The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: December 2009

December 11, 2009

100% Pure: Great on the Inside; Working on the Outside

Guys (meaning readers who identify as male), here’s another post about cosmetics. So unless you’re into makeup (and really, why shouldn’t you be?) you can forward this one to your female friends. I promise I’ll have a post just for you next week!

I frequently get asked about what I do for plastic-free makeup, and honestly I haven’t had the best answer. As you know, I continue to use the products that I already had before I began this project and generally only replace them with plastic-free alternatives once they are used up. But after reading about lead in lipstick and other unhealthy chemicals two years ago, I checked out all the cosmetics I owned against Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database and ended up doing a huge purge of most of my makeup.

What I kept: one combo eye shadow/liner stick, two colored lip gloss sticks, and one twist blush. Pretty much everything else went to the Hazardous Waste facility.… Read the rest

December 9, 2009

Plastic-Free Organic Essence Lip Balm & Body Cream

I have another treat for you that I discovered at the San Francisco Green Festival last month: Organic Essence plastic-free cream and lip balm. As far as I know, Organic Essence is the first company to develop completely home compostable containers made from cardboard for such products.  Materials include Forest Stewardship Council (FSC #SW-COC-001530), Post Consumer Waste (PCW), 100% recycled paper and organic adhesive and glaze.

The lip balm tube is ingenious. It’s made with a squeeze bottom which pushes up the lip balm instead of a twist bottom. What’s more, the products contain USDA certified organic ingredients with no petro-chemicals, preservatives, parabens, or artificial fragrances.

I asked Organic Essence to send me some samples to review, and I can tell you that they work very well. The lip balm, surprisingly, does not get crushed in my purse. The cream is very thick and concentrated: a little goes a long way, and in… Read the rest

December 8, 2009

Reconciling Disneyland’s Personal Impact with Environmental Impact

My boss took some of us to Disneyland this weekend. She’s a nice boss!

I know some of you are just appalled at the idea of Disneyland, while others find it as fun as I do. My question is: How can I reconcile the utter joy I feel at Disneyland with not only the environmental impact but also the homogenization of culture and the promotion of consumerism? It’s tacky for sure. But also utterly beautiful.

I can’t even imagine how much electricity must go into powering this fantastic spectacle.

I’m a kid when I go there, just as I wrote back in 2007 after running the Disneyland Half Marathon and then giving my inner child the time of her life.

Still, I can’t escape noticing waste and plastic. There seemed to be only one type of inexpensive restaurant in the park with durable plates and utensils. Those were the Mexican restaurants. And I was glad to find them.

All other affordable eating places served food, even hot foods like pasta,… Read the rest

December 3, 2009

PlanetBox Stainless Steel Lunch Kit

Last month, Fake Plastic Fish reader Alanna sent me a link to a very cool new stainless steel lunch option.  PlanetBox, a company created just this year, has designed a lunch box that is airtight and has compartments for all the different foods you might want to pack.  And unlike Bentology/Laptop Lunches, which I have never promoted because they are made from plastic, the PlanetBox container is plastic-free.



I asked the owner, Caroline Miros (who happens to also live in the Bay Area) about the materials in the lunch box, and here is what she told me:

Our PlanetBox lunch box is made out of high quality stainless steel – no plastic. Each PlanetBox comes with a set of magnets that are made out of synthetic rubber, but not PVC (the standard for thin flexible magnets).  We had to look long and hard for a supplier that did not use PVC and found one in Asia that sold to the European Markets (with their smarter, tougher standards.)  So the magnets… Read the rest
December 2, 2009

Holiday Buying: More Pressure Today Than 40 Years Ago?

Once upon a time, there was a little girl whose only wish was for a Barbie Country Camper.  This was 1971.  For simplicity’s sake, let’s call the little girl Beth.   Beth had seen the Barbie Country Camper in Saturday morning TV commercials, and she wanted her Barbies to have the fold-out picnic table, pop-out tent, sleeping bags, and camper kitchen.  The Barbie Country Camper was the first and most important item in her long list of wants that she secretly wrote and mailed to Santa Claus.  And for two weeks before Christmas, she dreamed about the Barbie Country Camper when she went to bed at night.

Christmas Eve, she didn’t even go to sleep at all.  Butterflies danced in her stomach and Country Camper thoughts raced through her head.  When Christmas morning finally arrived, she raced downstairs to find under the tree the Barbie Country Camper she’d been waiting for!  She raced over to the Barbie Country Camper, grabbed… Read the rest

December 1, 2009

Scotch Brite Scrubbers: Dishwashing or Greenwashing?

Several months ago, while accompanying some friends on a shopping trip to Target, I came across a new product line that seemed at first glance to be a good sign: Scotch Brite “Greener Clean” products. I picked up a box of natural fiber non-scratch scour pads, biodegradable bamboo wipes, and a natural bamboo cleaning cloth. I didn’t read the fine print until I got home. Too bad.

All three products are packaged in recycled cardboard with no plastic packaging. Great. But the “natural fiber scour pad,” while containing 50% natural agave plant, is also 50% plastic. A phone call to 3M confirmed that. Because of the plastic, the pad is not biodegradable or compostable as I had originally assumed. (I’m not such a bad reader normally. Really!)

The bamboo products are not as green as you might think either.

According to an FTC report this past summer, bamboo rayon is no different from any other rayon product. Its “manufacturing… Read the rest