The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

October 26, 2011


beth_asleep1Yesterday morning I turned in the manuscript for my book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, which will be published by Skyhorse and come out early next year.

There were days I thought I wouldn’t finish, like in one of those dreams where the faster you walk, the faster the light seems to recede into the tunnel away from you.  Wait, is that a real dream or a movie dream?  Doesn’t matter.  It was like that.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, vastly harder than training for a marathon.  And it’s still not finished.  Now, my editor at the publishing company will read it and edit it, and I’m sure I’ll have more work to do.  But for now, I can breathe.

Thanks for your patience.  Thanks to those who kept the conversation going in the Discussion Forum or on Facebook or through the Show Your Plastic Challenge.  I’ll start regularly posting again next week.  Until then… will you please leave a comment with something good in it?  Good could be a funny joke or story.  Good could be an awesome recipe.  Good could be a clever solution you have found to a problem.  Anything that you think is cool.  It doesn’t have to have anything to do with plastic.

Okay, I’m going back to sleep now.

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Tess Felix
11 years ago

I would love to create a portrait of you for your book cover.

Gina Badalaty
11 years ago

Beth, congratulations!! Please keep me in mind when you’re published, I TOTALLY want to feature you on my blog (which will hopefully be a community by then!) and purchase a copy to review (yea, purchase, the $$ needs to go to you.) Good luck on the edits.

Ellen Simpson
11 years ago

Congratulations Beth, that must be such a relief! Sorry I missed this post, but I still want to leave a comment with something good in it. I keep watching this youtube video and I laugh harder every time. If you can’t get to it, it’s called, “Dog Disappointed Over Food in the Fridge.”

11 years ago

Congrats – it’s a great feeling to finish something.
Something good …. Thanksgiving is coming – Yum!

waste removal bexleyheath
11 years ago

wow how did you do that. well done maybee you should add some thing elese you use but could do with out

Betsy (Eco-novice)
11 years ago


11 years ago


Something I think is cool is that my kids (well, at least 2 of them) are old enough now (5, 3 and 6 months) that our regular family dinners involve them conversing, sharing anecdotes, telling stories, making jokes. It warms my heart so that they see this time as a time to connect. And sometimes we get a good laugh from the jokes, etc. So, here are a few of the jokes we have been making up at dinnertime with my kids:

– What did the banana say to the other banana? – Let’s go bananas!

– What did the pumpkin say to the orange? – I am not your mommy!

– What did the banana say to the half-peeled banana? – I find you a-peeling.

And a tongue twister my 5 yo made up: If you are a sweaty sweater if your sweater, take off your sweater.

Eve Stavros
11 years ago

Good for you! Can’t wait to see the result of all your hard work. I am so pleased to report that my local food co-op where I do most of my bulk buying has started carrying To-Go Ware items and I was finally able to buy some Sidekicks!! Trying to stay plastic-free while traveling is tough, but these are helping.

11 years ago

Congratulations Beth – that’s a great accomplishment.

No recipe (yet) but we went to an indian restaurant the other day and the soup of the day was potato corriandar (cilantro) – a super combination (if you like coriander)

11 years ago

Hello There Beth~

Congratulations! What a great accomplishment. Bask in this time of rest.

I have for your here some amazing and healthy cookies
Pumpkin pie bites:

And how about an easy way to roast a pumpkin – WHOLE and no waste pumpkin puree:

I can’t wait to get my hands on your book!!!

Deep breath, center yourself and enjoy some rest…the busy Holidays are quickly approaching.

Be Well,

11 years ago


Just a few minutes ago, I fixed my OLD electric pencil sharpener. It is so old it is easy to disassemble and reassemble. It has been inoperable for quite awhile and I finally decided I was tired of using the hand-held itty bitty sharpener. The hardest part was finding a screwdriver that would fit in those very long super skinny holes to unscrew the three screws holding it all together. Once it was open, it was a piece of cake.

I feel good about diverting yet another item from the landfill! I am also very happy to have a working pencil sharpener again. :)

Carmen Melton
11 years ago

Hi Beth,

I have been anxiously awaiting the news that your book is finished – you must know it will be on the TOP of my list! Also wanted to thank you for “Plastic, A Toxic Love Story” (which I somehow won) if I haven’t already done so. (Been relocating for the past 6 months or so, and many of my good intentions have fallen short of action:) Anyway, I couldn’t read it fast enough – purely fascinating, funny, depressing and inspiring all at once. Some great lessons in our culture’s history too. Amazed by how she pieced it all together.

