The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

July 8, 2015

#PlasticfreeJuly Book Review: That’s a Wrap eGuide

Thats-a-Wrap-01-CoverSince writing my book Plastic-Free, I’ve had multiple requests for a condensed version with just the basics for getting started. My answer is usually, “Great idea. How about you write it?” Because seriously, we need as many plastic-free voices in the media as possible. And to be honest, I get tired of hearing my own voice.  Well, now someone else gone and written the shorter guide that people have been clamoring for.

What’s Included

In her new, brightly illustrated digital ebook That’s a Wrap, Australian blogger Lindsay Miles includes basic information about problems with plastic (as well as the drawbacks to recycling and plant-based plastics) and why you’d want to reduce your use of it.  (Scroll down for purchase link at bottom of page.)


After getting the problems out of the way in the first 25% of the book, Lindsay goes on to offer a wealth of plastic-free tips and solutions,



highlighted throughout with inspiring quotes.



I especially liked the section about the cleaning properties of various essential oils.


And the book ends with a chapter on a topic many of us ponder regularly: what causes people to change?



What’s Not Included

What you won’t find in It’s a Wrap are names of specific companies that offer plastic-free alternatives or personal stories about how Lindsay has reduced plastic in her own life.  Instead, the book offers general principals and strategies and lets the reader figure out the specifics.  By way of explanation, Lindsay wrote me:

Lindsay-MilesI wanted to move away from the “I do this” or “I do that” because I think it can be a barrier, where people think they don’t live in a town like mine so can’t do these things, or equivalent excuse. So I took all specifics out, and focused on ideas – how, rather than what.

I can see pros and cons for including personal and specific information.  On one hand, some people are inspired by reading about the actions of other people, which is why in my book I included not only stories about my own actions but those of lots of plastic-free advocates around the world.  But on the other hand, after including personal information in my book, I have had a handful of readers complain that they don’t live where I do and therefore can’t make the same changes as I’ve made.  Perhaps a book like Lindsay’s would be easier to digest with its straightforward style.

Purchase a Copy

Click here to purchase a copy of That’s a Wrap right now.  (Disclosure: If you purchase through this site, My Plastic-Free Life earns a small commission.)

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I live in Oakland and still can’t make the changes you do!


I will stop buying single serve items.


I would love to win a copy. I am currently ready your book, trying to reduce plastic use in my house. I am completely overwhelmed! With kids everything I plastic, I am surrounded by it, drowning in it.

Beth Kearley

I love finding new ways to reduce plastic use. Glass jars are one of my favorite…next going to try the non plastic wraps. Thanks for all you do!

Sarah Hickok

This would be helpful to me.


On my way to reducing plastic, I’ve supported a crowdfunding campaign that wants to bring tiffin boxes to restaurants for take-away to reduce the amount of waste that is part of take-away :)
Here’s the link to the campaign (in german though)


I’ve encouraged my partner to buy a safety razor and that’s now replaced disposable plastic razors in our home. It was a bit of a learning curve but it seems to be working out well now.

Joan Dunn

I have been making a strong effort to stop using plastic. I have increased my store of glass storage items and am using silicone seals instead of the plastic lids that come with the bowls. I also use waxed paper to wrap some in when I run out of glass bowls. It seams to work well for a few days. I’m still learning the ins and outs of plastic free living. I would love a copy of your book to learn more about my quest to rid plastic from my home.

Sharon Shalvi

I stopped buying bottled water some time ago but now I’ve stopped buying any drinks in plastic bottles and only buy glass bottled drinks.


I no longer buy cans with BPA liners


I will bring my own Tupperware for left overs.


This month plan on trying to wash my dishes with baking soda and reduce the amount of liquid dishwashing detergent which comes in a plastic bottle. I’ve tried it a few times and it’s working better than I expected when it comes to cutting grease.

I will be also trying to wash my clothes with soapnuts. Even though they sadly come in plastic packaging, if they work as well, they should help reduce plastic waste given the fact that they can be reused multiple times.


Would love to learn from this awesome labor of love! Hope I win! :)

Heather Waldron

To stop forgetting my reusable shopping bags I put them where I can’t forget them in my car ,or on my bike, in my purse or in the sleeve of my coat.

