January 24, 2008

Week 31 Results: .6 oz. of plastic waste

This is the tally for last week. My company birthday lunch was on Wednesday, and I ended up with much less plastic than I feared. I requested a potluck lunch, rather than delivery from a restaurant, because I didn’t want to be responsible for a lot of disposable containers and because my office mate makes some of the best lasagne in the world. I have no idea how much plastic went into making the homemade foods, and I didn’t ask. The lunch was wonderful, and my co-workers set the table with cloth napkins and real silverware and glasses.

They also gave me mostly plastic-free gifts, which was also very nice. There were a few chocolate bars packaged in plastic: a 3-pack of Trader Joe’s bars that I returned to the store and exchanged for a plastic-free Scharffen Berger bar, and a few plastic-wrapped chocolate bars from See’s Candies which I’ll be exchanging when I’m in the city again this Monday. Other than that, the tiny amount of remaining plastic is included in this week’s tally:

  • 5 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).
  • 1 bit of plastic from a bunch of organic, fair trade bananas.
  • Scotch tape from a wrapped birthday present. My co-worker got me the book, It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living. Wasn’t that sweet?
  • 1 small piece of bubble wrap and some scotch tape from a box of See’s candies. I didn’t realize there would be plastic bubble wrap in the box or I might not have opened it. All the other gifts I received came in plastic-free paper gift bags, which I will reuse.
  • 1 Grafton Village Cheese Company 2-year cheddar cheese wrapper. I have two more small blocks of cheese to use up and then I won’t be buying more for a while.
  • The infamous McDonald’s sundae cup and lid from my Hawaii trip. I wrote about this one a few days ago.
  • 1 plastic bag from a thermal fuse used to repair my blow dryer. Yes, my dad was able to diagnose the problem and fix my hair dryer! So instead of chucking a big plastic appliance, I have only this small bag. Turns out, if I’d been more careful not to let the air vents get clogged up, I could have avoided the problem in the first place. Lesson learned about maintaining equipment so it doesn’t break. More on the dryer and how we fixed it in tomorrow’s post.


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5 Comments on "Week 31 Results: .6 oz. of plastic waste"

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Lookin’ great! You’re really making head way on the plastic.

That’s really interesting about your blow dryer. I’ve had two mini appliances break down this week – mixer and iron that I have used maybe 3 times since I bought it. Using my not so expert electrician skills, I took both apart and tried to fix them but no go for either. I wonder if there is a place that fixes smaller appliances like that. I hate to chuck such big pieces of plastic in the landfill.

Even with the notorious McD’s sundae cup the minuscule amount of your plastic consumption is v. impressive! :)

I still can’t believe how little plastic you generate. I’m in the midst of my second waste audit, and we’re doing so much better than we were before, but we are truly plastic junkies. I find it creeping up in places I would never expect. I need to spend some more quality time with your articles to figure out how to reduce! Hawaii is gorgeous, no? Were you just on Oahu? Oahu is my least favorite of the islands, being so overdeveloped. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to go to Maui or the big island one day and marvel in… Read more »

See’s Chocolates are so yummy! My friend from San Diego brought some to Maine for Christmas this year and I devoured them! Yum, yum, yum. I admire your motivation and drive in this endeavor. I sometimes just say, what the heck, and end up making waste that later I feel guilty about. It’s nice to be privy to your efforts.

Bianca in Brooklyn

Great job! The piles seem to be getting smaller and smaller.

You are an inspiration! I am going shopping this morning for food & supplies for my family over the weekend since I will be gone, and that little pile makes me more determined to keep ours as small as possible.