The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

March 26, 2012

Plastic-Free Book Exciting News!

As many of you know, I spent most of last year and the first few months of this year researching and writing my book: Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too (Skyhorse). The Kindle version of the book is available NOW on!

Plastic-Free Book is Beautifully Plastic-Free

From the very beginning, my editor at Skyhorse, Joseph Sverchek, was committed to producing this book without plastic. There were some challenges, but he thinks he has succeeded. Check out the Editor’s Note inside the front of the book:

What do we mean by minimal plastic? When we decided to publish a book called Plastic-Free, we knew we wanted to make the book itself plastic-free. As it turns out, that's something of a challenge— with plastic coating on the cover and jacket, polyester or nylon thread in the binding, and plastic glue throughout, most books are full of plastic! So we've stripped things down. The jacket is uncoated, the thread is made of cotton, and the boards and spine are exposed. Our printer even managed to find a plastic-free glue to use. With all that in mind, we assure you that if the book's not 100% free of plastic, it's as close as can be!

Did you notice that this snippet from the book is blue? That’s because the book is a beautiful 4-color design with photos and tip boxes and highlights in various colors. I am so impressed with the layout of this book, and that’s not bragging because I had nothing to do with it. All the credit belongs to the designer at Skyhorse, who worked to make this book not only useful and readable but really attractive as well.

But even though it’s pretty, this is no lightweight book. It was a challenge to balance inspiring stories, useful resources, and practical tips with hardcore information about the problems with plastic, the facts about recycling, the differences among bioplastics and the impacts of the various kinds, the truth about silicone, and why we can’t buy our way out of the mess that we’re in. I spoke to lots of experts and activists, and I hope I have done their work justice.

What’s also exciting about the book is that it’s filled with tips from you, the plastic-free community. Throughout the book I have made sure to give credit where credit is due, not only to acknowledge the people whose ideas are presented book but also to show the world that I am not a lone voice but that there is a growing community of people all working to live with less plastic and sharing their solutions and ideas. My hope is that this is a book you will want to share with your friends and family who may not read blogs or who may not have thought as much about these issues as you guys have.

Hardcover vs. Kindle

The main difference between the hardcover and Kindle versions is that the Kindle version of Plastic-Free is available right now! You can download it from and read not only on your Kindle, but also your iPad, iPhone, or even Android phone after installing the Kindle app.   (The Nook version is coming.)

Other advantages to the electronic version of the book is that it’s searchable, depending on your app, and that it contains live URLs, which makes visiting the sites I mention in the book very easy.  What’s more, if you already own an e-reader of some kind, you will be saving resources by downloading instead of purchasing yet another thing.

Disadvantages are that you miss out on some of the beautiful formatting of the hardcover book.  Let’s face it, the electronic version is just not as pretty.  And you also lose the ability to pass along the book to share with a friend.

If you want to be really eco-friendly, ask your local library to order the book so lots of people can enjoy it.  (Of course, they will probably cover it in plastic to protect it.  *Sigh*)

Please Help Spread the Word

The hardcover book is not due out until June, but I really want to start drumming up interest now.  Feel free to share this information via Social Media.  The more pre-orders we receive before the publication date, the higher the book’s rank will be on the day it comes out!

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Classic stainless steel bento boxes and cotton lunch bags.

I only post ads for products I use myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

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My Plastic-free Life

Melissa Brown, I believe there will be iBooks, but you can read Kindle books on iPad with an app, I’ve been told.

My Plastic-free Life

Hi Connie Sartain. Yes, Kindles are made of plastic. I’m not suggesting anyone go out and buy one, but for those who already have an e-reader, downloading an e-book saves resources. Also, Almost All The Truth, you can read Kindle books on PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry as well.

Connie Sartain

Are Kindles not made of plastic??? Just Askin’

Almost All The Truth

I am so excited too! I wish I had a Kindle so I could read it now, but I guess I will just have to be patient. :)

Melissa Brown

Any plans for release on iBooks?

Amy Beckerman Zarndt

I think I will wait to buy the book so I can share it with others. Very impressive that it was made plastic free and that I can get it shipped plastic free. Bravo!

Melissa Brown

Yay :) do you have any reviews lined up? A book tour? I hope your book will reach a wider audience. That’s my dilemma. Getting people to take that next green step.