A YAY! story for you: I think I convinced a small soap company to re-think it’s wasteful (plastic) packaging practaces. I’ll forward you the exchange of messages if you’d llike. So, just a reminder of how powerful simply speaking from the heart can be in creating positive changes. You do this every day, my friend! ;)


Jay Sinha
11 years ago

Stupendous Beth! Hearty congratulations, and I hope you’ll take some time for yourself to just relax and have fun to the max. I’ll part with our son’s latest favorite joke, which is actually two jokes.

Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming over the hill?
A: “The elephants are coming over the hill.”

Q: What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming over the hill wearing sunglasses?
A: Nothing. He didn’t recognize them.

11 years ago

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!!!!!

Take a deep deep breath, you earned it :-))

Yesterday I watched the french/german TV channel Arte, and they had an afternoon long special about plastic! Lots of things about it, but also a woman and her family and they talked about and showed why and how they reduced the plastic in their home to almost zero and showed some alternatives to the usual plastic stuff concerning food. So, the message is being spread – I had to think of you when I saw that and it made me happy that more and more people think that way.

I learned a lot from you and your blog and it has influenced me and also my mother and some friends. I don’t give gifts made out of plastic anymore, instead focussing on good foodie things or, for example, cutting boards made out of local wood.

You want a bit of harmless but pleasently twisted fun? Klick here:

11 years ago

Hi Beth, I have been reading your blog now for a couple of months. It is great to hear more and more people are getting on the plastic free train. So something inspiring from me: I am a school teacher and our school has a breakfast in the classroom program, which of course has lots of pre-packaged (highly processed) items. Starting last year, I trained my students on recycling as much as possible from the breakfast including the plastic wraps that I take to our communities bi-annual plastic round up. I also washed the plastic spoons instead of recycling them. This year, I bought real spoons from goodwill for the kids to use and they were thrilled. I also hate all the paper waste with paper towels so have bought cloth towels to keep in my class. My students are becoming pros at what they can and can’t recycle….we even take apart the plastic markers so we can recycle the shells. Congrats on the book!

11 years ago

Congratulations on finishing your book! I can’t wait to read it!

My something good is that I just finished a long day of classes for grad school and I am feeling inspired to make change.

11 years ago

Congrats on your manuscript!! Best of luck to you :)

11 years ago

Oh, and congratulations! You must be so happy to have that finished! As a PhD student, I know where you’re coming from…

11 years ago

Here’s one a friend’s kid told me the other day. he made it up himself, and it cracked me up!

Why was the bee crossing his legs? Give up??? Because he was looking for a BP station!

Ha ha…

sui solitaire
11 years ago

What goes “ooooo”?

A cow with no lips!

Congratulations and HUGE happiness to you for finishing your manuscript, Beth! Now I’m going to bother you sometime and interview you for cynosure. :D ♥ Sending you much love!

Sandy Jones
11 years ago

Here in midtown Omaha there is a restaurant doing their part. McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe will take 10% off your bill if you bring your own containers for take-out. Here’s hoping it catches on in the rest of the city.

Britt Bravo
11 years ago

Congratulations, Beth! Just started our book club’s next book, Hope for the Animals and Their World, and it’s totally inspiring and uplifting. Hope you can join our discussion in December.

Lori Popkewitz Alper
11 years ago

Big congrats Beth! Can’t wait to read the final product. Enjoy your week of napping and R & R.

11 years ago

CONGRATULATIONS BETH! Cannot WAIT to read the book!!

I think about you everyday that I scan the beach for trash. I’m sending photos your way (via the beach blog). Thanks for all you do to bring about awareness and for walking the talk. You are my hero! xxoo

11 years ago

Congratulations, Beth! Yesterday I got a box of Christmas presents I’d ordered for my family, and three of the items were plastic free! (Well, plus the books, those weren’t a surprise.) Another non-plastic toy was wrapped in several layers of plastic, so I’m sending a comment to the vendor. I want my plastic-free Christmas, darn it!

