Another milestone reached. Zero new plastic waste for the week! Everything in the tally was purchased before I started this project. I’m sure there’ll be more new plastic to add to the tally before the year is up, but it’s nice to have a week with no new plastic!
So, here’s this week’s tally. Items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
- 1 outer cap and inner “sprinkle cap” from a broken glass spice bottle. One of our rascally kitties climbed onto the spice shelf and knocked the glass bottle onto the floor. Some might cite such an occurrence as justification for unbreakable plastic spice bottles. Fortunately, it happened while I was in the kitchen and neither human nor feline was harmed. But instead of blaming it on the cat or the type of bottle, we simply moved the spice shelf to another wall of the kitchen away from the window the kitty was trying to reach. So far, since the move, Soots and Arya have had no further interest in this shelf. But we have learned that glass, while environmentally preferable, requires more care than plastic and we need to make sure it’s out of the reach of curious cats.
- Plastic from a blister 4-pack of GE nightlight bulbs. We’re using the last bulb from this pack now, and I’ll have to purchase more when that one burns out. I was thinking of switching to an LED night light, which would last longer and use less electricity, but I’m wondering if it’s really worth it. These standard bulbs are 4-watts. I don’t think they’re destroying the planet. Plus, I haven’t been able to find any nightlight bulbs, LED or otherwise, packaged without plastic. If you know of some, please tell me!
- 1 2-qt container of Kikkoman soy sauce (#7 plastic) plus cap. #7 plastic? This confuses me because #7 means “Other” and when describing petroleum-based plastic, usually refers to Polycarbonate, that hard plastic that Nalgene bottles were made from. But this bottle is soft and feels to me like #2 plastic. So I have no idea what this “Other” could be. Anyway, I found out today that Berkeley Whole Foods sells soy sauce in bulk from a spigot. I just poured the last bit from this container into a smaller glass bottle today. When that finally runs out, I’ll take the bottle to Whole Foods and refill it.
- Plastic wrappers from 2 Pepto Bismal chewable tablets. Tummy probs earlier this week and then spent the weekend on the couch with aches and chills. All better now.
- 1 10-oz plastic bag of Jeremiah’s Pick coffee. Found in the back of the freezer and used up this week. I don’t often make coffee at home, preferring those very expensive yuppie coffee drinks in my stainless steel travel mug while I’m out in the world. I think the reason is that if I don’t actually buy and brew coffee, I can fool myself into believing that I’m not really a coffee drinker. Right. Just like those people who only smoke “socially” and never buy their own cigarettes but bum them off their friends every chance they get. (And no, I haven’t been one of them in many years!)
But this is a good place for a coffee segue. Did you know that March is National Caffeine Awareness Month? Well it is. I am fully aware that caffeine is an evil, beastly chemical, and it’s such a darned shame that a drink as thrillingly delicious as coffee is loaded with it. (Surely the thrill has nothing to do with the caffeine.) Anyway, the web site, Howtodothings.com has a whole Caffeine Resource Guide, including 10 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds, How to Compost with Coffee, and How to Endure Caffeine Withdrawal, as well as other caffeine-related articles, including one that I don’t even want to think about.
I love this guide because I can go either way with it. I can keep buying coffee (Fair Trade, of course, and from a bulk bin rather than pre-packaged in plastic) and recycle the grounds in earth-friendly ways, or I can learn how to give it up and survive the inevitable withdrawal (Or as Michael would say, “withdraweral.”) headache and crankiness. Don’t think I can quit it? Come on! I’ve done it hundreds of times!