The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: December 2007

December 27, 2007

Kitty Love, by Soots & Arya

Okay, here’s the thing. We are Soots and Arya, and we don’t like to be awoken suddenly from our nice nap by some big flashing, bright light. So we give you face like this. Not our fault. We are infinitely cute, as you will see.

Beth woke us up to help with her blog because, as she said, it was our fault that she was having too much fun with us to blog for the last few days. Wait, did she say fun? Maybe she said she was too tired from chasing us off her desk all day. When she gets cranky, she tosses us across the floor, but we know she doesn’t mean it so we keep coming back again to cheer her up.

Our new friend David came over tonight and taught us how to do an immensely fun thing. We have expert skills of climbing and this proves that we will soon make it to the top of the drapes, which is the goal of our lives. David says that this activity doesn’t hurt humans long as they’re wearing heavy jeans. Beth doesn’t wear heavy jeans. Oh well.

I am Soots… Read the rest

December 20, 2007

Evert Fresh Update

In my November 7 post about Evert Fresh bags, I expressed my frustration that people seeking to go plastic-free were buying these bags, believing that the bags were not made from petroleum-based plastic. I explained that this mistaken belief came from misleading or missing information on various web sites.

I’m now happy to report that after many emails and phone calls to these companies, at least three web sites have been updated with the correct information. Greenfeet was the first to fix their listing on, rewording the description to state that the “bags are made from a low-density polyethylene plastic (#4) impregnated with a natural clay based mineral that absorbs ethylene.” Now, it appears that while Greenfeet still sells the bags on its own site, it is no longer selling them through

Amazon seller 877MYJUICER also changed the product description to say that the “bags are made from low-density… Read the rest

December 19, 2007

Plastic-free yogurt? Well, almost. Plus ways to use whey.

Turns out we do have an almost plastic-free prepared yogurt here in the SF Bay Area. Saint Benoà®t yogurt comes in a reusable, returnable ceramic container and is sold at Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, and other natural foods stores. As with the Straus milk containers, you pay a deposit which the store refunds when you return the container. The containers are covered with foil tops, which can be reused until the yogurt is gone, and have a small plastic seal around the rim. That’s way less plastic than buying yogurt in disposable polypropylene containers, but I’ve found a better way.

I thought that in order to make yogurt myself, I needed to invest in a yogurt machine. Not worth it considering the small amount of yogurt we eat. But then Melanie Rimmer of Bean Sprouts revealed a brilliant method of making yogurt with only a Thermos in her post, How To Make Greek Yogurt. You should check out her post to see photos of the step by step process. Here are… Read the rest

December 18, 2007

I’m not the only one thinking about tape lately.

There was a very serious message on my answering machine this morning from my sister, Ellen, who was worried about the Christmas present she was wrapping to send me. “Help. I’m standing here paralyzed. I reused the wrapping that you used for my present last year, I got a cardboard box, I filled the empty space with scrap paper, I thought you would be so proud, and then I went to tape the box shut… with plastic. Please tell me what to do. I’m serious. I respect what you’re doing. I don’t want to send you something that you don’t want. But I can’t finish packaging your gift. Please call me back.”

This message was heart-breaking. I never, ever want to cause such distress to the family that I love. But it was also really sweet to hear how hard she was trying to send me a plastic-free gift. Of course I called her back and told her to use whatever tape she had and not worry about it. And I thanked her profusely for… Read the rest

December 18, 2007

Wrapping presents without tape or glue

Here are two Christmas presents I received tonight from a company I work for, each containing at least 4 pieces of Scotch (plastic) tape. One thing my friends and family know about me is that I can’t wait to open presents, and tonight was no exception. So I justified my impatience by resolving to figure out a way to re-wrap the same presents using no tape or glue at all.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been searching the web for instructions, hoping to find a way to wrap gifts without any tape OR ribbon. I even went to Borders after work tonight to look for a book on gift-wrapping, to no avail. The couple of books I found required double-sided tape. So I decided I’d just have to figure it out myself. I got part of the way there. The method I discovered does require some ribbon to hold it in place, but nothing sticky.