11 years ago

Congratulations! that has to be a load off
have you heard of this? if not, you should definitely check it out as it is a Very Good Thing.

11 years ago

A man goes to see his doctor. The doctor asks what’s wrong and the man says, “Doctor, I think I’m a moth.”
To this the doctor responds, “You think you’re a moth? Well, I don’t think you need a doctor. Sounds like what you need is a therapist.”
“Yeah, I know,” replies the patient. “I was on my way to see a therapist, but I came in here because I saw your light was on.”

Sarah Schmiechen
11 years ago

That’s great Beth! You should be super proud of yourself!

Here’s a tiny joke for you: Did you hear about the magic tractor? It went down the road and turned into a field.

Sharyn Dimmick
11 years ago

I just read about homemade pancakes topped with a swirl of cinnamon roll-type filling — cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. You put it on the top side of the pancake before it is ready to flip. They look amazing.

Congratulations on your book progress. Now take a well-deserved rest.

11 years ago

Congrats on the book – I can’t wait to read it once it gets published! And now for a joke (originally seen on Family Guy): What’s green, has 4 legs, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you?… a pool table! I have no idea why I think this is so funny, but it cracks me up. Enjoy relaxing for a bit!

11 years ago

This is not a huge thing, but for me it was a good one: Usually, when I tell people I’m trying to reduce my use of plastic (and why) I get mildly sympathetic looks – at best – or a look that says “what a crazy woman” – at worst. Yesterday, however, my mother told me about a friend of hers to whom she talked about my refusal of plastic bottles and how that friend got curious and asked whether unwholesome substances might also be included in her plastic storage containers. So I was able to supply her with some additional information (through my mom). Yay!

Sarah "Angry Butterfly" Schumm
11 years ago

Congratulations Beth!
You are an inspiration as always. The good thing I want to say is that today I volunteered to start a “Green Team” at my work. As you know, I work for a pretty high profile green company, and we actually do pretty well, but we could be doing way better, and I decided to finally step up and do something about it.

11 years ago

Congrats!!! Can’t wait for the book!

And in the meantime, we’ve been inspired by you and know that you’ve had good things in the works.

And you even helped me to go poo-free this year, so yay for you!

David Leonhardt
11 years ago

Congratulations, hugs and kisses!!!

We’ve had a seemly never ending saga at our end too! No, the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncomming train – but sometimes seems so. I’ll tell you about it on the back channels.

Great news though, the person doing the etching on our straws is feverishly working on a plastic free way to do it – and approaching success!! I believe I will be able to show you some plastic free samples soon. And I owe it all to you. Thanks for the nudge and reminding me to just ask the question!

Can’t wait to read your book!!

11 years ago

Hi Beth – is there going to be an electronic release? :-)

11 years ago

Awesome Beth! I will be one sho buys many copies of your book!

11 years ago

Hi Beth! You are full of awesomeness! Congratulations on your book! :) I can’t wait to read it! Will you be having a book signing? :)

Here’s my innocent joke for you:

Why was the baby strawberry crying?
Because it’s Mother was in a jam. :)

Rach Wigg
11 years ago

Congrats! I have been reading your blog (mostly while you have been working on your manuscript), and I’m very excited to see you start posting again. I’m starting slowly cutting down my plastic consumption and it is painful but so rewarding!

Here is something totally light and entertaining for a fellow cat lover:

Tracey TieF
11 years ago

My youngest daughter had day surgery last week and on our way to the hospital I realized she had nail polish on. No, I don’t have nail polish in my home, but a friend of mine thought it would be a “treat”. So rather than face buying a plastic bottle of ketones, I packed some essential oils: lavender, orange and peppermint. The orange worked! So yay! Non toxic toxin removal accomplished with a glass bottle of orange peel!

11 years ago

Congratulations Beth! Here’s something good…

Monday it was 80 degrees here in Denver with tons of sun, and we set a new record high. Today… a high of 32 degrees, six inches of snow and it’s supposed to plunge down to 15 degrees tonight. I guess the gardening season has come to an abrupt and definitive close!

11 years ago

Hi Beth I’m usually a passive lurker but wanted to tell you how much I admire what you do in the way of plastic-consciousness-raising, and that I’ve missed your regular reports! I used to think I was fairly responsible with recycling etc., but until I started reading your site I didn’t realize how all pervasive plastic has become and how much each one of us can do to refuse it ourselves and to educate others. I wish you much success with your book!

