The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: January 2011

January 24, 2011

Quick and (almost) Plastic-Free Broth / Soup Base Tip

Homemade stock, broth, soup base (whatever you call that watery stuff that is the basis for so many recipes) is delicious and certainly healthy. But it takes time to make, and apparently I’m not the only one who often doesn’t have the time to make soup stock from scratch. I discovered several others like me this weekend while posting a whole slew of Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge tallies. A handful of people ended up with plastic-lined cans or plastic-coated tetrapaks of chicken or other broth in their weekly plastic waste collections. And after leaving the same advice three times in a row, I thought I ought to post it here.

My favorite store-bought broth is called Better Than Bouillon.

Better Than Bouillon is a concentrated paste that comes in a little glass jar with a metal lid. Of course, there is a plastic coating inside the lid (as there is inside all metal lids), and as I recall, there may have been a clear plastic security seal around… Read the rest

January 18, 2011

Is It Possible to Reduce Home Care Plastic Waste?

I’ve been with my family in Maryland since Thursday.  It was meant to be a happy trip to celebrate my and my mom’s birthdays, but in the last two weeks, my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that she can no longer even speak to us.  We can’t tell if she knows who we are anymore.  My heart is breaking, and all I know is that I want to be near her as much as I can this year.

Mostly my attitude this weekend’s been “screw the plastic.”  Not for myself.  I’m still refusing single use disposables for me.  But when it comes to all the plastic necessary to take care of my mom (disposable diapers, wipes, medicine bottles, pads, creams, gloves, etc), I just can’t go there.  It just doesn’t seem important in the scheme of things.

But then again, what if everyone with a sick loved one felt that way?  Mountains of plastic trash are generated in home care, and those mountains are only… Read the rest

January 12, 2011

Klean Kanteen introduces new Reflect plastic-free bamboo stainless steel water bottle

Until now, all Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles came with plastic caps: either 100% plastic or stainless with a hard plastic top. But I’m happy to let you know about the new Reflect bottle, which is completely plastic-free.

Two years ago, shopping with my friend Ruchi for a new Klean Kanteen to replace the one that was stolen from her, we discovered that the bottles automatically came with a 100% plastic cap and that if you wanted the partially stainless steel cap, you had to buy it separately and end up with two caps. I ranted about the plastic cap policy and wrote a letter to Klean Kanteen requesting they give customers a choice from the start.

This past November, I met up with Scott and Jeff from Klean Kanteen at the TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch event in L.A. and learned that they have gone even further than merely offering the choice of more plastic or less plastic. Now, you can choose a bottle that is 100% plastic-free and paint-free… Read the rest

January 10, 2011

Ambatalia Handmade To-Go Bags, Furoshiki Napkins, & More!

Molly de Vries lives just across the bay from me in Marin County and is the owner of Ambatalia, a company producing beautiful cloth to-go bags, napkins, and other reusables.  Her story is inspiring. Please enjoy her story in her own words.

My name is Molly de Vries, owner of Ambatalia, textiles for a non-disposable life, and The Fabric Society Shop.

My Story

I grew up amongst 7 brothers and sisters in downtown Mill Valley, California…

and am now raising my own three kids with my husband Willem in the original house my mom and dad bought back in 1955.

Mill Valley was much different than it is today. Lots of artists, musicians, and incredible places like the unknown museum, a magical spot filled with what some people might call junk or garbage. It was inspiration to me.

I grew up with a kitchen wall filled with beautiful old utilitarian hand tools and a large house furnished with found objects collected by my mom and dad. Also shopping at the Marin City… Read the rest

January 7, 2011

An Anxious Year in a Life Without Plastic

2010 wasn’t just another plastic-free year. True, I cut my plastic waste to 2.18 pounds (60% of last year’s total and only 2% of the national average.)

But the year was really about facing another kind of challenge, one that is more personally fraught than the decision of whether to buy coffee in a disposable cup or not.  Last year, I had to find a way to live with a broken brain.

For much of 2010, I simply could not think.

Turns out I have ADD (attention deficit disorder.) But I didn’t know it until very recently. Last year, anxiety, fear, worry, and dread were ever present and available when clarity, focus, and creativity were not. I blogged a lot less than in previous years because so often the words would simply not come. Or the ideas I did have would not stay still long enough for me to organize them into coherence. Many times last year I cried, “What’s wrong with me?!” I blamed my doctor for not finding me the right medication… Read the rest