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Get Inspired: Beth Terry & Plastic-Free Living at Seymour Center in Santa Cruz

Today has been one of those days where a lot happens and you spend a lot of time doing something awesome, but as a result, your homework just doesn't get done. And I'm more than okay with that.

Beautiful poppies along the road to the Seymour Center.
This afternoon at the Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, I attended a Science Sunday presentation by Beth Terry, author of the new book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too and the blog (formerly known as Fake Plastic Fish). I think it was the first time I met a fellow eco-blogger in person, and I'm looking forward to spending more time on her blog, as well as reading her book. Though the presentation was only 45 minutes long, she somehow managed to explain clearly and convincingly the 9 reasons why personal change matters, particularly as it relates to her experiences living her life with as little plastic as possible.

On the bus ride home, I started reading her book (which I bought and had her sign!), and I can already tell it's going to be not only informative and inspiring, but funny and real. She is a real person doing something that any of us could do if we only stuck with it and kept our reasons alive. I'm inspired by the work she's done, and I really hope that her book takes off and helps to change people's minds about their relationship to plastic.

I've already decided that I'm definitely doing her challenge to become more aware of what kinds of plastics I come into contact with everyday, where I can reduce my consumption of them, and how I can find alternatives to plastic. I already started taking pictures of my plastic and plastic-related interactions, starting with the Cold Stone sorbet I bought downtown. The paper cup has a plastic lining on the inside, and the spoon of course is plastic. I'll reuse the spoon until it breaks, and I'll start carrying my own silverware around for those times that I need it.

I plan on writing a more comprehensive article about the presentation and about what Beth is doing for the Sustainability Office newsletter, and since my homework did not get done today yet, I am a little short on time right now. But you can find out more about what awesome work she has been doing at her blog,, and be on the lookout for a future post with the write-up I'm doing for the newsletter.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks for this post and alerting us that this book exists on living without plastic. I just reviewed Beth Terry's website and emailed her to see if she would like to appear on the TV show I host about books and authors (visit and click on "In A Word.") I shared your blog url with her and gave you credit for recommending her!

  2. Hi. Thanks so much for coming to the talk and for helping to inspire others. I'll be excited to see how your personal plastic challenge works out. :-)

  3. Vey interesting and I will find her book! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Isn't it fun when you meet someone who totally inspires you to make a positive change! I've followed Beth Terry for awhile ... she's amazing and dedicated. Anxious to follow your plastic-free journey! :-)

  5. Here's the article about Beth Terry that I wrote for the UCSC Sustainability Office blog:


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