The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Interviews and Guest Posts

January 11, 2014

Working Out Without Plastic, Part 1

In October, when Kathryn Palumbo first contacted me on Twitter from @YouAsAMachine, I thought, “Who the heck is this woman with the ripped abs and the funny Twitter handle? And why would someone like this be tweeting me, a totally out of shape but committed plastic-free activist?” I’m not exactly sure why I thought it was strange except that I don’t know any fitness trainer type people, and I guess I had this pre-conceived idea that they all wore Spandex, lived on bottled water and energy bars, and spent so much time in the gym they didn’t have time to care about the environment.

So, I was blown away by Kathryn’s article, “You As An Environmentally Conscious Consumer.” Here are a few excerpts:… Read the rest

April 8, 2013

Plastic-Free Diapers – Change Them, Donate Them

Since I’m not a mom myself, I rely on the wisdom of other parents who are working to reduce plastic in their families’ lives. Cloth diapering is one way to cut down on the amount of plastic contacting your baby’s skin and ending up in landfills or incinerators. Here are a couple of guest posts: one is about a cloth diaper event coming up this month, and the other is about a project to donate cloth diapers to families in need.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

by Janice Roodsari of Momma Words

Have you heard about the Great Cloth Diaper Change? All around the world people are learning about how using simple, reusable, cloth diapers can make a BIG impact on a family’s finances, environmental waste and pollution, as well as the health of your baby. To help spread the word about the benefits of cloth diapering, an event called The Great Cloth Diaper Change was dreamed up and the Real Diaper Association turned this dream into a reality.

The … Read the rest

February 4, 2013

Giving Up Plastic for Lent

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Gabriel Lamug-Nanawa (Gabby), a Jesuit priest in Cambodia, who has a proposal for churches in his local area to promote Plastic-Free Lent this year.  Last year, Gabby went on a plastic fast for Lent and found the experience to be not only good for the planet but an important part of his spiritual practice as well.  I asked him to describe his experience from last year and his proposal this year.  Here is Gabby in his own words.

Cambodia has had a tragic past and has only quite recently begun to open up to the modern world. Our cities are urbanizing very rapidly. But as people reach out and embrace modernity, a lot of other things such as disposable plastic is seeping through and is turning Cambodia’s beautiful rustic landscape into a littered mess. Cambodia does not need these problems, and perhaps this coming Lenten season will be a good opportunity to pray and discern together how better still… Read the rest

October 4, 2012

Cardboard Costume Challenge for a Plastic-Free Halloween

Halloween Plastic can be scary!  But blogger Amber Dohrenwend has one solution to Halloween plastic.  She’s the author of The Cardboard Collective, a blog about using recycled cardboard (the kind you would fish out of the cardboard only recycling bin or dumpster) to create toys, crafts, and furniture. She lives in a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan with her husband and two children, where she says, they “strive to maintain a simple, cardboard affirming lifestyle.”  In an effort to reduce plastic consumption this Halloween and encourage fun and creativity, Amber has organized the Cardboard Costume Challenge.  I asked her to explain the challenge in her own words and also tell us a bit about herself and her own efforts at de-plasticking in Japan.  So, here’s Amber:


I’m so excited to be joining you here on My Plastic Free Life! I’m a huge fan of all the work Beth’s done. … Read the rest

July 27, 2012

3-D Printing: Inspiring Creativity or Just Proliferating More Plastic Crap?

Have you guys been following the hoopla about 3-D printers? Those marvelous machines that can make just about anything you want on demand?  A year ago, reader Eleanor K. Sommer contacted me for my opinion about 3-D printers (something I hadn’t even heard of at that point) and was concerned that these machines could be another way to bring more plastic stuff into the world.  Plastic crap on demand, right?  Well, she’s done a ton more research since then and offers this guest post to share what she’s learned.  I’d love your comments after reading the post.  Some people think that 3-D printing will revolutionize and democratize innovation.   What do you think?

3-D Printing for Home and Office

Eleanor K. Sommer

About a year ago I saw a video of someone “printing” a wrench. David Kaplan, a theoretical physicist at John Hopkins University, interviewed Joe … Read the rest

July 17, 2012

Starbucks Trash: Behind the Scenes

Last week, I received an email from a new Starbucks employee who was shocked by the amount of waste she sees at the store everyday. Many of us do our individual part by bringing our reusable mugs for coffee, but it turns out that, according to this employee (who wants to remain anonymous to keep her job), the waste goes much deeper. I asked if I could share her rant here with you all. I’m not sure how to get Starbucks to clean up its act, but maybe you guys have some suggestions.

Jul 12 (5 days ago)

To: Beth Terry From: [name withheld]


I recently started working at Starbucks, which sells itself as an eco-friendly, green company to the general public. Since I began work there, I have been disgusted every day with the amount of waste, not only of cups, lids, straws, and hot drink sleeves, but also by the packaging of many things that are used in the store every day.  Many things which we sell come  packaged individually wrapped, in a box of five (like… Read the rest

May 29, 2012

Use a Straight Razor to Manscape Without Plastic

Ever considered trying a straight razor? Chris Reeves did and lived to send me an email about the experience. Chris is the visitor programs manager for the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, California.  In his free time he gives talks about plastic pollution in the environment and will be holding a training for other folks to do the same.  Chris says he’s also “a Gemini who likes long walks on the beach picking up trash and talking to kids about weird dead stuff.” He’s funny.  Here’s the email he sent me.

Hi Beth,

I hope this is helpful for some of your male readers.

Last week I was getting down to my last disposable razor cartridge, I had a few bucks I could spend, and I decided to stop stewing about cutting out this one futile use of plastic from my life. It seems ridiculous to be using a material that will last in the environment forever simply to remove stuff from my face that is just going to grow back in a week.… Read the rest

May 4, 2012

Plastic-Free Progress Report: Sarah Schmiechen

Sarah Schmiechen is a long-time reader of this blog and prior participant in the Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge.  She emailed me recently to let me know about some of the successes and challenges she’s had in reducing her plastic consumption, and she suggested that it might be useful/helpful for me to post profiles of readers and the changes they’ve made in getting plastic out of their lives as well as the difficulties they still face.  I thought that was a fabulous idea and asked Sarah if she would like to be the first.  Sarah was up for it, so the following is her post.  I have added my own comments at the bottom with a few suggestions, but I’m sure you guys will have a lot more for her.

Recently, I was at an out of town family wedding catching up with my cousin April. We were chatting about blogs we read, and The Compact, and I mentioned My Plastic-free Life and how I’d won the Show Your Plastic Challenge.  April asked me what … Read the rest

April 7, 2012

3 Cool Tips for Plastic-Free Gardening

It’s spring.  Are you starting a garden?  Right now, the plastic-free garden I planted last year with assistance from Organic Gardening’s Eric Hurlock is totally overgrown.  The chard has become a huge bush of pretty white flowers and stalks that are taller than I am.  Most of the rest of the yard and garden are taken over by little yellow flowers (some would call them weeds) and some kind of lily that has spread from its spot by the wall, due to my having dug up the bulbs last year and haphazardly tossed them behind me.  (I didn’t realize they would still grow even on the top of the soil.)

I’ll get to work on my garden again eventually.  Just as I did last year, I’ll be attempting to do it plastic-free.  (See my “Gardening Without Plastic” series, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). And this year, in addition to the tips and advice I gave last year for plastic-free gardening, I’ll add a few more tricks, courtesy… Read the rest