The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: April 2009

April 28, 2009

My Video Thank You to Oprah

Did any of you catch Oprah’s 2009 Earth Day show?

After interviewing Fabien Cousteau about plastic in the oceans, she had a few “Aha! moments”:

Oprah will think differently about using plastic things:

Oprah wants to go beyond washing out her zip lock bags:

I was excited and moved to see this issue garnering the attention of an audience as large as Oprah’s. So moved, in fact, that I wrote her a letter… and then recorded it on video. Now I just have to figure out the best way to reach her with it:

My belief is that once audiences see the horrific images of what plastic does to the environment, they will want to know what they can do. Let’s let Oprah know that there are many of us out here already going beyond washing out plastic bags.

Please feel free to … Read the rest

April 24, 2009

Do you know your life’s purpose?

I am not religious. Although I was raised in the Mormon faith, I currently hold no belief in a personal god or any other type of intelligent creator. I don’t pretend to understand how the universe and everything in it came to be (although I’ve read some pretty cool theories), and I’m (usually) okay with the mystery. I love this planet and this life just as it is and derive meaning without any need for supernatural forces.

I realize many Fake Plastic Fish readers hold different beliefs and that’s fine with me. I only preface my post this way because what I’m about to share and the questions I want to ask you are normally discussed within the context of religion or other spiritual system. But to me, knowing our place and purpose in this life is basic, simple, and completely natural.

So here goes. A few days ago, I was walking home from the BART station very late at night and feeling tired and overwhelmed once again. I’d finished… Read the rest

April 23, 2009

Dear BART EZ Rider Program,

BART’s EZRider program is a great way to take public transit in the San Francisco Bay Area while reducing our plastic waste. Yes, regular BART tickets are made from plastic. Disposable plastic. And they are not recycled. The EZ Rider program replaces hundreds of disposable BART tickets with one refillable card, which is linked to a credit card and reloaded automatically as you use it.

Included with my new card was one piece of plastic I didn’t need. So I’m sending it back to BART with the following note.

April 19, 2009

SF BART EZ Rider Administration Center 300 Lakeside Dr, 22nd Floor Oakland, CA 94612

Dear BART:

Thanks so much for the new EZ Rider card. I love the EZ Rider system, specifically because it eliminates the waste of disposable plastic BART tickets.

I am returning this plastic carrying case to you because I really don’t need it. I prefer carrying my EZ Rider card in my wallet with the rest of my credit cards.

Perhaps … Read the rest

April 22, 2009


Last Wednesday, at Oakland’s Earth Expo, I asked attendees to fill out green pledge cards vowing to give up some plastic from their lives. Those who pledged were entered in a random drawing for a gift basket, containing all kinds of less-plastic goodies: ChicoBag, reusable water bottle, & bamboo cutlery donated by Whole Foods Oakland; cloth produce bag donated by Green Sangha; LunchBots containers; GlassDharma straw; LaundryTree soapnuts; Ecology Center membership, all donated by those respective companies.

And the winner is: MagdaLena Koper!

Many people took the pledge on Wednesday, and I thought it would be nice to share their responses here. Would you like to take the pledge too? Please leave a comment below. I’ll come up with a small surprise gift for one lucky online winner.

To do my part to spare our oceans from plastic pollution and take responsibility for plastic waste, I pledge to replace the following plastic items(s)… Read the rest

April 21, 2009

Addicted to Plastic – Must-see film not made by Disney

While everyone’s going nuts about Disney’s Earth (which I fully intend to see), I want to tell you about another film that readers of Fake Plastic Fish should not miss.

Back in January, I had the opportunity to see an amazing film by Ian Connacher called Addicted to Plastic. Addicted to Plastic is the result of three years of filming in 12 countries on 5 continents, including trips to the North Pacific Gyre with the Algalita crew… the area that has become a plastic soup bigger than the state of Texas. It starts with Ian waking up one morning and noticing all the plastic items in his house, from his alarm clock and mattress to this clothing and kitchenware. He wonders if all this plastic is safe and what can be done about it.

The film provides a history of plastic and includes interviews with several scientists studying toxicity issues such as BPA, phthalates, and antimony. There is also an interview with a plastics industry spokesperson… Read the rest

April 17, 2009

Oakland Earth Expo – Went to Teach and Learned a Few Hard Lessons

I would love to show you the photo of a plastic-bedecked Beth flanked by a class of enthusiastic middle schoolers during Oakland’s Earth Expo on Wednesday. I’d also love to show you the photos I captured of an ironic stray plastic bag in flight over the Expo grounds. Unfortunately, I can’t show you these images because I carelessly left my camera unattended on the display table for a few minutes, and it got bored and ran away.

