January 26, 2009

Year 2, Week 32 Results: .9 oz of plastic waste.

Hi everybody. I’m home from Hawaii but sick again. Coughing. Fever. Chills. So this will be a quick one.

It’s all new plastic waste this week:

    • Trader Joe’s toothpaste tube & cap. I bought this tube back in June. At the time, I thought I could make it last a year. It actually lasted 7 months. Not bad. I even cut it open to get out the last bits of minty goodness.


  • Seal from around neck of organic peanut butter jar. Once this is used up, I’ll be bringing the jar back to Whole Foods and grinding my own peanut butter.



  • Plastic wrappers from 3 birthday presents. Obama calendar, Obama DVD, and Slack Key Guitar CD. These were gifts from my family.



  • 3 plastic envelope windows. Kaiser Permanente, Safeco Insurance, and Financial West Group.



  • Plastic cover from Equity Funds prospectus. Isn’t it bad enough that my IRA is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking in this economy? I don’t need shrink wrap on top of that!



  • Packing tape from delivery of new laptop battery. I’m always learning. Last week I learned that you’re not supposed to leave your laptop plugged in all the time if you don’t want to kill your battery. *Sigh* At least the box that came from Toshiba Direct was padded with brown paper rather than Styrofoam or plastic. And it also came with an address for mailing back the old battery to be recycled.


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Hmm—fair enough. I never really thought of asking the people at the co-op. I’ll try that. Thanks!



I don’t know about the sugar and stuff like that, but it’s really easy to make your own nut butters if you can at least find organic nuts somewhere.

If you REALLY want organic and there isn’t a local source, then perhaps you’ll want to order the items and have them shipped to you. But before you do that, ask the co-op what it would take for them to order something like that.


As a researcher who used to work on pesticides (but is also HORRIFIED at the amount of plastic people thoughtlessly consume), the peanut butter (and sugar, and some of the other products) in the bulk aisle at my local co-op are not organic. What choice do I make?

(one wonders why I have to make the choice…but alas).

Condo Blues

How did you like the Toothpaste? I’m looking for options and some of the ones we’ve tried were rejected because of taste.

Sorry you’re sick after your vacation. If it will make you feel better, I can send you some snow in a glass jar. We got 5 inches yesterday and are supposed to get another 3 -8 inches tomorrow.


I think I commented when I thought of this, but I’ll post it now regardless. You said that baking soda irritated your gums when you used it in place of toothpaste. I discovered the same thing, so I used baking soda to *stretch* my toothpaste. For me, this consists of using baking soda for my nighttime brushing. You could also use it every other night if your gums started to get irritated again. I don’t think that switching to baking soda has to be all or nothing; I think that it is a viable option to use both baking soda… Read more »


Awwwwww. When you are better, take yourself and a container to Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl to buy a pound of peanuts. Bring them home and process them into butter in your Cuisinart or blendor and store them in that jar. Or take the e-z route and get the pre-ground stuff.

mother earth aka karen hanrahan

awwww man, beth – so sorry your not feeling well…traveling can be so darn germy.

way to go on the ask the expert…

please feel better soon


So sad you came home sick! At least you got some sun in Hawaii! LOL drink a shot of Nyquil or something I take Cricidan HBP (For High Blood Pressure weenies) And it actually works- that and those snotty Zycam things you stick up your nose- they are gross but effective!

Green Resolutions

Sorry you’re not feeling well. Thanks for directing us to Sustainlane. Looks like a great site. Nice article. I forwarded it to my cousin as she’s always trying to understand the numbers on plastic and whether they are safe for her kids’ cups.

Anarres Natural Health

Dear Beth,

I love your article… so straight forward and well written. May I reprint it in full with your photo and credits in my February newsletter, inviting my clients to subscribe to FPF? I was going to write something similar, but it would be great for my clients to hear another voice.

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey


Have you ever tried tooth powder? I use Ipsab and it lasts for a LONG time, but you can make your own, too.

Alline Anderson

Bummer to return sick – hope at least you’re tanned and refreshed! Love the bit about your shrinking funds being shrink-wrapped…and congrats on SustainLane!