edible food along 3rd Avenue. We’ll also talk about the decline of the fix-it-don’t-buy-it culture, and we’ll visit a plant in China that imports recyclable material from the U.S. and sends it back as packaging for our consumer goods. Tune in!”

I’ll certainly be interested to hear what they have to say about these issues.

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16 years ago

Hi Beth. Yep, that’s the style of retainer I have. I’ll look into Efferdent. I need something, cuz that thing creeps me out!

It looks like you have outside access (the roof). I’m assuming the composters you looked for were all meant to be outdoors, correct? I believe my only indoor solution will be vermicomposting. And I’m just not sure I can go there!

Beth Terry
16 years ago

Hi Meghan and Clif. I have a feeling that the bridge that Clif wears is different from the retainer that Meghan and I wear. Clif, your bridge is like false teeth, right? I’m assuming it fits between your actual teeth?

The retainer that Meghan and I wear (I’m also assuming) completely covers our teeth while we sleep. So I think it’s harder to clean than a bridge. You can’t just brush it out and expect to get out all the crud with a toothbrush. And the fact that it completely covers the teeth means that we want it to be well disinfected before putting it in our mouths so we don’t cause decay and gum problems.

I’m probably really grossing people out here. Anyway, since I only wear my retainers at night, I put them in Efferdent in the morning and let them soak all day.

As for the composter, click on the “gardening and composting” link on the right sidebar and you’ll see an article all about my compost tumbler and comparing it with others.

16 years ago

Beth and Clif–

Okay, give me the lowdown on cleaning mouthpeices! Mine is rank, and brushing doesn’t seem to help. I have to wear a plastic-y flexi retainer at night because of grinding/clenching.

Beth, when I heard about the Efferdent, I thought I’d try that. Do you just soak it while you’re not wearing it?

But Clif, when I read your comment, it made me wonder. If I add soaking it in tap water to the morning brushing, will that really get rid of the ickiness? Cuz I don’t even want to put that disgusting thing in my mouth anymore.

PS, Beth – I’m the urban composting questioning friend Michelle refers to. Is it not vermicomposting? That’s all I can find. Thanks Michelle!!

Michelle Verges
16 years ago


In the interview, you mentioned something about using an ‘urban composter.’ Would you mind giving me more information about this product? I have a friend who lives in an apartment and I think she would like to compost. Any tips and/or suggestions about this urban composter would be much appreciated!!


16 years ago

Beth, I listened to the long version of the interview and wanted to comment on the Efferdent you mentioned. Forget it! I was told by my dentist to use the stuff over a decade ago and rejected the idea as just another thing to buy that could be avoided. I have a 2-tooth bridge, some variation of which I’ve worn since I was a teenager and I simply brush it and leave it in tap water overnight. No evidence of any deterioration or discoloration of the two false teeth it holds. So, this old-timer says – you can safely avoid thousands of Efferdent applications over the years, not to mention the packaging you mentioned.

heather t
16 years ago

I’ve noticed that don’t-fix-it-buy-a-new-one lately. When’s the last time you saw a TV commercial for a repair shop that wasn’t local? Sears (who had one of the more visible “fix it” campaigns with the Maytag Repair Man) recently ran one where the woman’s washer stopped working, and she called and had a new one delivered the next day. Don’t even bother taking a look at it, folks.