December 31, 2007

Week 28 Results: 2.9 oz. of plastic

The plastic is up off the floor and onto the table, thanks to a couple of curious kitties. Christmas is over, and so is the year, almost. Here’s the weekly tally, which includes all the rest of the plastic packaging from the holidays except for one notable exception. In order to keep peace in the family, I’m not showing or mentioning or including a particular group of packages from one person that arrived thoroughly covered in and filled with plastic. After agonizing for a few hours, I finally allowed Michael to just take it all to work and share it with his co-workers. And except for writing this paragraph, I’m pretending it never existed.

So here’s the tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

    • 3 plastic cable ties I removed while organizing for the kitties.


    • Plastic lid from a box of holiday cards I used up this year. Next year, I’ll make my own greeting cards from recycled card scraps. But this year, I still had a partial box to use up.


  • 1 cap from a can of Resolve carpet spot remover foam. Now that this is gone, I’ll be experimenting with natural products for removing carpet stains. Non-plastic suggestions?

Now for the new plastic waste.

    • 4 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).


    • Plastic shrink wrap from a box of Refresh Endura eye drops. See above.


    • Plastic from a blister pack of metal gate hooks. We have too many doors in this old apartment that won’t stay shut by themselves, doors that need to stay shut now that the kittens are here. So we had to give in and buy a little plastic-packaged hardware to keep them and our computers safe. Some hardware I’ve been able to find used and unpackaged at places like Urban Ore and Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley. But not these hooks, unfortunately.


    • 1 plastic cork from a bottle of Yellowtail cabernet sauvignon. Enjoyed with friends at a Christmas party.


    • 1 plastic cork from a bottle of Boissonneau Chateau Moulin de Ferrand Bordeaux Blanc. There is just one more bottle left from this case.


    • 1 cap from a glass bottle of Straus organic nonfat milk.


    • 1 neck wrapper and plastic pull tab from a bottle of Spectrum almond oil. More on this in a future post. This was the one bit of plastic I used in a homemade hand lotion experiment.


    • 1 plastic shipping label envelope from a Christmas gift delivery.


    • 2 pieces of plastic packing tape, also from a Christmas package delivery.


  • 1 small piece of bubble wrap and a plastic bag which, ironically, contained corn-based packing “peanuts.” The company that shipped this box of chocolate bars, a nice Christmas gift from one of my sisters, did several confusing things. First, they shipped the bars in a box way bigger than necessary for a few chocolate bars. In a seeming attempt to be environmentally friendly, they filled the box with corn-based packaging material (It actually smelled like cornflakes!) but they stuffed the corn puffs into a regular plastic bag and added a sheet of plastic bubble wrap for good measure. Hmmm…. This would be the kind of thing I’d send back to the company, but at the moment I’m just too tired from chasing kittens and dealing with holiday hangovers to deal with it. Next year!

Yes, maybe I’ll sit down and come up with a few resolutions for next year. Make a plan. Get organized. Or maybe I’ll just keep charging ahead on my plastic-free quest in the totally random way I started. One thing’s for sure. I need to sleep more. Good night for now.

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11 years ago

For ink stains specifically, I recommend rubbing alcohol… it works extremely well for ink-based stains.

12 years ago

Great creative use out of stuff that would normally go to the landfill. With some creativity we can all learn to recycle in more creative ways.

14 years ago

Hi Beth, Happy New Year!

I’ve found that vinegar works very well for pet stains. It also neutralizes odors associated with them. A 1:1 vinegar:water ratio cuts down the vinegar after smell and for some reason works better if you warm the water a bit too.

Another good odor neutralizer is baking soda. If you have carpets, sprinkling a little on them and leaving it for a while helps. In a couple of days sweep it up.

One note, you probably shouldn’t combine the vinegar and baking soda. I made that mistake of cleaning a spot with vinegar before sweeping up the baking soda. Remember the sixth grade science fair and the “live” volcano? Yeah, you do the math.

I think the only plastic consumption you will have is the cap on the vinegar bottle if you buy a glass bottle.

har mar
14 years ago

i’ve got all kinds of stuff to make christmas cards (eh i went through a weird scrapbooking phase) and i’d be willing to share them with you when you’re in need of cardmaking. just let me know!

Gruppie Girl
14 years ago

My hat is off to you for being so dilligent and recording all of your plastic use.

I think if more of us actually layed out all of out plastic we would be shocked by what we found.