The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: cutlery & containers

February 9, 2010

Life Without Plastic’s New Insulated Lunch Bag

Yesterday, I hinted at how I carried home my ice cream from Tara’s in an insulated nearly plastic-free bag. Now, perhaps you have already figured out a plastic-free way to carry hot or cold foods without losing/letting in heat. But more often than not, the choice is a nylon or neoprene bag insulated with plastic foam, right? Some are constructed out of recycled plastic, which is great.  But it’s nice to know that there is an (almost) plastic-free alternative.  That alternative? Wool.

Personally, I was excited when Jay from the company Life Without Plastic sent me information about his new locally-produced insulated wool lunch bag. (Locally-produced means made in Canada, where Life Without Plastic is based, rather than [for those of us in North America] overseas.)… Read the rest

December 3, 2009

PlanetBox Stainless Steel Lunch Kit

Last month, Fake Plastic Fish reader Alanna sent me a link to a very cool new stainless steel lunch option.  PlanetBox, a company created just this year, has designed a lunch box that is airtight and has compartments for all the different foods you might want to pack.  And unlike Bentology/Laptop Lunches, which I have never promoted because they are made from plastic, the PlanetBox container is plastic-free.



I asked the owner, Caroline Miros (who happens to also live in the Bay Area) about the materials in the lunch box, and here is what she told me:

Our PlanetBox lunch box is made out of high quality stainless steel – no plastic. Each PlanetBox comes with a set of magnets that are made out of synthetic rubber, but not PVC (the standard for thin flexible magnets).  We had to look long and hard for a supplier that did not use PVC and found one in Asia that sold to the European Markets (with their smarter, tougher standards.)  So the magnets… Read the rest
November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving, Buy Nothing Day, & My Travel Mug

stainless steel travel mug

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This post is not really about today but tomorrow:  the day the media insists on calling “Black Friday.”  I’m choosing instead to honor “Buy Nothing Day.” And to celebrate Buy Nothing Day, I am not going to replace my lost travel mug. And I’m not just going to wait until Saturday to replace it either. Here’s a little background…

This was my travel mug. Nice, huh? Stainless steel outside and in. Yeah, some plastic, which at this point seems to be inevitable with travel mugs. I lost it a few weeks ago and have been carrying a big ceramic mug with me, which is not so practical since it has no top and could be easily broken. But this is not the first travel mug I’ve lost. I lost the previous one, which looked exactly like this, back in October of 2008.  I’d had it for about a year.

See, I lose things. A few years ago, I left an iPod in the back seat of a taxi cab. I left a camera… Read the rest

October 19, 2009

Plastic-Free Intermission

After seeing two Broadway musicals this past week (Wicked, for the second time, and Rent, for the fifth) I just have one quick and easy tip to share today.  Skip the plastic wine cups during theater intermissions. Bring your own reusable beverage container.

I came prepared with two of the stainless steel wine “glasses” I purchased this summer — one for me and one for my friend Mark. But you can use pretty much anything that will hold liquid. It’s a great conversation starter and an awesome way to hold up the line and irritate the people behind you.

Or fill up your Klean Kanteen at home and bring it instead. It’s stainless steel, so no one can see what’s in it anyway. Just kidding. I would never suggest that you bring outside beverages into the theater with you other than plain tap water.  (I’ve been up all night working on a website [not mine] and am probably exhausted, but I had so much coffee yesterday [in my reusable… Read the rest

October 9, 2009

Would You Use A Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray?

I can’t tell you the number of times since I started Fake Plastic Fish that people have asked me what I do for ice. The answer has always been that I just keep using the same plastic ice trays that I owned before I started Fake Plastic Fish. I know, I know. I don’t like to put food in plastic because of possible chemicals leaching. But it’s my understanding that chemicals leach more from plastic when it is heated and that plastic interacts more with fats in foods. So I figured freezing water in plastic was safe.

Is it? I honestly don’t know. And since so many people have asked about a plastic-free option for ice, I decided to try out the stainless steel ice cube tray sold by NoPlastic.Ca. (2018 Update:  NoPlastic.CA seems to be out of business, but check out this stainless steel ice cube tray from Life Without Plastic.) I asked the owner Ramin to send me a tray to review, and here it is:

We had a metal ice tray like this when I was growing up.… Read the rest

August 28, 2009

Music Festival Dilemma – Drinking Wine Without Plastic

Remember last year when I blogged about my difficulties filling up my Klean Kanteen at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival? If you haven’t read the post, be sure and check it out. It’s pretty outrageous.

