The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 28, 2013

Plastic-Free Burning Man — The List, Part 2

Yesterday I detailed the outside of my Burning Man setup. Today I’ll tell you about the inside.


I’m using the vintage wood, canvas, and steel camping cot I blogged about after my night at the aquarium last year..

I didn’t figure out a plastic-free sleeping bag, and the truth is, the purple polyester (or maybe it’s nylon… not sure at this point) bag I bought back in the early 90’s still works great. Why replace it?

Floor Covering

Since the bottom of my tent is vinyl (ick), I wanted to cover it with natural fiber rugs. Second-hand would have been best, but this was kind of last minute, and I needed enough to cover a10x10 space, so instead of rugs, I opted for a felted rug pad made from recycled carpets and other recycled fabrics. It’s very, very soft, but probably a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. It was very affordable too. Purchased from Dick’s Carpet in Berkeley. It’s really trippy looking… Read the rest

August 27, 2013

Plastic-Free Burning Man – The List, Part 1

I only had two hours sleep last night after driving 12 hours, but I want to post these pictures and give you the list of ways I’m de-plastifying my Burn this year.

I’m staying with the Earth Guardians… which is part of the Burning Man infrastructure tasked with making the event as green as possible.

If you’re on the playa, stop by and say hi, leave me a message in the little notebook attached to my tent, or come to one of my workshops, either Wednesday at 1 or Saturday at 2.

Here’s the outside view of my little home on the playa:


The tent is a Springbar Traveler 5, which is made of heavy duty cotton canvas. I put it up this morning with the help of an expert named Kearce. But it was me who pounded all 18 twelve-inch steel stakes into the hard playa.

Here are the pros and cons of a Springbar tent. Pros:

*Mostly heavy duty cotton instead of synthetic material. *Super strong, stable, and durable. According to comments online from Burners,… Read the rest

August 26, 2013

Coffee in a Mason Jar

When you read this, I’ll be (hopefully) on the road to Burning Man.  Being without a cooking stove for a week will mean a change in my diet… but no change in the way I drink my coffee because I don’t heat it anymore anyway.

Making cold brewed coffee

I think I learned about cold brewed coffee from my friend Tracey TieF (with whom I went to Burning Man last year), and the idea intrigued me.  Checking on Google (because that’s my first impulse any time I learn about anything new these days), I learned that brewing coffee cold produces a full-flavored but mellower, less bitter cup.

Some people use a French press to make cold brewed coffee, and in fact Frieling makes one that is entirely plastic-free. Impulsively, I almost bought one a couple of weeks ago, but I thought better of it in time to cancel the order.  Because despite some of the products I have endorsed, my plastic-free life is not about buying a bunch of new stuff when I don’t… Read the rest

August 26, 2013

My Morning Zero Waste Green Smoothie

About a month or so ago, I realized I wasn’t getting enough fresh produce in my diet. I wanted to eat more kale and other fruits and vegetables.  And I figured blending a whole bunch of things together in a smoothie every morning would be fast, easy, and painless. But despite the Ecology Center’s instructions for storing produce without plastic , I couldn’t manage to keep kale from turn yellow before I could eat the entire bunch.  I was avoiding plastic waste but producing food waste!

And then, one morning on the bus, it hit me: I wonder if you could freeze kale.  I Googled “how to freeze kale” and bingo, there were instructions. I just had to figure out how to do it without Ziploc bags.

First, I washed and spun the kale and then cut it into pieces and laid them out on a tray in my freezer to freeze individually so they wouldn’t stick together after I put them all together in a container.  (This step is especially necessary… Read the rest

August 24, 2013

Brush With Bamboo is my new favorite toothbrush

After reading my blog, and especially the review of several different eco-friendly toothbrushes, Rohit Kumar and his friend Rohit Sahdev were inspired to create the perfect plastic-free toothbrush. While they haven’t yet found a way to create a brush that is completely plastic-free, they’re getting close. Their company is called Brush With Bamboo, and I’ve really been enjoying using the various toothbrush incarnations they’ve developed over the past year and observing the Rohits’ efforts to create a brush whose materials and packaging are more and more sustainable.  I gave Ro K. lots of feedback and suggestions, and he listened and took action.  THAT is the kind of person/company I want to support!

(Brush with Bamboo is available from Amazon.)

The Handle

I love the curved handle on the brush as well as the length. The one in the picture on the right is the earliest version. It’s more curved. But … Read the rest

August 24, 2013

This Blog Is Going to Change. For the Better — I Hope.

Have you noticed I don’t blog much anymore?  I’m averaging about two posts a month, and I’ve been feeling like I’m letting my readers down.   (For those of you subscribed to the Show Your Plastic Challenge posts or Community Discussion Group, it may seem like you receive a lot from me, but those posts are written by other people — other awesome, involved, engaged people.  You guys rock!)

So I’ve been doing some thinking (which is not in itself news, by the way.)  I’ve been pondering why I am blogging so little lately.  It’s true that I am incredibly busy these days — with activist work, giving talks, maintaining my accounting job, having a life.  I have a list of about 50 blog posts that I would love to write, and no time to actually sit down and write them.  Because blog posts generally take me at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted time, if not more, to put together.  (Some posts take all … Read the rest

August 19, 2013

It’s the Burning Man Plastic Footprint Project!

Last year was my first trip to Black Rock City and the annual Burning Man festival of art, fire, and radical creativity, as well as dust storms, cracked feet, and dry, bloody boogers.  I can’t wait to go back. This year, I’ll be part of the Earth Guardians’ Plastic Footprint project — combining art and education about plastic-free living.  Today, I’ll tell you about the art and associated workshops we have planned. Tomorrow, I’ll share all the new plastic-free solutions I’ve discovered for Burning Man this year. I’ve been researching my head off.  Really, my brain hurts right now.

Plastic Footprint Project — At Burning Man and Incline Village

SCROLL DOWN the page for the list of our Plastic-Free Workshops and events next week.  But first, the art…

Annie Clark, an artist and art teacher in Nevada’s Washoe County School District, contacted me this past spring after … Read the rest