If you are the person who helped liberate my camera, can you please at least send back the memory card? It’s not worth much, but I’d sure like to have those photos. I’ve already replaced the camera with a much smaller model, one which I’ll keep securely in my pocket next time. (More plastic waste for the tally this week. Another of my less than mindful moments. *Sigh*)

I’m very grateful to the helpful folk who took pictures and sent them to me: Oakland Zero Waste Initiative Team Leader,… Read the rest

April 14, 2009

Throwing up Plastic. It’s the Green Moms Carnival!

Welcome to the April edition of the Green Moms Carnival. Fake Plastic Fish is thrilled to be the receptacle of this Pile of Plastic Posts. And speaking of piles of plastic, did you ever wonder what it feels like to throw up a plastic bag? Then you must see this brand new video (just released today) by Free Range Studios, the guys who brought us The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff. Here is The Bay vs. The Bag:

And now, let’s hear what others have to say about plastic!

Marianna from Green Mama’s Pad presents a comprehensive guide to plastics recycling, including a cute video showing a simplified version of the process, as well as facts about bottled water, in her post, Recycling Plastic. She also submitted a post on having an Eco-Friendly Easter when the carnival was originally scheduled to post before Easter.

Speaking of recycling, Diane from Big Green Purse asks, “If it’s not easy to recycle something, is it really recyclable?”… Read the rest

April 10, 2009

Plastic-Free Soap Nuts

UPDATE: Sadly, LaundryTree has closed its doors.  For updated information on where to buy plastic-free soap nuts and all of our plastic-free laundry methods, please visit this post: How to Make Liquid Soap Nuts Laundry Soap Plus Other Plastic-Free Laundry Ideas.  But don’t leave just yet!  This is still a great story about how to get companies to change their packaging.  

The original post…

Put on your fuzzy slippers. Grab a mug of cocoa. Sit back, and let me tell you a little story about why it’s worth it for us to ask for what we want. There’s free stuff at the end, so hang in with me.

Have you ever done your laundry with soap nuts or been curious to find out how they work? Soap nuts grow on a tree called Sapindus mukorossi (Chinese Soapberry) and contain saponin, a natural surfactant which foams just like soap. I’ve wanted to try soap nuts since I first spotted them in a natural grocery store a couple of years ago but have… Read the rest

April 9, 2009

Dear Planet Earth, Are you sad? Or am I just anthropomorphizing again?

Dear Planet Earth,

How are you? I am fine. Well, not exactly fine. I stay up late at night blogging. About you. Sometimes with a glass of organic wine. I’m kind of obsessed with you, actually. Wondering if you’re doing okay. If you’re sad about how we drill into you to fill up our cars, cut down your trees to wipe our butts, remove your mountain tops to keep our lights burning, and pump noxious gases into your atmosphere. Does it piss you off that massive areas of your oceans are filled up with our bottle caps, cigarette lighters, and cheap plastic toys, that coral is dying and beaches are washing away?

A lot of people have ideas about how to save you: recycling batteries, turning the lights off for an hour, or not turning off the lights, watching a movie, carrying our own bags, etc. There are even iPhone Apps to Help Save the Planet. Do these things make you happy?

And will you still be our BFF? We’re giving up buying new plastic and reducing… Read the rest

April 8, 2009

Future Weather – My Interview with an Eco-Conscious Filmmaker

Thanks to Green L.A. Girl Siel for pointing out a Philadelphia filmmaker who wants to change the way movies are made.

Jenny Deller wrote the script for the film, Future Weather, a drama centered around a teenage girl who is not only worried about the future of the planet but also the changes taking place within her own family. In an email to me, Jenny wrote:

Essentially, Future Weather is a story about leaving home and facing change, a rite of passage that I think will be necessary for our society to confront the uncertainty of a changing planet. Part of my desire to tell this story came from my own anxiety about global warming and questions I had about procreation in the 21st century — how do you bring children into such a compromised and potentially dire situation?

What attracted me to this project, even more than the theme of the film itself, was Jenny’s blog and her concern with conducting a movie shoot (scheduled for this summer) as greenly… Read the rest