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Creeping around the kitchen on Pacific Time

Posted By Beth Terry On October 19, 2007 @ 10:22 am In Expired,Plastic Packaging | 11 Comments

Up early this morning because of the 3-hour time difference, I had nothing better to do than snoop through my parents’ cupboards and refrigerator forgaging for food. Determined to get through this trip somewhat plastickly unscathed, I’ll have to stick to a banana, a glass of water, and a piece of my sister Fran’s homemade apple pie until she arrives later today with unpackaged food for making dinner.

Here’s how my dad feels about the whole plastic reduction project. And yeah, that’s his middle finger in the corner:


And here are a few more choice finds:

I’m not picking on my family. They are not so different from most Americans. They like convenience. And now that my parents are retired, they would rather use disposable tableware to avoid having to wash dishes. Plastic cutlery, styrofoam ice cream bowls, styrofoam or paper plates…. My dad seems to understand the problems of plastic, but I think he feels that small actions don’t make any difference.

One small environmental concession is a clipping about recycling in their area taped to the refrigerator.

My biggest challenge so far has been avoiding the box of individually wrapped Tasty Kake cupcakes my sister bought me as a special treat. They’re not readily available on the West Coast, and my family knows they’ve always been a favorite of mine since childhood. I’m hoping they’ll be devoured by others before my cravings grow too strong. I’m also trying to do a little aversion therapy by reading the ingredient label repeatedly. “partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening… high fructose corn syrup… natural and artificial flavors… propylene glycol monostearate” (WTF?)

Here’s a comment from my brother, Will, “I think plastic is a useful material that is overused. We shouldn’t waste so much. I’ve always felt this way, but… not enough to change.”

His statement probably describes how most people feel. At this point, many people know that there are problems with plastic, even if they don’t understand all of them. But change is hard, and manufacturers and merchants make it harder.

Will adds, “I just want my choices to be made for me.”

Don’t we all, Will? Don’t we all?


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