Well, this year, Outside Lands is supposedly making a big change. They’ve announced they will provide water refill stations and encourage festival participants to bring their own bottles. I’ll let you know how this works out because I’m going to the festival this Saturday. By myself. Why? Because no one else I know is up for spending 100 frickin’ dollars to join me for Jason Mraz, Black Eyed Peas, TV on the Radio, and a whole host of other bands plus food and art and wine. I know it’s not Radiohead this year, but still fun, right? (Oh, and some guy named Dave Matthews who is the headliner. Meh. [Although I could be convinced otherwise.])

Anyway, the water situation seems to be covered, but … Read the rest

February 19, 2009

Guilt, Gratitude, and Glass

A couple of weeks ago, I bought ten brand new Anchor glass refrigerator containers, similar to the vintage variety mom had. I found them at my local Container Store for the lowest price, and if there had been more of them in stock, I might not have stopped at just ten.

(I believe the Container Store has stopped carrying them, but you can still find them on Amazon or eBay.  A purchase via these links earns me a small percentage to support my plastic-free mission.)

The containers and lids are made of glass, packaged in cardboard, with zero plastic. Nada. And they are sturdy, able to survive freezer, oven, microwave, & dishwasher without complaint.  Each holds exactly one day’s worth of homemade cat food for Soots and Arya, unlike the repurposed plastic containers I had been using which were all different sizes and shapes and generally a pain in the neck to fill and to stack.

So why the guilt?

Because I don’t buy new things unless they are… Read the rest

January 16, 2009

Cutting Waste While Traveling… It’s not so hard.

Aloha from Waikiki! This is my brother David Terry who wanted to help me show you some ways to cut down on waste, plastic, and otherwise while traveling. Displayed are a few essentials that I bring with me everywhere, as well as some things I brought just for the plane.

First, my trusty Klean Kanteen. Yes, you CAN bring an empty Klean Kanteen through security and then fill it up at the drinking fountain in the airport once you get past the guards. This is perfectly legal. The security agents did ask me a couple of times if the bottle was empty, but they didn’t bother looking inside it. And liquids you obtain in the secure area of the airport are never questioned.

But, of course, you can only carry so much water in a Klean Kanteen. This one is 27 ounces. Perhaps I should have borrowed one of Michael’s 40 ouncers.

I also brought my travel mug for coffee throughout my visit. Last year, when I visited my parents here on Oahu, I had no trouble presenting it … Read the rest

September 12, 2008

Plastic-free in the freezer: airtight stainless steel food containers

A very common question for Fake Plastic Fish is what to use to store food in the freezer. Until now, I didn’t have an awesome answer. As you can see, I have been reusing Michael’s old plastic cottage cheese containers. And reusing plastic bags. I wrote about all the plastic we were reusing a year ago. Certainly better to reuse what you have than toss out and buy new, right?

Except that plastic is not necessarily the best material for storing food… especially fatty or acidic food, which can cause the plastic to break down. And certainly not hot foods. So what’s a better alternative?

Glass?  I do store some foods in glass jars. That’s an okay solution. You can freeze glass, but you have to be very careful with it when you take it out, as it will become brittle. And glass jars are not the best shape for storing frozen foods because the neck can make removing the food difficult.

Stainless steel?  It’s great. But until … Read the rest

September 8, 2008

GlassDharma makes drinking fun again!

GlassDharma reusable glass drinking straw

Going plastic-free has not been a huge burden, for the most part. We’ve got awesome bulk foods stores and farmers markets here in the Bay Area, and most shops are happy to package purchases or leftovers in my reusable containers. But a few changes I’ve made have been actual sacrifices, and ordering iced drinks without straws was one of them. Ice hurts my teeth. Cold drinks are just so much more pleasant and fun through a straw. But I gave them up when I gave up plastic. And now, thanks to a tip from FPF reader Lisa Sharp, I am straw-free no longer!

(And yes, I’m aware there are those who will say drinking iced cold beverages is no good for the digestion in the first place, but to me, a little iced tea in the summer is a beautiful thing.)

According to Glass Dharma, its drinking straws are made from the strongest glass commercially available and can be used over and over again indefinitely. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical, so I wrote to the… Read the rest