June 1, 2009

Year 2, Week 48, 49, & 50 Results: 4.1 oz of plastic waste

Well, here is three week’s worth of plastic waste. I’m back on track. And your tallies (Show Us Your Plastic Trash Challenge) have been coming in so fast, that I have created a special new place for them. More on that tomorrow.

Plastic used up this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

  • 1 bandaid. I cut my finger with a sharp knife while making my Plastic Sea Monster costume. I really don’t have the energy to explain how this happened. :-)
  • Expired Credit Union debit card. I have cancelled this account, mainly because I never use it.

New plastic waste:

  • 8 plastic envelope windows. From Financial West Group, ING Direct, Comcast, PG&E Solar, USE Credit Union, Bay to Breakers, Green Sangha, & a payment from a bookkeeping client. As I’ve mentioned before, I am working to be removed from as many mailing lists as possible. Most of these envelopes were unavoidable. Since I’m on the board of Green Sangha, I will mention the possibility of changing the types of envelopes the organization uses.
  • Plastic wrapper from new check order. I opened a brand new checking account at New Resource Bank in San Francisco and am trying to wean myself from my Bank of America account. New Resource Bank is local and invests in the community. They provide financing for solar energy projects as well as CD’s that are used solely to fund those projects.
  • Race number from Bay to Breakers. Race numbers are made from Tyvek, a type of plastic. See link below for more information.
  • Bit of plastic from the ends of a bunch of organic bananas. See below for more info.
  • Piece of tape from a bar of handmade soap. Michael and I bought several bars of handmade soap from a roadside vendor during our trip to Santa Cruz last weekend. It wasn’t until we opened the wrapper that we realized the tissue paper was held together with a tiny piece of scotch tape.
  • Plastic bag of World’s Best Cat Litter. Yes, we know there is a brand that comes in a paper bag. Read the saga below.
  • Plastic spout and cap from a huge metal can of olive oil. Okay, before you go crazy on me (monkeyjen) about why in the world I am buying huge cheap-ass cans of olive oil instead of organic olive oil in glass, please allow me to explain. Over a year ago, I thought I would try my hand at making soap. I bought all the ingredients, including a huge can of olive oil, and then lost the energy and desire to actually make the soap. We can get great local handmade soap here plastic-free. Why should I spend my limited time making my own? So the can sat on the shelf for months until we decided to just go ahead and cook with it. Now that it’s gone, I’ll be bringing my glass bottle to Whole Foods to fill up from their organic bulk olive oil container.

Related posts:


Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "Year 2, Week 48, 49, & 50 Results: 4.1 oz of plastic waste"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest

I went to the Dupont website to see if it still offers to recycle Tyvek. It does not appear that they do: “In North America, DuPont Tyvek has partnered with Waste Management to offer an easy way to recycle banners, [etc]…”

So then I went to the linked Waste Management site and found that their Tyvek recycling kit, a 16″x12″x4″ Tyvek envelope, costs $15. So it is possible, but no longer free. The only good think is that the envelope is so big that it will hold a lot — you wouldn’t need to spend the $15 very often.

About Feline Pine – it has two types. The first kind is little pellets that break down once peed on and the second kind has a consistency like sawdust or World's Best. I use the second kind because my cats like it better than the first kind. Feline Pine can be flushed; I've been doing it for 2 years with no problems.

@Condo Blues I guess I should have been more specific. By Race Number, I meant the number that you wear when you are a registered participant in the Bay to Breakers. The only racing we did was to get on a bus at the last minute when it became apparent we weren’t going to make it to the costume contest before it ended at 11:30. There was no way to actually race in these costumes in the heat: https://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/05/leatherback-sea-turtle-friends-plastic/ That said, I have actually raced in the past. But I’m not super fast or super competitive so carrying my Klean… Read more »
Hey, a race number – how did you do in the race? And what about all of the plastic that's associated with running a race? My husband's a runner and at his last race, there was a lot of plastic – race number (I'm saving them & going to try making a shopping tote bag out of them.), wicking race t-shirt, water bottles (my husband steals my Earthlust bottle for pre-race drinking and hands it off to me or puts it in the car. You don't have a car to hold your reusable stuff while you run – what do… Read more »
@PureMothers — It's a good question. These don't state what's in them so I just sent a message to Band-Aid to find out. I do know that at least some Band-Aids are plastic. I don't know if all of them are. @Robj — did you get my email? @Anonymous — I don't think Feline Pine is flushable, is it? We've had our cats tested for toxoplasma and since they never go outside, we feel comfortable using World's Best and flushing it. Feline Pine has to go to the landfill, right? @Juli — I have seen almost every natural personal care… Read more »

What kind of refillable glass do you use for olive oil? Does it have a spout? I have kept some in hopes of reusing, but then I can't remove the spout.

I bought one I thought would be okay at Market Hall, but now I'm worried about rinsing it out, which is difficult for the obvious oil vs. water issue.

I worry about small amounts of old oil going rancid at the bottom.

You can purchase olive oil in refillable containers? Wow– I wish that option was available in New York City. For me, the big metal cans of olive oil (they come in organic varieties as well) seem to be the option of least plastic– even glass jars have plastic in the lids.

Someone recently told me they saw Nature’s Gate shampoo being sold in refillable containers- not in NYC though. Have you seen that?

About your cat litter…
We recently switched to a pine litter (Feline Pine?) and realized that it’s the same stuff we put in our pellet stove. The only diff is big $$. Once used, the litter turns to sawdust – and can go on the compost pile. (Urine is very high in nitrogen.) Solid stuff gets scooped. And the bag can be recycled.
Unfortunately, this is one of those choices that will ultimately be made by your cat.

I cannot believe you found problems with Olive Oil! I would have never thought about the spout on a can of Olive oil. Shit. Just when I think I have an answer you keep pulling me back into the fray!
My plastic total is posted on my website.

I would not go crazy on you! :) Of course, you could refill your big ass olive oil can @ rainbow :-P

I think it is great that you explain the olive oil thing. Because when I think of it, the big jug isn’t the worst choice in the world and yet you found an even better one. I love it!

I thought Band- aids were made of latex with gauze and paper. Agh!