The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

April 26, 2012

The Plastic Sea Monster Joins the Lunchbox Action This Week!

Last week I promised that if enough people would join me for the Lunchbox Project Earth Day Action, I would don the fake plastic sea monster costume and walk around Crocker Galleria in full getup. Well, it turns out I’m easy because it only took one person — Deb Baida from Liberated Spaces — to convince me to do it. She even helped me get into my costume,  carried my stuff, and took most of the pictures in the slideshow below.  Thanks, Deb!

The day was unseasonably hot, and it was like a sauna under all that plastic. Still, I took one for the team. The event was great. A crowd gathered at the Crocker Galleria and heard inspiring speeches by representatives of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, SF Department of Environment, Clean Water Action, and of course me in my finery. Then, we all fanned out to eat lunch, bringing our own reusable containers with us and asking restaurant employees to serve our food in our containers instead of disposable plastic. People brought all kinds of containers to use.

Here are a couple of fantastic summaries of the day:

As Single Use Plastics Go, So Goes the Planet: A Lunchboxy Photo Essay, by Sven Eberlein on Daily Kos

Chicken in a Jar, by Deb Baida on Liberated Spaces

And readers who could not attend the event joined from around the world, sending me photos of their reusable containers from places as far away as Australia and Jane Austen’s home in England. How cool is that? Here is a slideshow of images from the day, including some of your photos.

(Click each image to advance through the slideshow.)

Lunchbox Project 2012 Earth Day Action

Thanks to Debra Baida, Sven Eberlein, and Martin Backhauss for taking pictures so I didn’t have to. See larger images and read captions on the Flickr site.


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I love all your efforts, and am raising my kido to do her part & teach her class mates about the 3 r’s. We’re proud to have helped 2 schools get curb side recycling as well. In our continued efforts to reduce waste I’m looking for shopping tips for those that have allergies. We can’t shop bulk stores for fear of cross contamination (gluten/dairy/soy free). I’m happy some of my flours come in paper, but the rest are in non friendly plastics. I have called some of the companies and requested they switch to recyclable bags. Any other suggestions. Thank… Read more »

Beth Terry

Hi, Amy. I do know there are issues of cross contamination for people who are sensitive to gluten, soy, etc. Would you be able to buy those products that are stored in the upper containers and pour out via gravity? I don’t know if I’m describing it right, but here is a picture of what I mean: (The first photo on the page). Customer hands can’t touch the product or cross contaminate it. And according to my source at Whole Foods, who I interviewed for my book, bins are sterilized in an industrial washer before being filled with another… Read more »


Thank you! I’ll check with my local health food store as to how they use their gravity dispensed bins. I’d love to find they have designated allergy free bins. My family is so sensitive it’s hard to take the risk. I’ve compensated by making all our lunches (school & work) trash free, and as much of the shopping as I can. And simple choosing not to buy things because of the packaging. And calling the co’s to tell them so. Thanks for your hard work. Amy


I saw you on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show which is what lead me to your site and your information, which I take to heart and am adding to my ever growing list of what’s ok and what’s not so ok anymore. I thought you did just fine, I could tell you were really on your toes and not totally in your comfort zone and could emphasize. Yet, I sure got the point and thought you were great! Thank you….

Beth Terry

Thanks for your encouragement, sgegna!


You’re welcome. I’m always amazed that one person can singlehandedly start a revolution, and that’s what you’re doing….!

Beth Terry

A revolution, yes, but definitely not single-handed! First, there are all of the people who read and contribute comments to this blog and send me emails letting me know about new solutions or articles that I should read. And then there are all the other activists and explorers out there… the founders of the Plastic Pollution Coalition and 5 Gyres and Green Sangha and Algalita Marine Research Foundation… oy the list goes on. I have them to thank for paving the way for me and for the future. :-)


I knew that comment was a bit over the top, and that many, many others are also informing and leading the way, but actually….you have begun your own additional revolution, and that’s really what I meant.

Anita Gwynn

Positive Black Stories. By Heru G. Duenas Truth Is Truth. Heru G.Duenas

Sven Eberlein

Such a great time – thanks for all you do, Beth!


You are so awesome!!!