April 20, 2009

Year 2, Week 44 Results: 1.2 oz of plastic waste & LaundryTree Winners!

Well, it was a plastic-filled week, as you can see. Please read through to the bottom of this post to find out the winners of the LaundryTree soapnuts giveaway!

The tally for last week included all new plastic waste:

  • 6 plastic baggies from purchase of new Canon PowerShot SD780 IS camera. I had to replace the camera that was swiped on Wednesday. Normally, if I lose or break a plastic item, I’ll wait and try to find it used or ask myself if I really need it in the first place. But with no camera, I can’t do this blog. It’s that simple. I replaced my camera the same day I lost it.

    That doesn’t mean I didn’t care about the plastic. First of all, I chose the smallest camera I could find. Check it out. This thing is the size of a credit card and will easily fit in my pocket. (I took this photo with my cell phone and had to doctor it in Photoshop to make it as sharp as it is.)

    The camera comes in a small cardboard box with molded paper dividers. No Styrofoam or hard plastic. Unfortunately, each component is protected by its own plastic baggie: camera, battery, battery charger, cables, and even the wrist strap. But compared to the overpackaging of many electronics, I feel like I did pretty well.

  • Plastic clamshell from new SD memory card for my camera. This clamshell is smaller than many I’ve seen. But perhaps I could have found an SD card with zero plastic packaging. Amazon.com offers one with almost none, but how eco-friendly is it to ship from Amazon?
  • Packing tape from 3 packages delivered this week. I am trying to request that vendors switch to paper tape. It doesn’t always work out.
  • 1 plastic envelope window. Financial West Group. I also got some credit card promos, but I returned them to the sender with a note requesting no more junk mail.
  • Plastic wine stopper from a bottle of Da Vinci Pinot Grigio. Won’t buy this wine again.
  • Bits of plastic tape from gift wrapping. These were gifts that I bought for others and therefore, should have been in control of the plastic. Unfortunately, the store clerk had wrapped them in paper and taped them up before I realized what was happening.
  • Plastic “Initial Here” sticker attached to some bank forms I had to fill out this week. How did we ever fill out forms before these little plastic stickers were invented?

Well, that’s the tally. And now for the LaundryTree Winners!

1) Joules
2) Laura
3) Jennifer
4) Quiet Little Life
5) Erika
6) Sarah
7) MaryLinda
8) Mindful Momma
9) Harry
10) Mrs. Bell

Congratulations! If you have won, please contact me with your mailing address.

If you didn’t win, I plan to have another (little) giveaway on Earth Day. Please check back.

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13 years ago

Beth, I’m inspired to buy and try Soap nuts, so I went to their website, and their picture is with the plastic packaging. You mentioned they will continue using the plastic packaged bags until they use them up, so I requested paper on my orderform. I’ll let you know what I end up with! Thanks Beth.

Beth Terry
13 years ago

Cousin Yellowstone… the SD card was not Sandisk but Fuji. I think the package may have been smaller than the Sandisk package. But I should send it back, shouldn’t I?

Cousin Yellowstone
13 years ago

Was the SD memory card made by SanDisk? I wrote to SanDisk a while ago to complain about excessive packaging, but nothing appears to have changed since then. It’s frustrating, because SanDisk has a near monopoly on sales here. If you feel like writing and complaining about the packaging used for the card you bought, feel free to copy any lines you like from my letter. It’s at http://cousinyellowstone.blogspot.com/2008/10/letter-to-sandisk-about-excessive.html

13 years ago

Fine, Beth. :-P Here’s another FAIL – it may be a drive thru fail, but their recycled cardboard car with zero emissions is a WIN :)

Beth Terry
13 years ago

Hey Greg, how do we know that harvesting cork is painful to the tree? Maybe it’s like having a nice exfoliating scrub. Maybe the tree actually enjoys it.

The point is, as humans, we have no idea whether plants experience pain or not. But we know for sure that birds and sea turtles and fish do from ingesting plastic.

Please read my post about why harvesting natural cork is good for the environment:


Jen — screw caps contain BPA. Just so ya know.

13 years ago

I saw we drink screw cap wine. Natural corks makes trees cry and plastic corks make the baby jesus cry.

PS, thx RobJ & Emily
and beth – kisses ;-)

Also— What does everyone think of this??

Greg Koski
13 years ago

Regarding: Plastic wine stopper, Won’t buy this wine again.

Do you know that the cork is painfully stripped off the poor Quercus Suber tree? And that it hurts? And that it leaves the tree to suffer as bark is its protection? And that they do it to the same poor trees over and over as soon as they heal?

I prefer plastic corks :)


13 years ago

Are you going to participate in this “Too Valuable To Waste” blog summit?


Seems like an honest effort toward doialogue.

I think you should!

13 years ago


13 years ago

LOL Those store clerks are evil sneaky rotten persons. I swear at them all the time, even if they are all my friends. The kicker for me was the day I brought my canvass bagg and megan, my faveorite checker adsent mindly put everything in a plastic bag- then when she realised her mistake, she put the full plastic bag in my canvass bag!

Quiet Little Life
13 years ago

Hi, Beth: I’m so excited to have won some soap nuts! Thank you!

I tried to find your email address on your blog page to send my info, then realized that my email address wasn’t on my blog either. So, here it is:

Yeah! Thanks, again.

Condo Blues
13 years ago

I think Amazon will ship purchases without the plastic pillows, but you have to ask them not to use plastic shipping materials when you purchase the item.

13 years ago

For those of us who don’t have forms with stickers, what is the “Initial Here” sticker for?

Beth Terry
13 years ago

Hi Carrick. I always do try Craigslist first. I’m all about buying secondhand and borrowing, as I’ve demonstrated time and again on this blog. But in this case, I needed a camera immediately, and I needed one with very specific characteristics.

You are absolutely right about Craigslist. When my computer monitor broke, that’s exactly where I turned. As did I when I wanted a crock pot and other things.

Honestly, there are very few things I’d run out and buy new. This felt like an exception.

13 years ago

Sorry to hear about the theft of your camera, and that in its turn increased your plastic waste. I recently bought two new telephones and was thrilled that the entire packaging was just tissue paper and cardboard. The phone lines were bound up with plastic twist ties, but I was really impressed at the overall lack of plastic. I must make a point of writing to the manufacturer to tell them how much I appreciate their responsible approach – it goes to show that it is possible!

13 years ago

Some electronics stores sell memory cards in bulk – Microcenter does, they just have them in bins at the check-out, but I don’t know if there are any stores near you. The last time I bought memory online from microcenter.com, they just shipped it in an envelope, but i think it was a padded one, so that would have plastic, but it might be worth looking into that or similar stores!

13 years ago

That fail is funny – Hummers are so obnoxiously anti-environment.
I saw a notepad when shopping yesterday that had “Hug a tree” printed at the top like stationary and it was colored to suggest unbleached paper. However, there was no mention that it was made from any recycled paper at all. I can’t stand ‘faux green’ items.
FAIL! (o:
Take care,

13 years ago

I’m confused as to why you didn’t try getting a camera off craigslist…

13 years ago

going green – FAIL

13 years ago

firsties. I got VERY excited when I noticed that Amazonb had a new section that allows feedback on packaging. I thought – great, now I can tell them that a neoprene laptop sleeve doesn’t need 12 air pillows to protect it, duh. But alas – the only feedback is to say if the item was packaged well enough, did it get damaged, etc. just Yes/No and no place for comments. :-( and I was really looking forward to complaining [you know how I love that]. I’ll have to email them or something…