Ever wonder what it would be like to be Beth Terry for a day? Or any one of a number of other green bloggers? Well, now’s your opportunity to find out because a bunch of us have all decided to write about one day in our lives. Could be fascinating. Could be as tedious as watching pants dry on a wooden drying rack. My contribution is a rundown of last Thursday, which I chose because Thursdays are typical work days, and I knew I’d have 8 hours at my accounting job wherein I would not have to detail every action.
I wake up at 9am with Soots standing on my chest, staring at me expectantly. It’s funny. I wait as long as I can, until he starts batting my face and nibbling my chin, to get up. This is our daily ritual. Soots and Arya expect to be fed as soon as I get out of bed. Any deviation is a betrayal. Unfortunately, they find themselves betrayed almost every morning as I putter around, putting my tea kettle on or maybe checking to see if any earth shattering email came through during the night. Finally, it’s their turn. Lucky beasts. What other cats get homemade cat food every day?
Breakfast this morning is sliced nectarines, baby carrots, prunes, ( all produce stored without plastic) and loose tea.
Scanning my email and popping a prune in my mouth, I have to laugh at the Fake Plastic Fish commenter who wrote, “…Who eats prunes?” Um… I do, actually. I’m sitting here eating them right now. They’re yummy. Nature’s candy and all that.
For the next couple of hours or so, I sit at my computer, alternately blogging, looking up interesting articles about plastic, emailing people, updating Facebook and Twitter, and petting the beasts. They are my reality check when I get too caught up in my head.
Getting Dressed and Heading Out
Today is not a shower day. Some people save water by taking quick showers. I save water by showering every other day instead. And because I never make time for domestic chores like putting clothes away, I grab whatever happens to still be on the drying rack and throw it on.
Then, I empty the rest of my tea into my stainless steel mug and rush out the door.
I commute by foot and by BART. The walk to the BART station takes about ten minutes at a leisurely pace. Five minutes if I haul ass. Today is not a hauling ass kind of day, even though it probably should be. Instead, it’s a sauntering along sipping my tea kind of day.
As I mosey, I take note of plastic trash on the ground and pick some of it up.
I’m going to miss my BART train, so I have time to pick up lunch before the next one.
I stop in to Market Hall Produce (which we lovingly refer to as MarkUp Hall because its prices suck)…
and pick up a jar of locally-made Food Mill peanut butter in a glass jar. I like to keep lunch food at work so I always have something plastic-free to eat. I already have a jar of jam in the refrigerator. All I need is bread. Normally, I’d bring my cloth bag to the bakery counter for unwrapped bread. But today, I’m in a hurry and have forgotten my cloth bags. Fortunately, I can get bread in paper, which is the next best thing.
I shove my purchases into my backpack, and hurry out.
Each day, I’m treated to a splendid view from the BART platform as well as some not-so-splendid ones. Another Fake Plastic Fish commenter, Rob, ranted about Starbucks VIA single-serving coffee packs. Standing on the platform, I alternately grumble at the billboard in front of me (Hey, I like to hit the snooze button too, but it’s not an excuse for over-packaged single serving crap!) and smile at the Oakland hills in the distance.
Once on the train, I take out my iPod and ruminate about the irony of having blogged about how we are not entitled to iPods, yet here I am getting ready to listen to one. I tell myself that just because we are not entitled to them doesn’t mean we should never have them. Having an iPod is not a human right, and if I lost or broke this one, I would not replace it with a new one. But I’ve had this iPod since before I started Fake Plastic Fish, and if it got lost or broken, I would replace it with an old secondhand one from Craigslist. Digital media players reduce the consumption of CDs and even books, one of which I’m about to listen to now.
So I pull out my headphones to get started and see this…
Crap! Once again I have been careless with my things, and my plastic-eating cat has had her way with them. Well, they will just have to do, chewed or not. They still work. And sadly, these headphones are actually brand new. Yes, I bought new plastic headphones when Arya chewed through the cord of the last pair I had, a pair I reported in my last month’s plastic tally. I justified buying new ones because it’s gross to stick someone else’s used ear buds in your ears and because wearing traditional headphones doesn’t work on BART above the loud noise of the train. I’m already losing my hearing as it is. Just ask Michael.
So, here I am rationalizing again. And yet, when I consider that these headphones are the only new thing I’ve bought so far this year (besides a tool for fixing the dishwasher), I can’t really beat myself up that much. Oh wait, we did replace our digital scale too, after trying doggedly to get it fixed. Wow. We’re just buying up a storm this year.
So, after a bit of self-recrimination, I’m listening to the audiobook, Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a BlogHer reading group selection for this month. I’m also looking out the window when the train emerges from underground briefly, passing by the Imperial Walkers along the Port of Oakland.
Forty minutes later I’m at my accounting job. It’s afternoon. I start my work day late and end it late at night because that’s just the way my internal clock is set. I eat my peanut butter and jam sandwiches, using the metal utensils and ceramic plate I keep at work, and then I spend eight hours accounting for things. Once again, I’m staring at a computer screen, but this time I have no furry animals to wake me up and remind me to stretch once in a while. I swear, I’m going to end up a stooped old woman by the time I’m 50 (which is fewer than 5 years away!) if I don’t start exercising and stretching my body. Not. Good.
End of the Day
And then, finally, it’s the end of the day and I find myself on the BART platform again waiting for the train. But now, it’s dark and cold, and I’m too tired to take anymore pictures. I plan on eating a salad when I get home but end up with bread and cheese — comfort food — because it’s easier and because, as I wrote a year ago, I like bread a little too much.
And then, I’m up for another hour or so illegally downloading the 6th season of LOST from Limewire because I’ve watched the first 5 Seasons and don’t want to wait for the final season to come out on Netflix. And finally I’m in bed. During the 3 days per week that I go to my job, it’s pretty much the only time I see Michael, which doesn’t even really count since he’s been asleep for hours, because our schedules are so different. (Did you think I had forgotten all about him?)
Well, I’ve had another zero plastic day. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do a lot better ecologically speaking. If there’s one area in which I could reduce my environmental footprint, it would be the amount of time I spend at the computer or using other electronic devices like my cell phone or iPod. Like many of us these days, I’m plugged in A LOT. I decided a while back to have one electronics-free day per week, and I haven’t followed through. Maybe I’ll start that again. We’ll see.