The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: sports, athletics, camping supplies

February 19, 2014

Running with Less Plastic, Part 1

New Year’s Resolution #3: Run an official 5K race in under 30 minutes.

Sorry to have been out of touch for a month.  I’ve had a lot going on.  But I’m making progress on my 2014 goals.  Down 18 pounds and running again.  No, this picture isn’t me this year.  It was taken back in 2006 during my marathon training year.  But it’s a motivating image for me.  This year, though, I hope to resume my running habit using a lot less plastic.

Getting Up to Speed

I’ve done this before — run 5K (3.1 miles) in under 30 minutes, that is.  I know I can do it again.  But it’s going to take a lot of work.  As I wrote last month, I had been sitting on my butt for the past seven years.  So, I have to break this resolution down into sub-goals.

1) Run 3.1 miles without walking… at whatever speed.  I’m almost there!  8 weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5K (aka C25K) training program, which starts… Read the rest

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

January 9, 2014

Lose Weight Through Plastic-Free Living?

New Years Resolution #1:  Lose the 35 pounds I’ve gained since I went plastic-free in 2007.

Here’s me in January 2007, minutes after completing my first marathon and 6 months before I decided to go plastic-free.  Look at all that plastic crap, including (gasp!) bottled water.  Well, I’ve lost a heck of a lot of plastic weight since then!

But instead of keeping it off, I seem to have just transferred the weight to my hips, my butt, my tummy, etc.  Here’s me in March 2013 after living plastic-free for almost 6 years.  All natural, organic clothing.  Water in a stainless steel bottle.  Yet I am 35 pounds heavier.

This image is from a talk I gave with Danielle Richardet and Bonnie Monteleone at UNCW in Wilmington, North Carolina.  I was recovering from what would turn out to be only one of many colds I came down with last year.  And while I’m really proud of the talk, I was so embarrassed by my appearance … Read the rest

August 28, 2013

Plastic-Free Burning Man — The List, Part 2

Yesterday I detailed the outside of my Burning Man setup. Today I’ll tell you about the inside.

Bed

I’m using the vintage wood, canvas, and steel camping cot I blogged about after my night at the aquarium last year..

I didn’t figure out a plastic-free sleeping bag, and the truth is, the purple polyester (or maybe it’s nylon… not sure at this point) bag I bought back in the early 90’s still works great. Why replace it?

Floor Covering

Since the bottom of my tent is vinyl (ick), I wanted to cover it with natural fiber rugs. Second-hand would have been best, but this was kind of last minute, and I needed enough to cover a10x10 space, so instead of rugs, I opted for a felted rug pad made from recycled carpets and other recycled fabrics. It’s very, very soft, but probably a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. It was very affordable too. Purchased from Dick’s Carpet in Berkeley. It’s really trippy looking… Read the rest

September 25, 2012

Night at the Aquarium on a Plastic-Free Camping Cot

It’s hard to find plastic-free versions of a lot of camping supplies.  Plastic makes things lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack.  I don’t camp a lot, so usually my strategy to avoid new plastic is to borrow from friends or find things second-hand via Freecycle, Craigslist, yard sales, or thrift stores.   At Burning Man last month, I slept in a nylon sleeping bag on a foam pad, both of which I have had for many years.  And while the sleeping bag has held up very well and will last me many more years to come, the foam pad was a big fail.  Maybe it’s because I’m not as young as I used to be, but I woke up every morning with an aching back, sore in places I didn’t even know I had.

So when the Monterey Bay Aquarium invited me to come and give a presentation during their Plastic Pollution Summit last week — and as a bonus, sleep overnight in the aquarium in the exhibit of my choice — I knew I had to get moving to find… Read the rest

September 11, 2012

Plastic-Free Sunscreen that Passes the Burning Man Test

As someone with fair skin that burns within just a few minutes, I’ve used heavy duty sunscreen in plastic tubes for years.  And even after going plastic-free, I’ve found sunscreen to be a challenge.  I blogged about sun protection a while back and got some great suggestions from you guys.  And this year, I discovered a couple of companies making all natural, non-toxic, plastic-free (or nearly plastic-free) sunscreen.   I even saw a demonstration on how to make your own!  And what better place to test out various sun protection methods than the hot, dry playa at Burning Man?

