The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Green Businesses

February 5, 2017

New Service Delivers Refillable Products in Glass Containers to Your Door

Fillgood.co refillable liquid products

So, you’ve been reading about ways to reduce your plastic use, including bringing back empty bottles and containers of personal care and cleaning products to refill, and you think, “I’ve got to try that sometime.”  (The BULK mobile site can help you find refill locations.) But that means planning ahead and remembering to bring your empty containers back to the store.  Once you get in the habit of doing it, remembering is no big deal.  But getting started can be difficult for folks just beginning the plastic-free, zero waste journey.  If only there were a service that would pick up those empties and deliver freshly filled ones right to your door.

If you live in the Bay Area, Stéphanie Regni can help!  Her company, Fillgood.co, delivers refilled glass containers of natural personal care and cleaning products to local customers.  I paid a visit to Stéphanie at her home in Albany, CA, last month, and chatted… Read the rest

November 30, 2016

MOM’s Organic Market Wants You to Bring Your Own Containers

This story starts with a car wreck.  A few weeks ago–the week before the U.S. election, to be exact–I was in Maryland visiting my dad. Riding shotgun on the way home from my brother’s birthday dinner, I caught a glimpse of the sign for MOM’s Organic Market and shrieked, “HEY, THERE IT IS!” Unfortunately, my scream startled dad enough for him to swerve into a curb that had suddenly jutted out into the middle of the road. (Who put that there?)  We ended up with a flat tire and had to wait in the MOM’s parking lot for my brother in law to come help us change the tire.

 

You’re probably wondering why I screamed when we passed MOM’s Organic Market.  Well, growing up in Beltsville, MD in the 80’s, we shopped at conventional grocery stores like Giant and Safeway and A&P.  We didn’t have markets like Whole Foods, and we certainly didn’t have our own… Read the rest

February 23, 2015

Arrifana Resturant in Portugal is saving 5000-6000 single use plastic cups a year!

Photo Restaurante Praia Arrifana ©

Michelle Cassar is a long-time reader of this blog and committed anti-plastic activist, although I’m not sure she would actually call herself an activist, nor anti plastic.  She’s also a surfer, photographer, and world traveller who has been living in Portugal for quite a while.  Back in 2011, she sent me a list of the over 10,000 plastic items she had refused since beginning her plastic-free life.  And now, she’s helping others to refuse plastic by working with a local restaurant to eliminate plastic cups.  Here is the story in her own words.  Read, enjoy the beautiful photography, and be inspired!

(Por favor, vá para baixo para a versão Português.)… Read the rest

October 7, 2013

In.gredients — Possibly the Coolest Grocery Store Ever

I’ve been dying to visit In.gredients since before the store even opened for business, and I profiled the company in my book Plastic-Free based on a telephone interview and articles I had read about a new packaging-free grocery store opening up in Austin, TX. So almost immediately after arriving in Austin yesterday afternoon, I headed over to this mythical zero waste grocery store to see if it was as awesome in real life as it had been described to me back when it was still in the planning stages. And you know what? It’s better.… Read the rest

September 19, 2013

Plastic-Free on Kauai

We’re having a great time on Kaua’i (mosquito bites notwithstanding), and despite the ubiquitous polystyrene foam foodware, we’re discovering some great plastic-free resources.  Upon arrival at our hotel, the concierge handed us a list of farmers markets on the island.

There’s at least one for every day of the week, which means we never have to worry about plastic produce packaging because we brought our own bags.… Read the rest

June 29, 2013

So many cool, plastic-free innovations; so little time and blog space

I attended the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Think Beyond Plastics Competition conference two weeks ago and have been trying to find the time to sit down and write about it ever since! There were so many cool plastic-free innovators and activists there, I barely know where to begin. If you will recall from my previous post, the competition sought to reward and support creative start-up entrepreneurs working to be part of the plastic pollution solution.  Such as…

Pulpworks

Pulpworks was one of the grand prize winners. The company wants to replace the frustration of the plastic blister pack with a more eco-friendly option made entirely from recycled paper.  Instead of this…

wouldn’t it be nice if, in situations where packaging is necessary, that packaging was made from compostable, 100% post-consumer waste paper?

 

As you can see, there isn’t even any glue in this package.  Just paper pulp and … Read the rest

February 26, 2013

Turtleback Listens! Company to Make Product That Degrades in Sea Water.

Hey, remember my rant last spring about the plastic Turtleback cup holder meant to be used at the beach? And how I thought it was so ironic to name a product for a sea animal that is routinely harmed by ocean plastic pollution? A bunch of green bloggers created quite a stir on Turtleback’s Facebook page back then, and after initially being taken aback by it all, the owner, Ryan Housley, listened.  In fact, he had an open mind from the very start.

Switching to Biodegradable Material

Yesterday, Ryan emailed me a link to the company’s new Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is to fund the development of Turtleback 2.0, a version made from biodegradable plastic (Mirel), a plant-based plastic that is certified to not only biodegrade on land but also in sea water. In fact, it is the only bio-plastic certified to break down in the ocean, as far as I know, and it has also been tested by the folks at the Algalita Marine Research Institute, whose mission… Read the rest

December 11, 2012

What Will It Take To Solve the Plastic Pollution Problem?

I had lunch today with Pam Marcus, the founder of Lifefactory, a company that makes reusable glass water bottles and baby bottles.   She is also one of the organizers of the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s “Think Beyond Plastic Innovation Competition.”  There is a $50,000 prize at stake for the best idea for reducing plastic pollution, whether it’s the invention of a new material or a technology or a process or… whatever.  And I got to thinking… what will it really take for us to reverse this mess we have gotten ourselves into?

Look, it’s all well and good for us to reduce the amount of plastic we personally use in our daily lives.  And that has been my project for my own life, and this blog, and my talks, and my book for over 5 years.  But are our personal actions enough to stem the tide of new plastic that is being dumped onto the earth every day?  Are they even enough to keep each of us safe from toxic… Read the rest

June 26, 2012

Herban Crafts: Make Your Own Bath Salts and Empower Homeless Women

I suppose I should be careful when using the term bath salts these days.  I could have said lip balm or sugar scrub or herbal soap, which are all products you can learn to make yourself and at the same time help homeless women learn job skills.  My friend Karen Lee–captain of the Eco-Etsy team and the author of the blog EcoKaren–and her business partner Mary Kearns of Herban Lifestyle have created a brand new for-profit social enterprise called Herban Crafts, which offers DIY personal care craft kits as part of job training program to empower homeless women living in transitional housing.  In addition to putting together the kits, the women will learn skills to help them gain employment in the future.

It’s a cool idea.  And what is even cooler is that Karen is committed to creating kits that are as green as possible.  All the ingredients in Herban Crafts Kits are certified organic, fair trade and/or ethically wildharvested.  … Read the rest

May 31, 2012

Pitch Me Your Green Product, but Skip the Greenwash. Here’s How.

My email in-box is forever filling up with product pitches from various PR reps who want me to review their latest offerings on this blog.   While I love reviewing things like plastic-free chewing gum, plastic-free lip balm, or compostable cleaning cloths, more often than not, the pitches I receive are either irrelevant to my topic–I’m not going to review an organic shampoo in a plastic bottle, even if the producer hand-picked the ingredients from her own backyard herb garden and reduced her carbon footprint by mixing them up using a pedal-powered generator–or don’t contain enough information to capture my interest.  Several years ago, I wrote up a detailed Advertising/Review policy, but it doesn’t seem to help much.  And in conversations (read: rants) among other green bloggers, I’ve discovered I’m not alone.  So I decided to write a letter to “green” companies to let… Read the rest