The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Store Reports

June 30, 2007

Store Report: Elephant Pharmacy

Just like Whole Foods, this natural pharmacy contains very few items that are not packaged in plastic. Recycled toilet paper in plastic. Recycled napkins in plastic. Natural cellulose sponges in plastic. Natural cleaning products in plastic. Natural cosmetics, drugs, foods, bric-a-brac in plastic. Here are the few plastic-free items that I found and bought:

2 boxes of BioBags, 3 gallon size. BioBags are made from corn and are 100% biodegradable and compostable. We are going to use them in our kitchen garbage can instead of the plastic grocery bags that we have been using. Hopefully, we won’t be putting much into them anyway. We put all of our food waste into the green compost bin; we put all of our paper, cans, and curbside-recyclable plastic into the gray recycling bin; and since the beginning of this plastic project, I have been saving all the non-recyclable plastic “for later.”

Ever since I heard about Casabella natural … Read the rest

June 30, 2007

Store Report: Rockridge Market Hall

The Pasta Shop in Market Hall Foods. Or as my friend calls it, Markup Hall. It’s pricy, alright. But they do have bulk pasta! All different shapes and sizes! And Market Hall is only a few short blocks from my house right near the Rockridge BART station. Unfortunately, they only offer the standard roll of plastic bags near the bulk pasta. But if you ask at the counter, they will give you paper bags. It was very crowded today, so I didn’t want to try and get into a discussion about bags. I’ll find a less busy time (if there is one) to approach the manager about putting out paper bags as an alternative to the plastic. Most customers will simply take what’s available rather than ask for something different.

At Market Hall’s Cheese Shop, I asked to have my cheese sliced to order and wrapped in paper. However, the merchant wasn’t really clear on the concept. When I got my paper-wrapped cheese home and opened up the wrapper, I … Read the rest

June 23, 2007

Gardening without plastic? My trip to Long’s Drug

I took a walk to the Rockridge Long’s today, or as my friend Christine calls it, the Mother Ship Long’s. It’s huge. With a huge nursery/ gardening center. I wanted to find out if I could buy plants, soil, fertilizer, and other plant necessities in non-plastic containers. Here’s what I found:

1) Plants — just as at Whole Foods, Long’s sells herbs and vegetables in Eco-Form pots, but all the other plants are sold in plastic. I’ll be sticking to seeds until I can find a way to buy plants without plastic.

2) Soil — Nope. Not a single bag of any kind of soil in non-plastic. How do people avoiding plastic obtain potting soil? I won’t be planting anything new until I figure this out.

3) Fertilizer — This is where I hit the jackpot. Long’s has a whole aisle full of organic plant foods in cardboard boxes and heavy paper sacks. Brands include Sweet Earth, Down to Earth, Grow More Research FarmsRead the rest

June 22, 2007

Store Report: Whole Foods, Berkeley & E-mail Response

I took a notebook, pen, and some canvas bags with me today and went on a fact-finding mission to Whole Foods Market on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. I wanted to find out what non-plastic options were available at this hipster natural foods mecca. And mostly what I found were shelves and shelves and shelves of plastic. Unless you stick to the produce or bulk foods sections, which inhabit about 1/4 of the store, you will find it difficult to find much in this store that is not contained in or does not contain some type of plastic. So, here’s a run-down, section by section.

1) Outside — the garden section. I was curious to find out if I would be able to purchase plants for my roof garden that were not contained in plastic pots. While Whole Foods does carry herbs and vegetables grown in biodegradable Eco-Forms pots, all non-edible flowers and plants come in plastic. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to buy another shrub or if must stick to planting … Read the rest