4.0 oz Plastic Waste [.2 oz new/3.8 oz acquired prior to June 2007]
Holy cow! Lady Gaga called today. Seriously. I’ll tell you all about it at the bottom of this post. For now, here is:
Beth’s March plastic waste collection
If it hadn’t been for that silly broken digital scale, my total plastic waste for the month would have been under half an ounce.
What I learned this month:
1) Duct tape will not repair a ripped up slipper sole. See below. Your suggestions requested.
2) I don’t need milk on my cereal; water works just fine. Really. That and a little maple syrup and I’m good to go. No more plastic milk bottle caps. My Facebook friends thought the idea was gross. I say, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
3) I can get through a head cold without prescription or OTC cough medicine. And I have no shame about posting photos of water running out my nose.
4) I can relieve a headache with acupressure (just discovered that one two nights ago). No plastic pill bottle required.
5) If you write to the U.S. Census Bureau, they will write back to you. Sort of.
So, here’s March’s tally:
Plastic purchased before June 15 2007 and used up in the last month (3.8 oz):
- 1 Thinner Digital scale. Read the whole scale saga here.
- Duct tape. I thought I could use it to fix my fake plastic slipper. I was wrong. The tape just rubbed off. Here is a picture of said slipper. Synthetic rubber sole with poly foam cushioning. I do not want to have to buy new slippers and add the ripped ones to my plastic collection. Advice on possible ways to fix them encouraged. (I can’t just leave my slipper ripped like it is because I’m tracking plastic crumbles through the house.
New plastic waste (.2 oz):
- Packaging from new digital scale. A #4 plastic bag and two pull tabs. Let me explain a little more why I needed a new digital scale. Several people suggested on the digital scale post that I could simply measure things by volume rather than weight. But I use my scale for two purposes: making homemade cat food (the meat for each cat’s daily ration has to be weighed very precisely and is not always ground exactly the same way) and measuring my plastic waste each month, which would be impossible to do by volume. There were suggestions for other types of scales, but I think the one I got will be fine. I hope.
- 1 tiny plastic bag of sea salt. Came with my new neti pot. Which I was so happy about. Until I dropped it in the sink a few days ago and broke it. Ceramic in bathroom = Bad Idea. I’m going to try and glue it, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll get a stainless steel one instead. :-(
- 2 price tag holders. From new natural cat toy. Yet another thing they sit and stare at glassy-eyed. Their contempt for our offerings knows no bounds.
- Plastic bag from a new tongue cleaner. It’s a Preserve tongue cleaner made from recycled plastic, but the bag is not, as far as I know. I got it from my dentist, who really really really wants me to use it.
- Wrapper from 2 Pepto Bismol chewable tablets. Working on a dietary cure to make these unnecessary.
- 2 toothpicks with plastic on the ends. From a restaurant. Stuck in my portabello mushroom sandwich. Always unexpected.
- 4 plastic envelope windows. 2 promotions from companies from whose mailing lists I’ve asked to be removed. 2 from the U.S. Census Bureau, to whom I actually wrote a letter. Learn more about plastic window envelopes here.
Census Bureau Behind the Times?
So, here’s what happened with the Census Bureau: First, they sent out a letter to every household in the U.S. announcing that within a week they would be sending out the census forms to be completed. Then, as promised, they sent out the census forms.
This seemed like a waste of plastic, paper, and postage to me, and I had a better idea. So I wrote to the U.S. Census Bureau and suggested that instead of sending the announcement and then automatically sending the forms a week later, they could include in the initial announcement a code for people to complete their census forms online instead. Then, after a month or so had past, they could send out the actual forms only to people who hadn’t done it online already.
In this day of computer tax filing and bill paying and juror check-ins, it just seemed like something they might consider. Well, I got a letter back from the U.S. Census Bureau thanking me for being concerned about what they are doing with the tax payers’ money and assuring me that they need to send out the paper announcements to promote the census so that they don’t have to send actual employees’ to bang down our doors.
In other words, they hadn’t read my actual letter at all. I wasn’t asking them not to send the announcement. I was asking them to provide an online way to complete the census. Should I write back again or let it go? The census only happens once every ten years. Probably not worth spending more energy on it.
Gaga Stop Calling!
Well, that’s it for me for March. Oh wait. One more thing. Lady Gaga called and said she was sorry for tossing that plastic wrapper onto the street in her new video Telephone and that she will walk back up that road in her stilettos and pick it up. Actually, it was Beyoncé who did the tossing. But it’s Gaga’s video, so she will take responsibility for her mess.
Also? She said she wants me to come on tour with her to talk to her audiences about plastic. My response?
Stop callin’, stop callin’; I don’t wanna think anymore!; I got my head and my heart on the dance-floor.
I mean, what would you have said?