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September 28, 2008

Year 2, Week 15 Results: 1.3 oz of plastic waste. Plastic on TV.

 

Do any of you watch the Showtime TV show Weeds? Have you ever noticed that Mary Louise Parker has a permanent straw stuck in her mouth? And that the straw is almost always coming out of a plastic cup? I just finished the 3rd season on DVD, and I don’t know if it’s a result of my recent plastic awareness or if some coffee company is sponsoring the show, but it seems like this season is all about disposable plastic cups and the accompanying loud slurping and slushing sounds of straw and ice. I wonder how many plastic cups and straws they go through on that set each day.

Granted, Weeds is about a woman in the suburbs dealing marijuana, so you might think there are bigger issues to worry about than the disposable plastic. But the debate over the legality of mind-altering herbs is beyond the scope of this blog. And it would be pretty funny to send a letter to the show complaining about the example they are setting for our young people by promoting cold drinks in plastic cups with plastic straws, wouldn’t it?

Okay, enough of that silliness. Here’s the tally:

Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 1 disposable ink pen. As most of you know, I have switched to a Lamy refillable fountain pen instead of disposables or even fountain pens with disposable cartridges. Still, there are pens in our house from before, and they occasionally get used when the fountain pen isn’t handy.
  • 1 expired Discover card. Hmm… I’ve seen compostable gift cards. I wonder if credit cards will ever be made to break down in a compost facility.

And the new plastic waste:

  • 2 plastic envelope windows. Notices from ING Direct and AT&T. I am trying as hard as I can to get off mailing lists, but I don’t think I can do anything about these.
  • 1 plastic wrapper over a Financial West Group investment report. Argh. A month ago I wrote to FWG and even sent them back a stack of their plastic. Haven’t heard anything back. Wondering if I should find time to follow up. Wondering if it would make any difference.
  • 1 outer wrapper from a case of Instinct canned cat food. The cats are almost a year old. Time to go back to investigating making their food from scratch.
  • 1 plastic sample container & spoon. Here is where I hang my head. But not too low because I’m only 60% sorry. Strolling through the Rockridge street festival this afternoon, I stopped to watch a cooking demonstration. The chef from Pasta Pomodoro was making my favorite dish in the whole world: risotto. I wanted to see if a professional did it any different from the way I do.

    Turns out, he does. He uses a hell of a lot of butter and cheese. (I think that if you cook the rice properly, it’s creamy enough without any butter or cheese at all… just a bit of olive oil. Oh, and wine, which adds to the yumminess if not the actual creaminess.) So I shouldn’t have been too tempted by the samples they gave out at the end of the demo. But come on… how often do you walk down the street and have someone hand you a mini bowl of risotto? I enjoyed every buttery spoonful.

We ate tomatoes from our garden tonight. And have been all week. Finally. I know I said last week I’d post an update. Tomorrow, I promise!
 



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7 comments
Aerin Jacob
Aerin Jacob

Hi Beth,This is Susan, a community member at http://www.bagsontherun.com/, a premier Green Bag community in USA. I liked your blog and your efforts on making our Earth more "Green". I want to publish one of your post in our blogs. Can I do so?I would also like you to visit our site and send us your feedback.Susan

Robin
Robin

Beth - what do you do for buying toilet paper? Except for the paper that is individually wrapped in paper, are there brands that don't wrap their product in plastic?

Veronique
Veronique

I went to NY last month for a 10 days holidays and I was struck by the consumption of plastic, notably the straws! whenever I ordered a drink there was ice AND a plastic straw. I am so not used to that. When you are at a café or a restaurant in Paris, France, the waiter brings you a glass in glass(?) and no ice and no straw.to me this mode of consumption is typically american? Maybe it should be different but how can you change it ?kind regards to everyone fighting against plasticwe will WIN !!

MamaBird
MamaBird

OK, your Weeds analysis is right on target. LOL! You should totally send that letter - make sure that you note it's inspired by the Gores - both Tipper *and* Al.

jennconspiracy
jennconspiracy

Mew!!! KITTY!!Dude, I totally forgot it was the Rockridge street fair - I really wanted to go but was in the kitchen all freakin' day. Bummer about the Pasta Pomodoro risotto - you're totally right: risotto, and so many other Italian dishes, needs zero butter/cheese/cream if you do it right.I mean - that's the point of risotto - it's cooked slowly, stired constantly and that releases the starches and puffs up the rice, making it creamy and rich.If you will indulge me in a marginally related rant about excessive dairy in foods... I had dinner at Venus on Saturday -- shockingly, they have NOTHING on the menu which could be considered vegan. Their risotto, their polenta, even their pasta - all have eggs, butter or cheese in them. They couldn't even make me a side of mashed potatoes because "they already have milk and butter." "um, don't you have any uncooked potatoes? It shouldn't take long to make a single serving in a small saucepan." So, I ended up picking out gorgonzola out of a fig & arugula salad, and totally unable to eat the beet salad James ordered -- the salad was dominated by a 4 oz round of goat cheese lightly topped with tiny chopped bits of roasted beets.For my entree, I paid $15 for about 2 cups of steamed chard, five broccoli florets, green beans with about 8 raisin size cherry tomatoes. On top of that, there was no seasoning - no olive oil, no garlic, nada. I am not kidding. I want to support restaurants that buy mostly local/organic food but this is sad. I can steam seasonal vegetables at home on my own, thank you.grrr. Tonight I'm doing more cooking - we have a bake sale at work tomorrow, so I am making vegan pizzelles and waffles (to be heated in the toaster). You're welcome to come over and be a taste tester!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Beth-I too was desperately trying to get off the ATT mailing list... I went to their web-site and couldn't find any general contact information so I ended up finding the woman that signed the notice on "Linked In" and contacted her directly. And she actually wrote me back!Here's the e-mail correspondence:On 8/16/08 8:21 PM, Tanya wrote: -------------------- Dear Ms. Storey, Please remove me from the AT&T mailing list. I tried to submit this request through the AT&T web-site, however, there is no option for general inquires. Tanya XXXXXXXXXXXSan Francisco, CA USA Thanks. Tanya _________________________Tanya, I have been on vacation for the last week and have just now returned and am catching up on email. I have sent your request to the team who manages our mailing lists, you should be removed from our lists. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you continue to receive mail from us. Debbie Storey VP Consumer Sales 404-827-1305 deborah.storey@att.com

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