The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 27, 2012

Annie Leonard: Don’t Just “Be the Change.” Make Change!

When Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff Project) admonishes us to “make change,” she’s not talking about dimes and quarters.  She’s one of my personal heroes and someone I was excited to interview back in 2010.  So you can imagine how honored I was this year when asked if she could interview me for her podcast The Good Stuff, a companion piece to her new video,  The Story of Change.  The premise of the video and podcast is that personal changes are great, but they’re not enough.  As Annie puts it, “Conscious consumerism is a great place to start, but it’s a lousy place to stop.” After watching the movie (it’s only 6-1/2 minutes long), do you agree?

In the the companion podcast, Annie interviews me along with people like Ralph Nader and Van Jones about how to go beyond personal lifestyle changes to make change on a more systemic level.  I talk about how making changes in my own life led… Read the rest

September 25, 2012

Night at the Aquarium on a Plastic-Free Camping Cot

It’s hard to find plastic-free versions of a lot of camping supplies.  Plastic makes things lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack.  I don’t camp a lot, so usually my strategy to avoid new plastic is to borrow from friends or find things second-hand via Freecycle, Craigslist, yard sales, or thrift stores.   At Burning Man last month, I slept in a nylon sleeping bag on a foam pad, both of which I have had for many years.  And while the sleeping bag has held up very well and will last me many more years to come, the foam pad was a big fail.  Maybe it’s because I’m not as young as I used to be, but I woke up every morning with an aching back, sore in places I didn’t even know I had.

So when the Monterey Bay Aquarium invited me to come and give a presentation during their Plastic Pollution Summit last week — and as a bonus, sleep overnight in the aquarium in the exhibit of my choice — I knew I had to get moving to find an … Read the rest

September 14, 2012

New Freezycup Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds Use Less Space in the Freezer

Summer is not yet over, so there’s still time to squeeze in a post about Life Without Plastic’s new Freezycup stainless steel popsicle molds.  (Of course, there’s no rule that says popsicles can only be eaten in the summer anyway.)

But before I talk about this new mold, let me back up a bit.  Two years ago, I reviewed the stainless steel popsicle mold from Onyx Containers.  Many of us were excited about it because it was a great alternative to plastic or silicone.  But, as I mentioned in that review, there were drawbacks.  First, the steel stand that held the molds was coated in polyethylene plastic, plastic which actually was peeling a little bit on the one I received.  I wasn’t crazy about that aspect of the design, but I was happy that the molds themselves contained no plastic.

What I didn’t know then was that one of my favorite companies — Life Without Plastic — had had a stainless steel popsicle mold… Read the rest

September 11, 2012

Plastic-Free Sunscreen that Passes the Burning Man Test

As someone with fair skin that burns within just a few minutes, I’ve used heavy duty sunscreen in plastic tubes for years.  And even after going plastic-free, I’ve found sunscreen to be a challenge.  I blogged about sun protection a while back and got some great suggestions from you guys.  And this year, I discovered a couple of companies making all natural, non-toxic, plastic-free (or nearly plastic-free) sunscreen.   I even saw a demonstration on how to make your own!  And what better place to test out various sun protection methods than the hot, dry playa at Burning Man?

Radical States of Dress

Before I talk about sunscreen, though, I want to discuss other practical methods of sun protection.  The first: clothing.  Burning Man is known for radical costumes, as well as states of undress.  Yeah, I saw a lot of nudity.  I also saw a lot of sunburns.  So I decided to be radical in my own way (one of BM’s tenets, after all, is… Read the rest