Rebekah Mann

I first found out about plastic, how much stuff I was wasting, etc. by reading (on happen chance) the book, “Zero Waste Home”, which then lead me to “Plastic-free”. My first steps was to rid my kitchen of as much plastic as possible. As a mom of two, I figured what we eat from (store our food in, etc.) was a very important place to cleanse from poisonous plastics – first. Being on the poorer side of life, it has been a slow but continuous journey. I feel that I am making a healthier home and planet for my children.… Read more »

VaNita Smith

I’m going to pledge to use my reusable grocery bags always. And stop using ANY produce plastic bags.


I’ve started bringing my own containers to butchers/fish counter in the supermarket. Before, I was too embarrassed to try (I still send my boyfriend ahead when he’s with me), but I made a commitment for Plastic Free July on my blog, so I can’t cheat! (

Narelle Dandy

I started a petition to stop single use plastic containers and cutlery etc within airports through Sum Of Us….. only have about 9 signatures but hey, you have to start somewhere!


I am planning to switch my toothbrush to bamboo this month. I also just ordered some coconut shell bowls for the kids to use instead of plastic.


Agree with making your own bags! Very easy to make great shopping, produce bags from old, favorite T-shirts. Lots of instructions “out there”, but basically sew closed the bottom (maybe with a gusset) and cut off sleeves and around neck hole to make the handles/straps.

Michelle Piche

I found something new, beeswax covers, to go over bowls instead of plastic wrap.

Amanda Chapman

I now buy in bulk using bags I made from old fabrics, I switched mine and my partner’s toothbrushes to bamboo and now make our toothpaste, I have been sharing my efforts with my friends and family and have inspired them and I even started a blog about my efforts :)


Don’t be afraid of the sewing machine! I just sewed my first garment, a reversible wrap skirt, this month and a purse. Next up are fabric shopping bags to replace my worn out recycled plastic ones. I picked up some adorable organic cotton fabric and linen to see a few more items too.

As for new plastic-free habits, I’m definitely going to try the baking soda for washing dishes. I already no-poo. I’ll also be ordering plastic-free TP. I’ve been looking locally with no luck.


I went to my local op shop. Bought some curtain sheer material for $2 and sewed it into 20 reusable drawstring bags to reuse when I buy produce from the bulk section or fruit and veg. I used some crochet cotton I already had to make the drawstring. Replaces all those plastic produce bags and they can easily go in the washing machine!


Motivated to purchase food from bulk bins, I found myself in a local health food store that I had not patronized in years. I was able to replace many of our pantry staples with bulk bin items. While there, I picked up some milk in a glass bottle for the first time. It proved to be delicious!

Katie Taylor

I’ve taken quite a few steps this year…. the next is to try making my own condiments/foods at home. I recently read your post about homemade ketchup and will be focusing on that (among others) this month! Thanks for all your great work, you’ve made this transition to plastic-free living much easier….. I couldn’t imagine doing it without this great resource!

Janice Chiaffredo

As a quilter I am going to start looking for eco cottons. they can be then used to make grocery bags, lunch bags etc

Mary Geracitano

Since undertaking PFJ in 2014 I regularly use my own ‘keep cup’ for on the run tea and coffee. Also converted to bamboo toothbrushes which are compostable when worn out. This year I have begun taking my own reusable bags to the shop and markets to buy loose produce in. I am proud of myself avoiding the packaged veg and only buying loose items. The bonus being that they are generally of a better quality (no hidden ‘on the turn’ bits that are sometimes in prepackaged stuff). Funnily enough I had a conversation with my 11 y/o son today about… Read more »

Ryan Van Lenning

I want to commit to not using plastic bags for produce and bulk items. I do reuse them, but it still seems like way too much. Not sure what are good, convenient, non-plastic ways to transport bulk items like rice, tea, nuts, lentils.


I do almost everything you’ve listed in your 100 Steps to a Plastic-Free life; still, I have some steps left. For instance, I plan to switch to homemade nut milk (I’m a full-time student, and nut milk in glass is way too expensive for me) instead of buying it in stores. Also, though I buy fresh bread in paper bags, it is much better to make your own; so, the next step will be to make a sourdough starter and bake my own bread. I’ve already solved problem with dishcloths, and bought a natural wooden brush for my water bottles,… Read more »


I’m excited to have convinced my family members to give homemade cinnamon mouth wash a try. The idea is from and I think it’s such a delicious idea. Instead of buying a plastic bottle with chemical mouthwash, I simply boil cinnamon sticks in filtered tap water and let it cool. Ready is the mouthwash. Cross your fingers for me that my family members like it. I don’t want to have this artificially gleaming mouthwash in plastic bottle anymore.


