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Reducing Plastic Waste: April 2010 Collection Results

Posted By Beth Terry On May 3, 2010 @ 3:53 pm In Monthly Results 2010 | 21 Comments

5.5 oz Plastic Waste [4.7 oz new/0.8 oz acquired prior to June 2007]

Beth's plastic waste - April 2010 [1]

Well, while I was away at my meditation retreat, the mice played around with my blog.  The blog hacking mice. A Fake Plastic Fish reader sent an email to let me know that my home page was redirecting to a suspicious phishing site. And isn’t it lucky I was sneaking peeks at my email while I was supposed to be avoiding communication with the outside world? I’m just saying.

The good news is that my WordPress fixer dude guy got on it right away and cleared out the malicious code, so we are back in business. The bad news is that the Discussion Forum had to go. He thinks that is where the security hole might have been since the software used to create that forum had not been updated in a very long time. So I need to find a replacement. Fortunately, all your posts are saved. Unfortunately, it’ll probably take me a while to get through all the other important items on my “To-Do” list and start working on it.

Anyway, that’s one exciting thing that happened for me this weekend, besides the meditating and all. I can’t wait to read the comments you left while I was gone and jump into the discussion you had behind my back. But in the meantime, here is the monthly plastic tally.

Beth’s April plastic waste collection

Plastic purchased before June 15 2007 and used up in the last month (0.8 oz):

  • A handful of plastic half-eaten Venetian blind tassels.
  • Broken plastic Venetian blind tassels

    We’ve discussed how Arya likes to eat plastic [2], right? (Sigh) Michael and I have done everything to try and keep the ends of the Venetian blind cords from ending up between her teeth, and finally we gave up and replaced them all. I’m trying not to think about where the missing pieces of plastic tassel ended up. Anyway, a little online research revealed wood and metal alternatives to plastic tassels. FixMyBlinds.com [3] offers a few.

    The wood ones seemed great to us, except they’re a buck a piece, and we have a lot of windows.  Plus, after the mess both cats have made of our wood furniture, we thought it would be a little silly to invest in brand new wood tassels for them to gnaw up. The metal ones are hella expensive and come with a plastic ring to keep them from banging into the window, so those weren’t really an option for us either.

    Finally Michael went out and picked up some cheap metal washers to attach to the ends.  They’re heavy enough to keep the cords from flying around and light enough not to pose too much threat to the windows.  The kitties love them, and everyone’s happy. We’ll replace them with wooden ones if/when we ever leave this apartment. It’s the very least we can do after the feline wreckage this apartment has been subjected to. (See? I’m conducting a little test right now to find out if my landlord reads Fake Plastic Fish.)

    metal washer attached to end of Venetian blind pull cord

    Arya kitty plays with metal washer

  • Plastic paprika container, lid, & sprinkle cap. As I’ve mentioned before, we are still using up spices bought years ago in plastic containers and replacing them with herbs/spices from the bulk jars at Whole Foods in our own containers.

New plastic waste (4.7 oz):

  • World’s Best Cat Litter bag. We used this brand of cat litter all last year because the kitties would just not use anything else. But this year, we have switched them to SwheatScoop [4], which is made from wheat and comes in a paper bag. We’ve been using up this last bag of World’s Best slowly while making the transition, mixing it in with the SwheatScoop. This should be the last plastic cat litter bag you see in my tally!
  • Plastic packing tape from delivery of Pura Stainless baby bottle. I’m still trying to educate companies about non-plastic packaging options, and tape is the one sticking point. (Sorry!)
  • Plastic packing tape from an Etsy delivery. See above.
  • Plastic bag from the same Etsy delivery. I wasn’t sure whether to include this item in my tally or not because it’s not a new bag but one that the seller reused. Finally, I decided that I should include it because I have it as a result of an order I placed.
  • Prescription bottle and cap. As I’ve mentioned before, prescription bottles cannot be refilled in California; otherwise, I’d just keep taking the same bottle back to the pharmacy. This particular bottle contained prescription sleeping pills. So I’ve decided to just do without. For now, I’m using up a bottled of Melatonin I already had, and I still have some herbal sleep aids in the house as well. Insomnia has been an issue for me since I was a kid, and yes, I’ve tried everything on the “Sleep Hygiene” list. But now I’m realizing that my inability to sleep has environmental implications (and not just from the plastic pill bottle) that I’ll expound on in a future post.
  • Tom’s of Maine toothpaste cap and threads. See last week’s post about dental hygiene [5] for details.
  • Small plastic bag from Eco-Dent floss container. See last week’s post about dental hygiene [5] for details.
  • Plastic floss pick.See last week’s post about dental hygiene [5] to understand why I had a plastic floss pick in the first place.
  • 3 plastic envelope windows.Learn about what plastic envelope windows [6] are made from.
  • Plastic bag of kitty treats.These were a gift from a friend a long time ago, and we finally used them up. I’m experimenting with homemade cat treats. More on that in a future post.
  • Plastic “grass” from a sushi restaurant.I didn’t think to request “no plastic grass” when I ordered my food. Probably because I don’t go out for sushi very often. So I ended up bringing this little cutie home as a souvenir. But it also prompted me to Google “plastic sushi grass” and find this very interesting article about the purpose and history of plastic sushi grass [7]. It wasn’t always made from plastic.
  • Plastic cap, seal, and tab from glass bottle of Spectrum Canola Oil.We buy all of our olive oil from the bulk container at Whole Foods, but canola oil is not sold in bulk around here. Next time, I could stop at Rainbow Grocery when I happen to be in San Francisco (and have thought to bring a jar with me) for some packaging-free canola oil.
  • glass bottle of maple syrup with natural cork stopperPlastic cap from glass bottle of maple syrup. On the other hand, Whole Foods DOES sell maple syrup from a bulk container. So nowadays, we return our glass syrup bottle to refill at the store. And since the plastic cap actually broke, I created my own little stopper for the bottle, sanding down the sides of a wine cork so it would fit just right.  I knew there was a reason I was saving all those corks, besides the fact that they make excellent cheap cat toys.

Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com

URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/05/reducing-plastic-waste-april-2010-collection-results/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/4576283916/

[2] Arya likes to eat plastic: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/12/my-cat-eats-plastic/

[3] FixMyBlinds.com: http://www.fixmyblinds.com/tassels.html

[4] SwheatScoop: http://swheatscoop.com/

[5] dental hygiene: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/04/plastic-free-dental-floss-not-quite/

[6] plastic envelope windows: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/04/year-2-week-42-results-05-oz-of-plastic/

[7] purpose and history of plastic sushi grass: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ek20080115wh.html

[8] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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