11 years ago

Hi Beth,
Thanks for the space to share this good plastic free story. My husband’s
winery harvested grapes last week. In years past the awesome volunteer
pickers were offered water from single use plastic bottles. Not this year
though. My husband has his crew all on board about avoiding unnecessary
plastic at the winery and so the volunteers, about 40 of them, were asked to
bring their own personal bottles to refill from shared water coolers. It was a
great success and so much waste was prevented.

11 years ago

Congrats on the book! That must feel so good to accomplish such a monumental acheivement! I can’t wait to read it!

Something good… On the one hand we are having packaged chicken pot pie at my daughter’s request, rather than making our own…. But on the other hand, I opened them up and they are covered in paper this time – not plastic. Yey! I’m going to write them to say yey!
(i thought this was appropirate for a plastic-free site)

The Green Cat
11 years ago

Yay! Go Beth! This is so awesome that you have gotten through this and I look forward to hearing your “voice” again on your blog, and then to reading your book when it comes out. You ROCK!!

11 years ago

I’ll leave you with two good things.

1. A funny thing I saw in my office kitchen yesterday: A note that says (paraphrasing) “Hey, someone accidentally picked up my yellow mug from the drying rack, please return it.” Next to the note are three different yellow mugs, because apparently three different people have stolen and failed to return yellow mugs in the recent past! Or one person is a serial yellow mug thief! Awesomeness.

2. A recipe! I seem to recall you are vegetarian, so I will pick a dessert – orange chocolate chip cookies. :) I’m also offering a giveaway if you are interested – it’s a membership to the site Eat Your Books (basically a search engine for all your cookbooks so you can get better use out of them):

Melissa Brown
11 years ago

So if your ever in Austin (for in.gredients maybe?) come to
Amy’s ice cream. It’s a local chain. They have alcoholic ice cream (there was a Shiner and a Bacardi). The other day I got a dark chocolate ice cream sundae with hot fudge, fresh strawberries & walnuts. I said “please don’t put it in the plastic bowl and use the paper instead because I’m in a plastic diet, and I brought my own spoon.” And the girl gave me 10% off! :)
If that’s not good (and oh was it good) I don’t know what is.

I wrote and asked for them to carry waffle bowls.

11 years ago

Beth, I’m excited to see your book. I’ve been inspired more times than I can count reading your blog.
Here’s something “good.” My 5yo son was in the car with me in Berkeley and we got rear-ended. It wasn’t that big a deal (our old, old civic had plenty of dings already) but we pulled over and got out of the car to check things out. I was nervous with him on the sidewalk while I was trying to look at the bumper and talk to the other driver. Right as I was getting ready to get in the car to leave he comes up to me with a plastic bottle cap and says, “Mom, look what I found on the ground! It’s really good that we stopped here!”

My favorite soup to make: Tadka Dal
Saute 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds in 1 Tbsp butter or ghee until sputtering. Add minced small green chile and 1/8 tsp turmeric and saute 1 minute. Add 1.5 cups of whisked red lentils and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice to taste (about .5tsp salt and 1Tbsp lemon). The best. From Laxmi’s Vegetarian Kitchen.

Caley Concannon
11 years ago

Congratulations Beth!!

I have something cool for you. Did you hear about the greenwashing lawsuit filed today against plastic water bottle companies by CA attorney general Kamala D. Harris?

11 years ago

Again, MANY congratulations, Beth! I can’t wait to read your book (I would probably enjoy reading your grocery list; your writing is that good!). The only joke I can ever remember (because it’s my favorite) may be offensive to a lot of people and because I don’t know you that well (and you don’t know ME, or how or why I find it funny), I’m afraid to share it…I could inbox you with it at FB, though… :)

11 years ago

Remember when we were visiting in NYC and I sheepishly admitted to eating crappy fast food for lunch, because there are so few take-out options that don’t involve plastic packaging, and even then I knew it was a bad decision from plastic waste, money and nutrition standpoints? Good news: I have finally developed the habit (3 weeks going strong, knock wood) of packing my own lunch. For me, this is kind of huge.