Why, you may ask, am I making a big deal out of something as petty as a little bit of tape? Well, I guess it’s not a huge deal when you look … Read the rest

December 14, 2007

Plastic-free Feminine Hygiene. It had to happen enventually.

Since I had my hysterectomy in June, (Wow! She just jumps right in with the personal stuff, huh?) I have been relieved not to have to deal too much with the issue of plastic-free feminine hygiene products. At the time I started blogging, Crunchy Chicken was running her Diva Cup Challenge and I was happy not to have to consider whether or not to participate.

The Diva Cup, for those who still have not heard about it, is a silicone contraption, kinda like a diaphragm I guess, that you wear inside once a month, rinse out, and reuse. The environmentally-friendly thing about it is that you don’t have any tampon or pad waste each month. But what is silicone?

The Essential Chemistry website says that silicones are “synthetic polymers with a silicon-oxygen backbone similar to that in silicon dioxide (silica), but with organic groups attached to the silicon atoms by C-Si bonds.” It’s the silicon-oxygen backbone that makes it more stable… Read the rest

December 12, 2007

The Perfection of Imperfection

I was going to post about feminine hygiene today. Don’t worry guys. You can read on safely. I’ll save that post for later. Instead, I’m inspired to write based on a beautiful post that I read this morning from blogger Chandra Sherin at Moonseeds.*  I just happened upon it while scanning blogs for the subject of plastic.

Chandra relates a story about being less than perfect in her struggle to find alternatives to plastic. She writes:

I look at the packaging of my breads, chips, toothpaste, apples, vegetables in my hands, and two of my reusable shopping bags are made of nylon which is made with oil, just as the baggies are for dog walks… I realize this… The truth of the situation is that if I were to live separate from plastic, I would not be living in this society. There is no purity, there is no perfection in this world. Our connections are linked and threaded through so deeply, there is no extrication of anything from anything… Read the rest

December 11, 2007

The Sounds Of Silence

I’m in slo-mo this week after my long weekend retreat. That’s okay. It’s more than okay, actually. Most of our modern lives tend to be Rush Rush Rush, and as I’ve mentioned before, when I’m rushing is when I stop paying attention and end up doing the most harm to the planet.

Vanessa Farquharson of the blog “Green As A Thistle” is making one “green” change per day for a year. Last month, on Day 254, her green change was to regularly take some time out to sit and be still, with no distractions including TV, radio, music, or anything else but her own breath. One commenter wrote: How is this a “green” change. I really enjoy reading your blog every day, but I must say that some of your changes are weak at best.

To me, this change is not only not weak, it comes before all others. What I learned on retreat (where there was no Internet, TV, radio, or even talking outside the group dialogs in the meditation… Read the rest

December 6, 2007

I think we all do that sometimes

Beth is away at a three-and-a-half day meditation retreat. She goes on these about twice a year, at a convent in Marin County called Santa Sabina, and they’re very good for her, if only because she spends a large part of the time she’s supposed to be meditating sleeping, and she desperately needs some sleep after staying up till dawn most days writing this blog.

In her absence, I’ll be writing today’s post. Who am I? Her husband, Michael. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you’ll have seen mention of me. I also comment fairly frequently under the name “terrible person”, which is a name I used to use on a local BBS back in the 90’s. This was actually where Beth and I first encountered each other and attracted each other’s interest. You’ve got to hand it to a woman who would be interested in a guy who calls himself “terrible person”. But then, you should have seen… Read the rest

December 6, 2007

I’m tired of all these *$%^# plastic bags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s confession time again. I am sick and tired of washing out plastic bags. To get them really clean, you have to scrub and rinse all four sides. And then they take forever to dry, even with this handy Bag-e-Wash plastic bag dryer.

The thing is, in my August 28 post, I said one of the Fake Plastic Fish guidelines was to “reuse existing plastic as many times as possible before throwing it away or recycling it.”

And to make matters worse, in my September 17 post, I bragged about how “some of my best friends are plastic bags,” discussing all the handy things that we can do with them instead of tossing them out for recycling. That was the infamous “tea party” post.

And while I still don’t believe that plastic bags are evil, I can’t say they’re my best friends anymore either. I procrastinate washing them out because it’s tedious work (and uses a lot of water, too), and then I end up with a sinkful… Read the rest