The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
December 15, 2008

Year 2, Week 26 Results: 1.8 oz of plastic waste.


It’s raining and hailing and cold outside, and we still haven’t turned on our central heating. As I sit here in my one-piece footie pajamas (that I’ve been wearing all day), fuzzy slippers, and mug of hot tea, I’m just glad I don’t have to go out tonight. Oh, wait. I do. I have to go out to the ice skating party at the Embarcadero, hosted by Michael’s law firm. (Apparently, it’s not raining across the bay in San Francisco.) Um… on second thought, no. I’m staying in and writing up my plastic tally for last week.

Here it is!

Plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 1 broken plastic slotted spoon. I’ve replaced it with a metal/wood version I found at a thrift store along with a few more wooden spoons for 25 cents each. As I’ve mentioned before, there still are quite a few durable plastic items in this house. When I made the decision to go plastic-free, the rule was no new plastic. But I didn’t toss all my old plastic items and replace them with new eco varieties. How earth friendly would that be?

    So, while I no longer store human food in plastic containers due to concerns of chemical leaching, I do still use some plastic kitchen utensils, measuring cups, etc. If/when they break, I find plastic-free, preferably second-hand replacements.

New plastic waste:

  • 1 plastic envelope window. Chase Rewards refund check. I guess I should send letters to my credit card companies asking them to forego plastic windows. If someone wanted to get my credit card number, a plastic window is not going to stop them. In fact, it didn’t stop them last week when that very thing happened. Waiting for a new credit card in the mail. *Sigh* More new plastic.
  • 1 kitty prescription bottle & cap. This one should have been included in the tally weeks ago after Arya had the pin removed from her leg.
  • 1 bit of plastic from the ends of a bunch of organic bananas.

Brrr… it’s chilly. Need hot cocoa. Plastic-free cocoa from the bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery. With sugar from the bulk bin at Whole Foods. Mmmm…
 

6 comments
Suzanne Ellinwood/Robin Broadbent
Suzanne Ellinwood/Robin Broadbent

I've been reading your blog for a couple weeks and my eyes have been opened to how much plastic I unwittingly bring into my home and my life.....I just got back from the Salvation Army (which we call the Sallie Shop) and I got about 40 metal forks for $3.00 -- so much better than disposable plastic and I can reuse them every time I entertain. Suzanne

julena
julena

I never even thought about the windows in the envelope as plastic! Now that you mentioned it, that really is a major waste. Especially given that printing an address on the actual envelope is hardly back-breaking work.

Matriarchy
Matriarchy

I live in Central PA, where the emphasis in bulk stores is more on "cheap" than "green". There is a Mennonite bulk store, small bulk vendors at the indoor farmer's markets, and a grocery store with a limited number of bulk bins, mostly candy and dried fruit. We don't have any of the major whole/organic food stores - too blue collar here. They do have reusable shopping bags, and most stores will let you use your own bags even if you did not get them there. I know I can reuse produce bags. But not in the bulk section apparently.But even at organic coops that I have visited, like Weaver's Way in Philadelphia, they pre-bag bulk items, rather than have open bins.Perhaps our region just moves more slowly, and hasn't caught on to all the tricks yet. I do plan to start my own bulk buying coop, so I will be sure to offer a self-bagging option. :-)

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

Clif -- now that you have given up on Colgate - Palmolive, I have the solution for you. Switch to baking soda! I am not kidding. It works great and can be purchased plastic-free. In fact, I buy mine from the bulk bin at Berkeley Bowl in my own cloth bag.Matriarchy -- welcome! I bring cloth drawstring bags (www.ecobags.com) or mason jars to buy from bulk bins. If the stores where you shop will not let you bring your own bag or container, I would speak to the manager. Perhaps you can convince them it would save money on bags to allow customers to bring their own.Alternatively, if they insist on plastic bags, you could reuse your own plastic bags. Rinse them out and hang them to dry. I use a bag-e-wash bag dryer. Others hang them over wooden spoons.I live in the SF Bay Area. Here, Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, Rainbow Grocery, and many other stores will allow customers to bring their own. Where do you live?

Matriarchy
Matriarchy

I am a recent reader, so I may have missed the answer to this: How do you bring home stuff from the bulk place? Two of my bulk places only have pre-bagged stuff, and the third says bulk has to be placed in their plastic bag. They claim it is an insurance requirement. Thoughts?

Clif
Clif

Remember my message to Colgate-Palmolive about recycling deodorant stick containers?I received a response with a form letter that did not address the specific issue, assured me that P&G has engineers looking for every possible way to recycle and listing steps P&G had taken on recycling (again, with no reference to my inquiry).Included were some 1995 generic recycling pamphlets that were yellowing with age and 7 or 8 coupons to get money off on P&G products.I don't know if I can call my effort much of a success. There are those who believe prayer will save GM. Maybe that technique worth a try! At least I might receive coupons to present to St. Peter that would be worth more than 50 or 75 cents each.