Cat Domiano

I’ve already downloaded mine!

My Plastic-free Life

Yes, but I am not telling people to go out and buy a plastic Kindle, but if they already have a Kindle, then please download away! It’s ironic, I know, but maybe not as ironic as it could be. :-)

Katie Lack

the irony is so thick, i can chew it!

Cat Domiano

Yay! (Although I find it ironic that I will read your Plastic-Free book on my plastic Kindle!)


Beth, I am coming a month late to this post but that doesn’t hinder my excitement! I am sure that your book is a piece of art and eco-friendliness and I will do all I can to promote it. Now I have to check Share-a-Sale.

Beth Terry

Thanks, Sonya!


kindle ordered. told a local area food coop. best of luck with this


Ahhhh I thought it came out in April. Just went to order it. I only have a 10 year old Nokia that still works just fine. So I’ll have to wait for the book….

Betsy (Eco-novice)

I don’t have an e-reader and am really looking forward to the hardcover edition. I will probably buy it so I can share it with friends, but I’ll also request it from the library. So excited to read it! Thanks for all the work you do, Beth.


I did – it wasn’t working earlier, but it is now! Maybe amazon just had a blip. Thanks for checking, anyway.


Amazon tells me that the kindle version isn’t available. Is that because I’m in the UK?


Wahoo! Been waiting for this. Congrats, Beth! The only problem now is that I’ve already downloaded it to Kindle and can’t seem to pull myself away from reading to go to work… hmm…


Congratulations! Thank you for all of the research you have done!


Beth, I’m looking forward to walking to one of the many independent bookstores in my neighbor to buy a copy using cash…not plastic ; ) Deciding which store to patronize is the problem. There’ all awesome and unique in their own ways, and I realize it’s an unusual dilemma to have in this day and age. Thank goodness!


That’s great to know, Beth! I have a SONY reader, so I guess I should not have any problems reading another version – unless it’s specifically designed for one kind of device.

Eve Stavros

You are living proof that, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Now I know why I was procrastinating in pre-ordering – I was waiting for plastic-free shipping! Congratulations for the book and all you do to make us think, care, and laugh along the way.


Will there be another e-book version, compatible with other formats than the Kindle one? I own an e-book-reader, but I’m fairly sure it won’t open kindle files.

Toby McKenzie

A plastic free-book book named plastic free! This is awesome.

Great job.


Mike Lieberman

Awesome. Congrats Beth. Didn’t know about the book!


Please forgive me if I am misinformed, but aren’t Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and iPhones largely made of plastic?

Thank you so much for all of the hard work you have done in getting this book out (while also maintaining this site); but I will be reading it the old-fashioned way.

Rua Lupa

Can you add your book to too? I’d love to share it on my virtual library recommendations!

Jerami G

Congratulations Beth! Kindle version done and done. I will probably get the hard copy in June to share with my friends and family :) This works out perfectly as one of my “29 goals before I’m 29” is to get closer to zero-waste! Once I read the book I’ll have a year to put your tips and tricks into practice…now I just need to get back blogging so I can share this great book with my friends and family.

Sharyn Dimmick

How wonderful that your publisher helped to make a plastic-free book for Plastic Free. And how lovely that some libraries are abandoning plastic covers and finding that cost-effective.


That is exciting! I am going to giggle when I get it from the library and they’ve wrapped it in protective plastic. (But at least since it’s a library book it’ll get used many times.)

Kellie@My So Called Green Life

I just downloaded my Kindle copy and can’t wait to dive in! I already have goosebumps reading reviews by Jack Johnson and others about the book. I’ll definitely add Share-a-Sale and promote away!

celia kiewit

Congrats to you Beth!!!


It’s not necessarily the case that libraries will cover the book in plastic. At my library I lobbied successfully to stop the use of plastic covers – they’re a huge pain to measure, cut, and apply, so our staff were in favor of discontinuing their use even without the environmental considerations. It’s cheaper to buy a new copy of a book than to spend the time and money on the plastic covers, so it works from a financial perspective as well. I hope other libraries are taking up this change as well!

Beth Terry

Reports are coming in of my book being covered in plastic at the library. My Oakland librarian made the point that there’s actually a higher ecological footprint to producing more books than protecting them so many people can use them. I blogged about it today. Would love your thoughts on the post.