The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
July 29, 2007

Week 6 Results: 4.8 oz of plastic

My plastic waste is up a bit this week. Still using things up. This could take a while. I wonder how much plastic we have accumulated in this house.

So, here’s the tally. Items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 1 Kleenex pocket pack tissue wrapper.Another one. And I still have quite a few left.
  • 8 Refresh Endura single-use eyedrop containers (#4 plastic).
  • 1 Refresh Endura box wrapper.
  • 3 Santa Cruz organic applesauce cups. (#7 plastic) I have 1 more of these left to use up.
  • 1 Amazing Grace bath soap wrapper.We have a few more plastic-wrapped bars of soap left, and then our soap will be plastic-free. I may even learn to make soap!
  • 1 Garofalo spaghetti wrapper. I have 3 more of these, and then I’ll be buying all my pasta in bulk.
  • 1 Trader Joe’s organic brown rice spaghetti wrapper. See above.
  • 1 So Delicious mini frozen sandwich wrapper. Still have a few left in the box.
  • 1 Middle East Baking Co. pita bag. We have 1 more, and then I’ll be baking our pitas from scratch. Yes, really. You should see the ones I made today. Well, okay, here they are: After the first fiasco, I’ve been practicing. The second time, the yeast did the right thing and the pitas had pockets, but I forgot the salt, so they were pretty bland. Tonight, I got everything right. Even added sesame seeds to the tops. Well, Michael thinks I should have baked them longer. But he likes his bread crunchy, whereas I like mine soft. Maybe I’ll leave them in just a little longer next time and let him toast his the rest of the way.
  • 1 Quilted Northen 6-roll toilet paper wrapper. Yep, still using the forest-raping toilet paper, and will be doing so for a while. We’ve got a lot to use up, and I still haven’t figured out which brand to switch to.
  • 1 blister pack from a pocket knife/multi function sorta gadget that my dad sent for my birthday in January. I finally opened it. It’s kinda cool. Pink and plastic, but it’s got some useful stuff inside.
  • 1 plastic wrap from around the neck of an Act fluoride rinse bottle. I have a couple more of these bottles left. Now, with the scare about sodium benzoate, I’m wondering if I should finish them or not.

Now for the new plastic waste:

  • 1 Stahlbush Island Farms frozen diced butternut squash bag. As I mentioned before, these are deceptive. They look like plain brown paper on the outside but are coated with plastic on the inside. I have no more of these left.
  • 1 foot of packing tape from an eBay order of double-headed razor blades. So I bought an old safety razor in an antique store last weekend to try and eliminate the waste from my plastic razor cartridges. Then, when I went to find blades for it, they all came in blister packs. So I ordered 100 blades from a guy on eBay. The blades came in a cardboard box. Cheaper and less plastic. More later on whether or not shaving this way works out for me.
  • 1 Haig’s spicy hummus container & lid (#5 plastic). Can reuse this or recycle at Michael’s office. Didn’t get any more this week, but I probably will buy it occasionally. I’m just saying.
  • 2 plastic bags (#4 plastic) from the solar porch light I mentioned last week. I’ll reuse these bags.

New plastic purchased this week: Hmm… I don’t think I bought anything with plastic packaging. But I did order 2 things: a SoyaPower™ Soy Milk Maker, which hasn’t arrived yet. That will contain some new plastic. And an Urban compost tumbler, which is made from 100% recycled plastic. More on both of these items when they arrive. And I swear, I’m not buying anything besides food for at least a month!

10 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi, Tracked you back from the can-o-worms on Freecycle.Neat site!-Doug

nichole
nichole

Awww! you're little plastic man (lady?) has a tail!

leastfootprint
leastfootprint

Wow, I had no idea about the water issue with cotton. I have to look into that. Interested in any info anybody comes up with. Perhaps I will need to switch. You can email me at mail@leastfootprint.com

Anna
Anna

Just discovered your blog, kindred spirit!! Posted about the water filter issue, and linked to your great back and forth w/ Brita.....Thrilled to find plastic fish, and hope we can chat sometime.

terrible person
terrible person

Well, I find it easier to believe in the devil than in God!I meant, "the conventional image of the devil".

Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank
Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank

I'll have to do more research on the toilet paper issue to determine if cotton is better than recycled paper. I'm leaning towards 7th Generation right now.I'm going to pick up some cloth bags from Rainbow today for dry bulk foods. They'll use less water because I'll throw them in with the laundry we're already doing, instead of washing them by hand in the sink, which is turning out to be very water-intensive.I haven't included any synthetic clothes because a) I haven't bought any since I started this and b) I haven't thrown any away. But yes, I would include petro-based clothing, and I'm planning on writing about some athletic clothing I found that is made from recycled plastic. Patagonia is one brand, for instance.I thought you didn't believe in the devil, terrible person.

terrible person
terrible person

And hey, maybe you can get advertising like GreenLAgirl!

terrible person
terrible person

Oh, but isn't cotton kind of evil? I mean, it uses huge amounts of water and lots of government subsidies (which keep the price down here, but make it hard for small growers in West Africa. Well, maybe they shouldn't be growing it in the first place, if it uses so much water. Anyway, as with so many environmental questions, it's hard to figure out how to minimize the damage. I mean, since we've been reusing plastic bags, we've been using more water to wash them. They say that in the next century, water might be more valuable, more competed over, than oil!) I wonder if paper could be made out of recycled clothes (the way fancy "rag" paper is.) There are certainly enough old clothes being thrown away, though they may not be all cotton. (Hey, Beth, are you going to start including the clothes made of synthetic fibers in your weekly count?) I read something recently attributing the rise of book publishing in the Renaissance partly to the fact that people were wearing more linen undergarments, which then could get reused for paper. I really like little plastic person, but with the crown, he/she looks a little too much like the Statue of Liberty. You should make plastic person look like the devil, with plastic horns and teeth!

Sunny
Sunny

Let us know how the Soymilk maker works. I've been considering one but I'm the only one who drinks soy milk so from a cost benefit analysis I'm not sure. From an environmental standpoint it seems pretty reasonable.

leastfootprint
leastfootprint

Just a suggestion on the TP. Purely Cotton. It can be purchased by mail order by the case in individual rolls that are wrapped in paper rather than in plastic. Also since the TP is made from cotton no trees died in the making. Here is the link:http://www.purelycotton.com/products/bath_tissue/It may also be available in the store. I do know that Whole Foods carries them if you have Whole Foods in your area. There are several stores that carry them in our area.