February 15, 2009

Year 2, Week 35 Results: .3 oz of plastic waste.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. If I hadn’t bought a bottle of wine this week, I’d only have a few plastic windows from envelopes in my tally. And here it is.

All new plastic waste this week:

  • Plastic stopper from a bottle of Gnarly Head 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel. I’ll be adding this bottle to the Wine List and won’t buy it again. If you weren’t a Fake Plastic Fish reader when I wrote about natural cork stoppers vs. plastic stoppers, please click here.
  • 4 plastic envelope windows. 3 Kaiser Permanente envelopes & 1 more Peace Action.

Back in September I wrote about learning to sleep. I still have not mastered the hang of this skill that most humans seem to perform effortlessly. But this article I recently read in Glamour Magazine (while hanging out at newsstand waiting for friends) has given me a new incentive to get more rest. Melatonin is helping, even though it comes in a plastic bottle. (Prescription sleep aids have all failed me so far. Even the one Clif recommended.)

Tomorrow, we’re having our apartment professionally cleaned (for the first time) by a green cleaning company. And the next day, we’re having our carpets professionally cleaned. I’m thinking that between the fleas and the viruses that I just can’t seem to kick, having someone come in and give our place a thorough scrubbing is not a bad idea. I plan to write all about the green cleaning company and the methods they use in a few days.

Spring is almost here! My goal for this year: taking better care of this body that has been entrusted to me. I’ve been kind of neglectful lately, staying up too late, eating crap, forgetting to get out and move. No wonder I get so sick. If there were an agency called Self Protective Services, I think my self would be removed from me and placed in foster care.

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Thanks for the comic relief in the form of that hilarious discussion on cork recycling! One thing we can do ourselves with old corks is glue the long sides together to make trivets. The corks can be laid out alongside and perpendicular to each other, in a pattern like you might see in a brick pathway, for a trivet that’s not too high. Or set them up vertically, so the colored ends make up the surface where you set your dish down (a little more eye-catching). If you glue them together vertically, you can make a trivet that’s square in… Read more »


“I still have not mastered the hang of this skill (sleep) that most humans seem to perform effortlessly.”

Thinking about too much stuff does that to me. Sometimes just listening to the nothingness of night and avoiding thinking about anything does it, but is tough.


Paper or Plastic? At a Trade Show, the Latter Wins Easily NEW DELHI – Plastic, especially in the form of nonbiodegradable bags, has become a target of the environmentally conscious. From San Francisco to South Africa, cities have outlawed, taxed or otherwise restricted plastic bags, even here in the developing world where immediate needs, like jobs, often outweigh nobler aims. A store displays a warning about the ban. The Plastindia convention, on the other hand, encouraged the use of plastic bags. Just last month New Delhi passed a preliminary ban imposing a five-year jail term or a 100,000-rupee fine, about… Read more »

Beth Terry

Hi Organic Needle! I did get a list from them and will post it soon. However, I’m thinking that disinfecting the doorknobs might not have helped this winter. The last time I was at Kaiser, they told me that the terrible flu everyone was getting (including me) was airborne and that avoiding touching surfaces wouldn’t really help. My doctor still wanted me to wash my hands every five minutes and cough into my arm instead of my hands, but I think if you’re breathing the same air as someone with the cough, you’re gonna get it no matter what. Just… Read more »


@James – Send them to terracycle.


They will upcycle those corks.


When the green pro cleaners come see if you can get a list of what they use. I use green cleaners but often feel that they are not doing the job completely when it comes to coodies. When we all kept getting sick this winter I actually bought Lysol surface spray for the doorknobs, phone, and other common touch places.

Beth Terry

Hi Tanya. I tried looking up Healthy Choice Carpet Cleaner, but they didn’t have much info on the web site. I’ll be interested to hear about it from you. I’m using Chem-Dry, which contrary to its name, actually uses carbonated water without chemicals to clean the carpet. They say they use 1/5th to 1/10th the water of traditional steam cleaning. Rob, you’re right. We rent, so the carpet stays. *Sigh* Neither of us has apnea. We’ve checked. Waikirjt — we both know it’s all your fault. Lisa, I have an iPod. Is there something I can download onto it? Suzanne… Read more »


I hate those plastic stoppers, too, but what should I do with the real corks? I suppose they could be composted, but I live in a flat and have nowhere to compost :-( Perhaps I could use them to make a bulletin board or something.

Any ideas?



oooh, can’t wait to hear about the green cleaning company. It would be a dream come true to find such a thing. I need to figure out a way to clean my (hardwood) kitchen floor without using harmful chemicals and/or plastic pad thingees. Does anyone know if those infomercial steam cleaning machines work?

Gruppie Girl

Ohhh! Those plastic stoppers sneak up on me when I’m expecting cork and then POP, out comes plastic. Very annoying.

Lisa Sharp

Hopefully the cleaning will help.

I use melatonin as well. Lately I’m trying this little mp3 player thing that is sad to help you sleep, so far so good. It’s plastic though…


“I still have not mastered the hang of this skill (sleep) that most humans seem to perform effortlessly.

“I’ve been kind of neglectful lately, staying up too late, eating crap, forgetting to get out and move.”

Hey — I resemble those remarks! Have you checked your family tree?


I solved the carpet problem by ripping up most of the carpeting in thr hose and putting down tile I went through a lot of mind bending on this, but decided that the tile was better in that there was less waste- really there was- I was able to put it down over thr sub-floor. Now that I think about you guys rent so ripping up the carpet is out? In that case I would invest in some air filters, and maybe try a sleep clinic- I did after a stint in the hospital and they said my snoring was… Read more »


Hi Beth-

I loved the article about sleep! I think sleep is often overlooked in terms of leading a healthy lifestyle…

Also, I am concerned about you. You do seem to get sick quite frequently, more than what seems normal… Be sure to be taking good care of yourself!

I am getting my carpets professionally cleaned tomorrow too! (by Healthy Choice Carpet Cleaners)

Well, I’m off to bed now to get my much needed sleep! :)