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Week 11 Results: 2.6 oz of plastic
Posted By Beth Terry On September 5, 2007 @ 11:06 pm In Plastic Tally 2007-09-15,Weekly Results 2007 | 5 Comments
Back from the fiery furnace known as Anaheim, CA. Still in one stiff and sore but mostly okay piece. More about the trip and the race and the plastic situation in Southern California (and I’m not just talking about surgery) later. For now, it’s all I can do to list the tally for the week ending Sunday, 9/02:
Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
Recyclable items purchased before the plastic project began:
Now for the new plastic waste:
We also discovered that the Von’s stores in Anaheim (and presumably the rest of Southern California) do not offer paper grocery bags, only plastic! I guess as Northern California and other areas ban plastic bags, Safeway ships them to its stores in areas without plastic bans and does away with the paper bags in those areas. Isn’t that just great! They do have thin paper bags for the bagels and other baked goods, and those are what we used for our purchases since we forgot to bring in our reusable bags! It’s easy to forget things like that on vacation out of town, but we did try!
As far as new plastic purchased this week that is not yet waste, I did order 3 refurbished Smart Strip power strips  from Bits Limited. Smart strips are better than ordinary power strips for saving energy because they automatically turn off your devices when not in use. I opted for refurbished models rather than brand new ones, hoping to save some plastic in the process.
And I have a confession to make. It occurred to me this week, after reading Radical Garbageman’s comments on my August 28 post , that I may have been cheating a little bit. Let me explain.
Radical Garbageman thinks I should list Michael’s cottage cheese containers in my tally, even though Michael buys them for himself and I don’t eat them. While I don’t agree that I should list everything that Michael buys for himself (we are quite independent and actually buy many things separately), it did get me thinking about other plastic packaging that I might benefit from even though I didn’t actually buy the item for myself.
Of course, if Michael buys something that I eat, I list it. Like the macadamia nut cookie this week and the mozzarella cheese. But how about while eating out? Surely many of the ingredients that go into foods that I buy in cafes or restaurants are packaged in plastic. And in fact, I have two examples for this past week:
1) A cream cheese bagel that I purchased from a cafe. I watched the server scoop the cream cheese out of a plastic container. I didn’t buy the container. But I did benefit from that plastic.
2) An avocado sandwich that I bought from another cafe. I saw the preparer take the bread slices out of a plastic bag. Once again, I didn’t buy the package of bread, but I did eat 2 slices of it.
So I’ve decided that while I’m not going to include these items in my tally because I can’t actually weigh them, and how do you count 2 bread slices worth of wrapper anyway, I am going to make a point of listing these items at the end of each weekly post so that I can be more aware of plastic while I am out in the world. The more I remember to plan ahead and prepare my own foods, the less I have to worry about plastic purchased by others.
And here are a couple more things that aren’t going in my personal tally but that are nevertheless linked to me:
1) A box of 1099 and W-2 forms from Greatland that I ordered for the office came packaged with those plastic air pillow things. How unnecessary is that? It’s not like W-2 forms are going to break!
2) Our company’s IT firm sent me a bottle of wine to thank me for the business we have given them this year. It came in a styrofoam shipper. I didn’t ask for it; yet there it was. I gave the styrofoam shipper to Paul Marcus Wines , a local merchant near my house, to reuse. I didn’t feel responsible for receiving the package since I never asked for it in the first place. But I did feel very responsible for its disposal once I had it.
I’ll try to remember to add these kinds of things as a footnote to my tally each week, just to show how, even with our very best efforts, we still can end up using or supporting the use of plastic anyway.
Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com
URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/09/week-11-results-26-oz-of-plastic/
URLs in this post:
 Aidell’s portobello mushroom sausage: http://www.aidells.com/sausages/descriptions/details.cfm
 McSweeney’s: http://www.mcsweeneys.net
 Calina Reserva Chardonnay: http://www.calina.com
 refurbished Smart Strip power strips: http://catalog.bitsltd.us
 August 28 post: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/08/house-full-of-plastic/
 Paul Marcus Wines: http://www.paulmarcuswines.com
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