What are some of the worst examples of useless plastic crap you’ve seen? After my post about Le Froglet single-serving wine and rant about single-servings in general, you guys posted a ton of other examples in the comments and also on the Fake Plastic Fish Facebook wall. Inspired (and grossed out), I created a new Facebook page for us to vent our frustrations about the excesses of plastic we encounter: The Plastic Crap Wall of Shame. (http://facebook.com/UselessPlasticCrap)
Inspiration came from Lisa Borden, who vented about individually-wrapped ice cubes (oh yes, for real) and Vanessa Farmer, who ranted about individual plastic cupcake holders. Since I set up the page just a few days ago, people have posted disposable single serving baby bottles, Silly Bandz bracelets, Starbucks splash sticks, Shutter Shades, and a whole lot more.
I know what I usually say about Shame and Guilt… that they’re not helpful or productive.… Read the rest
This morning, my friend Jenn sent me an article from the U.K.’s Daily Mail about an exciting new concept in wine: single serving portions in disposable plastic glasses.
It sounds like something from The Onion or Saturday Night Live, but sadly it’s not. Le Froglet’s wine in individual glasses is flying off the shelves at Britain’s Marks & Spencer, which apparently has a whole store section called Food on the Move packed with all kinds of single-serving goodies.
Well, the insanity of producing yet one more single-use disposable product in a time when we are constantly reminded of the dire nature of our environmental situation got me thinking about the one thing EVERYONE could do right now to reduce their consumption, plastic and otherwise:
JUST STOP BUYING SINGLE SERVINGS!
Stop buying single servings of everything. Stop right now. There is no reason that I can think of for anyone to do it. (Okay, I’m sure there… Read the rest
This post is about toxic adhesives used to apply labels to food packaging and whether or not those chemicals can migrate into our foods. But it’s also a convoluted story about the foul odor emanating from the general direction of my dishwasher.
Stinky Dishwasher Smell
If you’re my Facebook friend, you may be waiting impatiently to hear the conclusion to the following status update:
Our kitchen smells like dead animal ass. Literally. We’ve searched for weeks to find the source of the smell. Today, I’m pretty sure it’s the Seventh Generation dishwasher powder we switched to. Is that possible? The dishwasher’s running now, and the smell is definitely coming from there. I stuck my nose in the [detergent] box, a…n…d it’s not good. Anyone else noticed this or am I crazy?
Yes, this is the type of tasteful, articulate status update you can except from me if you choose to be my Facebook friend. And… Read the rest
Just say no to those little plastic pizza savers. Is saving a little bit of cheese more important than saving the environment?
Let me apologize in advance for any sarcasm you might detect in this letter. It’s late, and I’ve been losing sleep for about two years, basically working for free to wake people up to the environmental crises we face. So you can imagine that I’m a little bit cranky. And maybe just a little bit jaded by big box companies that profess to be going green, when “Big Box” seems to be the antithesis of green.
Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart. You are big and muscly. And now you want to use your muscle to demand sustainable practices from your vendors. You have created a brand new Sustainability Index (PDF), despite the fact that many third party standards already exist.
But what are the standards you are pushing? And who gets to decide what they should be?
Your new Sustainability Index… oh, sorry. It’s not Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Index. It belongs to the world. According to Rand Waddoups,… Read the rest
Plastic-wrapped bananas are redundant and stupid, aren’t they? I mean, really. Bananas already have a natural wrapper. But 7-Eleven wants to make sure they stay fresher even longer. So 27 stores in Dallas, Texas are testing out the new plastic-wrapped bananas. If successful, the chain plans to sell them in all of its stores.
According to an article in USA Today (forwarded to me by Fake Plastic Fish reader James Langford), “7-Eleven recognizes that the wrapper could be an environmental issue and has asked supplier Fresh Del Monte to come up with a wrapper that’s biodegradable.” Um… it already has a biodegradable wrapper. It’s thick and yellow and decomposes in about a week, as evidenced by the contents of my compost bin.
Since 7-Eleven does appear to be somewhat concerned about its environmental footprint, let’s help them realize the error of this packaging choice. Please make a quick phone call … Read the rest
I was kind of a late bloomer, always jealous of other girls’ racks and fearing I’d never have one myself. Even my younger sisters got theirs ahead of me. No, I didn’t suddenly pump myself full of plastic to impress the boys. It’s my new Drying Rack, people! What the heck did you think?
Committed more than ever to saving energy after seeing The Age of Stupid last week, I was determined to figure out a way to hang dry at least some of our clothes. The trouble is, we don’t have a yard for installing the kind of contraption Linda has, and we don’t have room in the house to put one up either. Our laundry room is basically the back hallway which has barely enough room for Michael and me to squeeze past each other. We also don’t have the right kind of wall space to put up one of those expanding dry racks.
So I was happy to find a different kind of drying rack. Called the Best Drying Rack, the unit is constructed of maple and corrosion… Read the rest
Arriving late to the Elmwood Theater Saturday night for the film Food Inc, Michael and I were stuck in the front row with our necks craning to see the screen. Believe me. It was worth it. Even if you’ve already read The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Fast Food Nation, seeing images of downed cattle, abused chickens, and mistreated factory workers up close brings the subject home on a visceral level.
But in addition to needing a reminder of why I should avoid fast food and support our farmer’s markets, I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to see if the film addressed any issues of plastics in the environment and in our food supply. And it kind of did, in a very subtle and ironic way. One of the interviewees in this film is Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm Organic, the third largest producer of yogurt in the U.S. A glimpse of the Stonyfield plant as well as a walk through the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA showed row after row of plastic containers.… Read the rest
UPDATE: Sadly, LaundryTree has closed its doors. For updated information on where to buy plastic-free soap nuts and all of our plastic-free laundry methods, please visit this post: How to Make Liquid Soap Nuts Laundry Soap Plus Other Plastic-Free Laundry Ideas. But don’t leave just yet! This is still a great story about how to get companies to change their packaging.
The original post…
Put on your fuzzy slippers. Grab a mug of cocoa. Sit back, and let me tell you a little story about why it’s worth it for us to ask for what we want. There’s free stuff at the end, so hang in with me.
Have you ever done your laundry with soap nuts or been curious to find out how they work? Soap nuts grow on a tree called Sapindus mukorossi (Chinese Soapberry) and contain saponin, a natural surfactant which foams just like soap. I’ve wanted to try soap nuts since I first spotted them in a natural grocery store a couple of years ago but have… Read the rest
Hershey’s. Nestle. Santa Cruz Organic. Ah!Laska. Dagoba. What do these syrups have in common? (Besides some form of chocolate?) Some are conventional. Some are organic. Fair trade. But all of them are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles. How can products can be labeled organic when they are packaged in plastic? Shouldn’t chemicals from plastic packaging be considered in organic certification?
Well anyway, Michael and I need our chocolate syrup in order to be happy. So I found a very simple recipe and have tweaked it to perfection.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened) (Purchased from bulk bin in my own container.)
2 cups sugar (From bulk bins — I use 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar.)
1/4 teaspoon salt (Bulk bin.)
1 cup cold water (Tap, of course!)
1 tablespoon vanilla (Glass bottle with small plastic cap.)
Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone. Add water … Read the rest