I am new to the plastic free lifestyle….so just about everything I am doing is new in the month of July. Now when I go to the store, I will buy items that come in jars as opposed to plastic, this is hard to find sometimes but it really feels like I am doing my part when I see all the plastic I am saving from the trash, and I can reuse the jars for screws and other small items!


Today I’ve just replaced my ancient flaking non-stick frying pan with an uncoated stainless steel one, and bought my first solid hair conditioner bar. I’ve also given up liquid soap and shower gel this month and gone back to good old-fashioned bars of soap.

Ruth Leckey

I buy my milk from a vending machine at the farm and collect it in glass bottles with screw tops. Its delicious!

Lyn Jarman

I bought shopping bags made out of recycled plastic bags


I’m stocking a new kitchen from scratch this summer. I can commit to no plastic utensils, spatulas, cooking vessels etc. 80% of my storage is already glass (but I do use the plastic screw caps and silicone inserts, its a negotiation). I’m whittling down the plastic I have left. I’m curious about replacing baggies that hold wet foods (or damp clothes, etc).


Beyond using cloth bags and mason jars while shopping, I’ve taken the plunge this month. I’ve made my own body butter, cream deodorant and powdered toothpaste. On top of that I’m jumping head first into composting and purchased my first wriggler worms to help. Thank you for this opportunity. I hope I win :)

Vicki Schwartz

I ordered bamboo toothbrushes & I make my own toothpaste, hair products & beauty products & use all glass containers


I have become tired of buying yogurt and kefir in plastic packaging so my July change is to make my own. I’ll use milk from Straub Dairy in returnable glass bottles and also use my stash of glass containers to store the yummy end products.
In the past, I’ve experimented with making my own cultured dairy from time to time but now I’ll establish a practice of keeping both yogurt and kefir in production. Thanks for your great blog and the invitation to challenge myself!

Crystal Abel

I want to Say no to plastic produce bags. I need to get some mesh fabric and make my own on my sewing machine. I just wish I had a serger.

Laura Cuplin

I have long taken containers for my take out meals but I often forget to take small waxed paper bags for restaurant leftovers. I, as of Monday night will never accept a foam doggie box and will always have my own packaging when I eat out. I am traveling this month and have replaced all my plastic travel bottles with glass with metal lids. My favorite tooth paste comes in plastic and my dogs prescription food switched from multi-layered paper to plastic last month. For every step forward there seems to be one backwards. We will win, someday.

Julia Meireles

i am buying the menstrual cup…and THAT IS HUGE…my tampons and pads are at an end, its time, and scary…keep thinking: WHAT IF IT OVERFLOWS! panic alert.
So if changing a VERY INTIMAT life habbit does not cut it nothing does.

doing it now because they finally can be seen at the local pharmacy, before i could only buy online anda at a price i did not like without seeing THE THING.

so, do you send across the atlantic?


I am not eating at the cafe at work. I am shopping more in the bulk bins.


Committing to no more plastic baggies. I have some washable/reusable ones for the kid’s lunches.


I’m going to try to do less internet shopping from companies that don’t use recyclable packaging. I especially love getting used books but the media mail packaging is a plastic bag.


Finally! Life Without Plastic is carrying the *perfect* sized rectangular, stainless steel, airtight containers for storing/freezing leftovers, other bits & bobs. Yay!
Also, next Chinese food take out, gonna see if they will use my container for the Wonton soup. we’ll see.


Hey there! stoked to find pages I can learn from and further reduce my footprint :) currently I’m doing my own personal year long zero waste style chalge. and sometimes its just that. Through out I’m leraning to do more and more plastic free. Since I’m starting to get better with cooking, This month I’ve been focusing on making my own sauces and what not. So far I’ve done salsa, sloppy joe mix and a creamy salad dressing. I am wanting to do more :) Thanks for the oportunity to share :)


When going out to eat, I keep a metal lunch container in my car, then instead of asking for a disposable to-go container, I use the one I brought to take away the leftovers. Every restaurant I’ve done this at is completely OK with it and some have remarked that they wished more people would then they wouldn’t have to stock to-go boxes. One less plastic or styrofoam to-go box at a time can add up!


I am moving this month and in the process of packing, I am getting rid of many things (think Goodwill, East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse and consignment stores). My new focus since reading this blog is on getting rid of plastic. Thanks for the reminder!


I’ve been cutting back on plastics for many years, but I still have issues with finding plastic alternatives in the grocery store. When given the choice, I always select glass even if it costs more. And I still get strange looks from the check-out staff as I take my sopping wet produce to the register NOT in plastic produce bags.