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The Sweet Smell of Burning Plastic: Mindfulness Fail

Posted By Beth Terry On March 26, 2009 @ 8:00 am In kitchenware,Personal Musings,Recycling | 20 Comments

I thought the smell was coming from my computer. I even turned the machine off and opened it up to make sure the fans were working properly. Then I remembered… Oh crap! I’d put water for pasta on the stove probably an hour before! Here’s what happened when I attempted to remove the lid:


The whole house smells toxic. My poor kitties. This is why I shouldn’t multi-task when one of the tasks involves fire. It’s not like this was the first time I’d ever put something on the stove and forgotten about it.

Sad. The melted knob will go into this week’s plastic collection… once it cools down and solidifies again. The metal lid? I’ll have to find a metal recycler to take it to. Either that, or maybe handy RobJ [1] can figure out how to make a new knob for it. Preferably out of wood this time.

It’s a small amount of waste, certainly, but nevertheless avoidable if I had paid attention to what I was doing. Which is what this plastic-reduction project has been about, really. Paying attention to the materials that pass through my hands. Taking care of them, and thereby taking care of the planet.

And my inattention is perhaps symbolic of what goes on every day on a much larger scale. This month a plastics recycling plant in West Palm Beach, Fla caught on fire. Wonder what that smell was like.


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[1] RobJ: http://diyrobj98168.blogspot.com/

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