The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Movies

May 27, 2013

From the Waste Up – A Movie About Learning to Live Plastic-Free

Among all the depressing environmental films out there, wouldn’t it be great if there were a funny, entertaining one about what it’s actually like to try and live without plastic?  Taina Uitto, who has blogged at Plastic Manners since 2010 about her own plastic-free experiment, has been filming her process since day one.  And last year, she invited 6 Vancouver families to join her.  Now, she is putting the footage together into a feature film called From the Waste Up: Life Without Plastic, which will follow the adventures of these families as they try to navigate modern life without plastic.  (There may be a few other people that you recognize in the film!)

But the filmmakers need your support to get it finished!

Check out the trailer:

From the Waste Up – Life Without Plastic from Taina Uitto on Vimeo.

Who Is Taina?

Taina is not just a blogger and activist.  She’s also a new mom.  And yesterday, she and I had a really fun… Read the rest

July 6, 2012

Midway Journey: A Personal Plea for Your Help

Five years ago, a photo changed my life.  I was just a regular American, choosing double plastic bags at the grocery store, drinking bottled water, living on microwaveable meals and energy bars wrapped in plastic, and buying whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without ever considering how things were made or where they were going to end up.  I gave money to Greenpeace, watched environmental documentaries, and had even worked briefly for Clean Water Action right after college, but my environmental actions did not extend to my personal choices.

Images that change lives

And then one night, In June 2007, sitting alone at the computer, I stumbled across an article about the ocean plastic pollution problem and saw the photo that shocked me like no other had.  It was a poor quality image of a dead albatross chick on Midway Island–halfway between the United States and Japan and thousands of miles from any civilization–that was full of everyday… Read the rest

April 18, 2012

“Bag It” Is About WAY More Than Plastic Bags

It you still haven’t seen the award-winning film Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?, what are you waiting for?

Bag It is the award-winning documentary about all things plastic (not just bags!) that combines serious information with lots of humor to wake people up to the growing problem of plastic pollution and plastic toxicity.  Jeb Berrier, whom I like to refer to as “Michael Moore Lite” (except if you don’t like Michael Moore, forget I said that because Jeb is funnier and less aggressive), takes viewers on a wild quest to get to the truth about plastic.  He interviews scientists, activists, and experts, and at one point even pays a visit to my bathroom.

Bag It is the film to show friends and family members who have been resistant to the idea of reducing their plastic consumption.  It’s easy to watch (I’ve seen it about a dozen times and don’t get tired of it) but it hits home just how important it is that we stop… Read the rest

February 24, 2012

Lessons from The Lorax: Why Nagging Doesn’t Work

Hey kids.  Don’t be like the Lorax.  He’s a bad example.  I should know.  I used to be like him, and I still am sometimes.  I’ll explain what I mean, but first, let me back up a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, a representative from Universal Pictures invited me to write a compensated* post for the LESSONS FROM THE LORAX Blog Tour in support of Universal Pictures’ animated film DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX, which will be in theaters March 2.  I had seen ads for the movie and was already looking forward to it, so I was happy to participate.  “Except,” I told the rep, “my blog is about plastic, and isn’t The Lorax about saving trees?  I don’t know if I can write a relevant post.”  Believe it or not, I had never actually read the book.  Somehow I missed it as a child, and then as an adult, I guess I’d heard so much about it, I never felt the need to actually pick it up and read it.  “Don’t… Read the rest

March 30, 2011

Bag It: Must See Movie Comes to Your Town

Many of you have probably already heard about the film Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? that came out last year. But if you think it’s only about plastic bags, think again. There’s a reason the filmmakers ended up on my doorstep in 2009 to learn about how to live without plastic.

Bag It is the story of an ordinary guy named Jeb Berrier who one day has an awakening sparked by a plastic bag.

Learning about the problems with plastic bags leads him on a journey to find out more about plastic pollution and the harm from disposable plastic.

He exposes the myths of recycling, telling the truth about why it’s not the answer to our plastic pollution problem.

He calls out the plastics industry and American Chemistry Council and explains the techniques they used dupe the public. And he even experiments with his own body to see the impacts of chemicals from plastics like BPA.

Trying to figure out if it’s possible to live without disposable plastic,… Read the rest

October 12, 2009

Tapped: Even More Arguments Against Bottled Water

I just finished watching the new documentary, Tapped, a polemic against the bottled water industry.  As regular Fake Plastic Fish readers know, I’ve written extensively against bottled water myself, providing a multitude of reasons to avoid the stuff: Bottled water is not as strongly regulated as tap water; it requires more energy to bottle and ship than tap water; it negatively impacts local community water supplies; it turns over control of a public trust to private companies; and of course, the plastic bottle lasts in the environment virtually forever.

Tapped covers all of these points and even some that were new to me.  View the trailer:

The film begins with the statement,

By the year 2030, two-thirds of the world will be lacking access to clean drinking water.  This is a problem every single person will be dealing with regardless of where they live in the world.

Many of us think that taking shorter showers and neglecting our lawns will… Read the rest

September 23, 2009

Living in the Age of Stupid or the Age of Compassion?

Monday began with me in a classroom in Benicia, teaching children about plastic, and ended in a cheesy piano bar in San Francisco’s Union Square. In between, a phenomenal global event.

Sitting in a Century movie theater in downtown San Francisco, I was taken over by waves of grief for our planet and especially its people. As I emailed to a friend, I think I must have held my breath for the entire length of the Age of Stupid premiere, a film event broadcast to 440 cities in 63 countries.

View the trailer:

Set in the year 2055, after the effects of global climate change have basically wiped out most humans and other animals on earth, a lone archivist records a message, illustrating it with a handful of the billions of stories he’s collected in a massive database he calls the Global Archive, before transmitting the entire collection into outer space as a cautionary tale to future civilizations. The big question: Why didn’t we save ourselves… Read the rest

September 11, 2009

Bag It!

What’s better than having Oprah show up on your doorstep with Tim Gunn and the ghost of Ed McMahon to inform you that you’ve won a billion dollars, the end of environmental degradation, world peace, and a fabulous new wardrobe made from fair trade organic chocolate that you can actually eat once it goes out of style? Um… probably nothing. But yesterday, I experienced maybe the next best thing.

Jeb and Jim from Reel Thing Productions showed up on my doorstep to spend the day filming and interviewing me about plastic for their new documentary Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?, directed by Suzan Beraza, a film which “chronicles the global production, use, and disposal of plastic bags and other plastics.”

Check out the trailer for the film which is expected to be completed by the end of the year:

I wish I had thought to photograph or record them as they were recording me because the guys were funny and committed and serious with… Read the rest

September 3, 2009

No Impact Man teaches me to suck eggs.

In May of 2007, I listened to a radio program that changed my life. The show was To The Best Of Our Knowledge’s Going Green episode, and the interviewee was Colin Beavan, self-described No Impact Man. His efforts to live sustainably caught my imagination. He and his family were attempting to live for one year generating zero environmental impact, while living in their ninth floor New York City apartment. I think maybe I related to him as a fellow urbanite. I realized I didn’t have to move to the country and live off the grid in order to lower my ecological footprint. But there was something else, too. Something in his voice that let me know here was someone who wasn’t blaming everyone else for the state of the earth but had decided to see what he himself and his family could do about their share of the mess we’re in.

Several weeks later, I managed to look up his web site, and it was through following links from the No Impact Man blog that… Read the rest

June 22, 2009

Organic food in plastic packaging – Isn’t it ironic?

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