The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

January 21, 2008

Plastic in Paradise











Yep, even I ended up using plastic in paradise. I tried so hard all day to avoid it. My folks are fast food people, and on a road trip, McDonald’s is the “restaurant” of choice. I filled up my Klean Kanteen with water all day. I avoided plastic straws and cups and wrappers at every stop. Finally towards the end of a day of beautiful views and picking up garbage, I caved in and ordered a sundae at McDonald’s. I thought I was safe. After all, I had my reusable travel utensils, so I wouldn’t need a plastic spoon.

Duh! McDonald’s sundaes come in a plastic cup with a plastic lid. And it’s not like this is a new phenomenom. They’ve been sold this way from the very beginning, late 70’s? Early 80’s? Certainly since I had my very first job at McDonald’s in 1982. This is called a brain freeze, and it sometimes occurs after a long day of dealing with contradictions. My dad took the photo. I think he might have actually been a little sympathetic.

More on the trip and the weekly tally in a few days. I meant to bring my week’s plastic with me but forgot it at the last minute. Gotta go now. The beach is calling.

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Cool idea with the paradise vs. plastic pics!

As for using plastic on vacation, I’m going to Utah in a few weeks and I know it’s going to happen to me too. It’ll make me sad, but it’s hard to make use of my usual strategies away from home, ya know? I’ll do what I can, though :)

Anyways, have fun it Hawaii. It looks amazing!


Thanks for the pics! Hope you are having fun and enjoying yourself!


Hear hear. The world is not going to improve because you (or I!)manage to be perfectly plastic-free everyday. The world IS changing because your real struggles to do this are eye-opening and inspiring to the rest of us, and together we create movement.

We were in Mexico recently and had to really struggle just to get our groceries home without NEW plastic bags. It’s always good to get outside our comfort zones and get a reality check–even a depressing one. Sigh. Thanks for your wonderful blog and pictures.

Cathy Mullins

You ARE inspiring, even if you had a sundae in a plastic cup. I went to the healthfood store yesterday and I told my husband “We’re not taking any plastic home!” It was not easy, and we were not 100% successful, but in the past (meaning before reading Fake Plastic Fish), I wasn’t at all conscious of what we were doing and the problem we were adding to.

Thank you.


That last picture is enough to make a stone statue break into tears!

It reminds me of my experience with Starbuck’s – they use those plastic cups in the summer for their cold drinks but do they provide a place for people to put them to recycle when the drinks are finished…no. Instead, right outside the door is a city trash barrel and guess what it is filled with? Starbuck’s plastic cups. And Starbucks’s is supposed to be a with-it company!


I think there are always issues with change when you’re travelling … it’s very very hard to stick with it when you’re on the move and tired and reliant on other people. It’s one of the reasons why what you are doing is so important, because it’s making so many people aware of their/my own actions, and of what they/I can do to change their own lives.

So don’t beat yourself up … you’re doing great work.

Enjoy your holiday



OK, I have lived here for 4 years. There are some people working VERY hard to get things like recycling programs going. There are bills in the legislature this session to ban plastic shopping bags and the styrofoam containers. Yes, they use styrofoam for “plate lunches” because its the only way. Plastic shopping bags actually make sense here because of the rain. There are real issues with landfills, this state is made up of islands. But the fact that we are filling the ocean with everyones plastics and then the fish are eating it is horrible, and it washes up… Read more »


Don’t beat yourself up over it… It’s kind of like being on a diet (a plastic one that is) and every once in a while temptation kicks in… Then you eventually get back on track… Plus if its any consolation, I definitely wasn’t v. good when I was surrounded by my family over the holidays… Both in terms of dieting AND plastic consumption!

Beautiful pics minus the trashy ones… Enjoy the beach! :)

The Biscuit Queen

Like you just told me… CAN give yourself a break now and again.

Great pics, it IS beautiful there.

You looked exhausted in that picture-make sure you get enough sleep. Remember, you cannot pollute when you are sleeping!!

Village Green

Thanks for the great pictures, both the beautiful and the disturbing ones. You continue to inspire me –keep up the excellent work!