Home from Maryland. Ready to do the weekly tally, except I really have no idea how to tally all the plastic for this week. The photo above shows only my personal plastic usage, from the days before my trip mostly. But there was so much more plastic that I shared in at my parent’s house. One dinner, in which I expected there to be much less plastic because it was cooked from scratch, ended up using more plastic than I go through in several weeks because every produce item had been placed in its own little plastic bag before being bagged in a plastic grocery bag.
The meal was delicious. My sister is a great cook. And I pretty much realized that while staying with my family, I was under their roof and sharing their hospitality and it wasn’t my place to make a fuss. Not this time, anyway.
So I’m just going to arbitrarily add 10 items to the list this week and 5 ounces. I have no idea if this actually reflects my portion of the familial plastic, but it’s my best guess. So, here’s the tally:
Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
- 7 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).
- 1 outer wrapper from a box of Refresh Endura eye drops.
- 1 plastic window from a box of Kleenex facial tissues. We still have a few more to use up, I think. Am considering switching to a cloth handkerchief, but not sure on this one. I use very few paper tissues, and I’m thinking that recycled paper tissues might do just as well and be more hygienic. Thoughts?
And that’s all the old stuff. Now for the new plastic waste.
- 1 plastic wrapper from a boxed Symantec Norton Internet Security software package. Turned out my downloaded Zone Alarm software was crashing my computer, and HP recommended purchasing Norton on disk rather than download. Okay, but why the huge box, Symantec? I feel another letter coming on.
- 1 Straus Family Creamery milk bottle cap. I’ve been misspelling their name all along! For those wondering about the milk caps, here is a comment from Straus left on this blog last week in response to the post, Sending Things Back. I’ll copy it here for those who didn’t see it:
October 18, 2007
It’s Kristen from Straus Family Creamery. I must say … I have never heard of these Strauss people. I do know of an awesome creamery in Marshall that makes organic, hormone-free dairy products. They are called Straus Family Creamery. Don’t sweat it, everyone misspells it at least once.
Thanks for the note back. I got it today. I will use the DVD for someone else. Thank you for your commitment to a plastic-free life.
I did want to address the issue you mentioned in your letter about our plastic caps on our reusable glass bottles. Previously we used a foil lid. Foil is only one-time use. It is very hard to re-attach the lid securely enough to shake up all the cream. While plastic stinks, at least you can use it more than one time at home. Plus … plastic creates the best food safety barrier.
Thanks for inviting me to your site!
So, there’s the official response. While visiting my family in Maryland, I found out that my sister also buys her milk from a local dairy, and they use the exact same kind of milk bottles and caps. I guess it’s an industry standard. I’d love to know if there are any dairies out there looking at alternative lids.
- All the plastic used in Maryland. Just guessing here, as I mentioned above.
Seeing all the plastic this weekend was a bit overwhelming for me. What can we do to reach more people? Are blogs like this one simply preaching to the converted, as my dad said. Or does it help to add one more voice to those crying out for change in the way we consume and waste?
How can we make a bigger difference? This is the question for me right now. I’d love to hear your ideas.