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My family is pretty conscious about reducing plastic, but the one area we can’t avoid is food that comes home from my dads workplace. Well meaning customers often send in lunch, bagels, booze, coffee, and all the plastic convenience items that accompany these things. Sometimes though, they don’t tell the shop, and all the guys will have already eaten lunch, breakfast, etc, and the food will just end up sitting in the fridge. Rather than let it all go to waste, my dad will bring it home and we will eat/use/disperse the products (I empty sugar packets and little cream containers like a maniac at 12 a.m into the sugar and cream jar, because I know certainly members of the family won’t use them otherwise, (shhh!). And sometimes the quantities are ridiculous (like 50 bagels ridiculous), so we disperse to neighbors and friends)
An edible arrangement came home with him a few months ago, and for a few seconds I was overjoyed. Fresh Fruit is a hot commodity in the winter in the northeast if you can’t afford the out of season imported price. But then I started surveying the situation. At first I thought it was just the large plastic bag encasing the whole deal, but then I realized the fruit was on plastic skewers. The plastic skewers were stuffed in styro-foam blocks. The Metal bucket was just for show- there was a second rigid plastic bucket inside the plastic bucket (I assume to prevent leaks) and in the plastic bucket was plastic absorbent pads for the moisture that collected in the plastic bucket. Then I started thinking things like, how much pineapple gets wasted to cut those stupid pineapple stars? The plastic left over amounted to a spacial volume about 3x that of the fruit.
I’m normally pretty even keeled, but I was pretty livid after uncovering all this plastic, none of it stamped with recycling signs. Reducing plastic often seems like a lost war, and sometimes so much of it being forced on you can make a person crack. And it was all so freaking unnecessary. Fruit often comes with plastic anyway ( I can’t find a pineapple without a plastic hang tang, that’s another rant), and edible arrangements effectively quadruples the waste that comes with fresh fruit from the food store.
At first I resolved that I was going to drive to the nearest edible arrangements store and dump the whole mess of plastic in front on the door with a nice, informative note. But, when I cooled down, I realized that the people who work at edible arrangments probably don’t deserve a mean spirited action, and maybe I should just mail it to corporate headquarters! But, I also acknowledged that if I did this, I would be wasting fuel and postage money, and that all the waste would probably be dumped in a dumpster after just a slight twinge of annoyance. So I stuffed it in my front porch, my official place for all things I cannot deal with at the moment, and let it irk me every time I went in there all winter long.
But spring is coming, and so is the cleaning frenzy of the front porch. So, I drilled some holes in the metal bucket, filled it in with dirt and cilantro seeds, and inverted the clear plastic bucket on top to make germination faster. The large clear plastic bag was cut up into squares to cover pots for the same purpose. I threw out the absorbant pads, and now I’m left with styrofoam and plastic skewers. What the %&# am I supposed to do with plastic skewers? (that isn’t a rhetorical question. seriously. I need some ideas)
Also, I really want to make some sort of noise that edible arrangement can actually hear. check out this last years earth day post from edible arrangements on facebook:
Happy Earth Day! Tell us what you’ll be doing today to pay tribute to the earth! Hiking? Composting? Having a picnic?
…Perhaps with earth day coming this year, we could give them some suggestions?
February 16, 2010
Absolutely! Do you want to start a thread on their Facebook page and link it here? Then, I can link it to my Facebook page, and so on… let’s let them know what we think about all their plastic. I received all that plastic too, several years ago after surgery when my office sent me “healthy” fruit. Healthy serving of plastic.
Actually, I work at Edible and the pineapple that is cut is used in arrangements, the left over pineapple that you think is wasted actually is not it is used to make fruit salad.
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