In June of 2007, recovering from surgery, I read the article and saw the photo that changed my life. The article was Plastic Ocean and the photo showed the carcass of a dead sea bird, its belly full of plastic pieces: bottle caps, cigarette lighters, even a toothbrush. I looked at my own life and realized that through my unconscious overconsumption, I was personally contributing the the suffering of creatures I hadn't even known existed.
That week, a new passion and blog was born: My Plastic-Free Life (formerly Fake Plastic Fish). I've been blogging away ever since, collecting and tallying my own plastic waste and writing about plastic-free alternatives (See my ongoing Plastic-Free Guide) and ways we can do better. In June 2012, Skyhorse Publishing Company released my first book: Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.
Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I'm a lot preachier than I mean to be, and afterwards I feel like a jerk. Really, I'm no different from anyone else who cares about the planet.
Living with less plastic is really not as hard as it seems, but our awareness of disposable plastic in our lives can be transformative. To that end, I threw down the gauntlet last May and invited Fake Plastic Fish readers to collect and tally their own plastic waste for a week and upload the results to a new Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash web site. How can we know where we need to go if we don't know where we are to begin with? Solving the plastic pollution problem will require more than individual personal actions. But individual actions and personal awareness are essential for creating the kind of world in which we want to live and the impetus to spark bigger action.
- University of Maryland, College ParkEnglish, 1983 - 1987
- Activist Eco Blogger, present