Radical States of Dress

Before I talk about sunscreen, though, I want to discuss other practical methods of sun protection.  The first: clothing.  Burning Man is known for radical costumes, as well as states of undress.  Yeah, I saw a lot of nudity.  I also saw a lot of sunburns.  So I decided to be radical in my own way (one of BM’s tenets, … Read the rest

August 23, 2012

My Plastic-Free Burning Man Adventure

Via Flickr user starfive

I’m a virgin.  A Burning Man virgin.  Ever since I learned about the annual tribal celebration of fire and self-expression back in the mid 90’s, I have wanted to go and hang out in the Black Rock Desert and express myself.   But I’ve never had a friend who wanted to go with me, until recently, when I met Tracey TieF through this very blog.  And that’s appropriate because this year when I go, I’m going to be thinking of ways to do it as Plastic-Free as possible.  And what’s more, I’ll be teaching a Plastic-Free class through the Play(a)Skool!

Carrying Water

At Burning Man, participants are required to bring their own water to the playa, which is a very hot and dry place, with temperatures reaching into the hundreds and chances of dust storms (which I hear we will be having this year.)  You can imagine, there are a lot of plastic water containers at this event.  Many people… Read the rest

May 6, 2009

Out of the seat and onto our feet. But is walking really plastic-free?

Monday was a beautiful day for the race — the human race, as Michael likes to say. And although rain appeared imminent, I decided to take a walk. As I mentioned a few months ago, I’ve slowly been switching my healthcare, dental, and other services to providers located within walking distance of my home. Less time on public transit. More time in the fresh air. My groovy new green dentist’s office is 12 minutes away via bicycle and 30-40 minutes on foot, depending on how leisurely I feel and how much time I have.

As with each of the modes of transportation I’m considering this week, walking has its pros and cons.PROS:

Although I live in an urban area with shops and services within walking distance, my walk is beautiful. Okay, that’s not fair. I live in California where flowers bloom all year round. But honestly, I can find something interesting to look at wherever I happen to be.

Walking is great exercise. Why would I take the… Read the rest

September 13, 2007

My Disney Adventure Part 3 – Racing and Riding

Thanks to Michael (er… I mean, the polar bears) for filling in for me yesterday. I’m wide awake and ready to write the final installment of my Disney adventure story. But actually, I’m having a hard time coming up with the words. All I really need to do is talk about plastic and environmental issues at Disneyland and during the Disneyland Half Marathon. But every time I start, I’m stopped by a kind of cognitive dissonance. Part of me is repulsed by the whole corporate engine of Disney and the vulgar consumerism it promotes.

But another part, the little kid that loves dolls and stuffed toys and pretty lights and music, is fascinated by the park itself and all the make-believe worlds within it. I and my inner child had such a good time with our friend David, and his inner child, rushing from ride to ride and laughing and screaming our heads off, that it’s hard to settle down and get serious about recycling bins and plastic containers… Read the rest

August 7, 2007

Eco-Running: leaving the route better than you found it.

26-year old Samuel Huber started what he calls “eco-running” as a way to help the world while out doing his favorite thing, running. On his eco-runs, he carries a few small garbage bags and picks up litter all along the route. Recently, he has made the switch to biodegradable, compostable BioBags. Check out his website and mention of BioBags and this blog, Fake Plastic Fish, at http://eco-runner.blogspot.com. I want to not only commend him for his efforts but join in the eco-running movement he’s trying to start. So, this morning, BioBag in hand and latex gloved, I did a 30-minute eco-run towards Berkeley and back. My bag was full within the first 12 minutes, and I found I needed to stop picking up big things and concentrate on the items that, if washed down a storm drain, could end up inside the bellies of marine animals: bottle caps, small toys, a comb, a pacifier, plastic bags, even a rubber glove.

Stopping to pick up garbage slowed… Read the rest