In the past month, I have given up more than plastic. I actually have not had a sip of any alcoholic beverage in 31 days. And I haven’t had coffee in that length of time either. I stopped drinking black tea 2 weeks ago. At this point, the only caffeine in my life comes from chocolate. And Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream, but you’ll see the evidence of that in the tally. Oh, and no gluten either for about two months. Thanksgiving is going to be hella fun.
But you know what? Mostly I don’t miss any of it. They were habits, you know, like… the plastic habit… the convenience habit… the retail therapy habit… the fast food habit…. Honestly? I don’t want alcohol or gluten anymore. I mean, I really don’t. Just as how I can’t conceive of buying food packaged in plastic these days, the thought of drinking alcohol is a real turnoff. Coffee is a little harder. It just smells so good wafting through the air from the local cafes, especially on chilly mornings. I’ve been replacing it with more hot chocolate than is good for me. But I’m sure that will go too, once I’m ready. One thing at a time.
So, here’s the monthly plastic tally through 11/15/2009. Read it and weep, you big companies with your overly packaged crap. I don’t miss you either… most of the time.
Plastic purchased before June 2007 and finally used up this month:
- Two bottles of WIN laundry detergent and plastic caps. We have had these sitting in the laundry basket for over two years and finally decided just to go ahead and use them up. I kind of wish we hadn’t. Our clothes have such a strong chemical smell right now. After washing with soapnuts and natural laundry powder for so long, I’m not used to the strong synthetic fragrances used by mainstream soap companies.
New plastic waste:
- Plastic Packing tape. From delivery of something. I can’t remember what. My T-shirt quilt?
- 2 plastic seals from around cartons of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Sometimes you just have to do what you need to do to get through. I have one more pint, and then I’m done. I think. Coffee Heath Bar Crunch is just so much fun because it’s like a little yummy treasure hunt, isnt’ it?
- Plastic clothing tag hanger. Plastic clothing tag hanger from the cotton jacket I bought last month.
- 7 plastic envelope windows. 1 EFTPS notice from the IRS, one notice from my bank, 2 from my retirement account, 1 from Sierra Club (shame on you, Sierra Club, for using plastic windows when alternatives exist), 1 from Social Security, and 1 from Senator Barbara Boxer to ask me to vote for her. Don’t worry, Barbara. I will. BTW, none were routine statements, as I’ve switched all my accounts to online billing/statements. Read the link below for more info on what envelope windows are made from.
- 1 prescription bottle & cap for Arya. Poor Kitty caught some kind of bug and need antibiotics. That was a treat for all concerned. The first morning, I fought with her for an hour trying to get half a pill in her. After that, we discovered Greenies Pill Pockets, which are yummy stinky cat treats that are made to hide pills. They come in a plastic bag, which will go into my tally when they are used up at some point. Hopefully never because after a few days, Arya caught on and didn’t want the pills hidden in the treats either.Holy smokes! If you think that was bad, you should have heard the ungodly sounds that came out of her the night Michael and I tried to take her temperature. We’re talking Exorcist kitty. For real. Then, we found this video online about how to take a cat’s temperature. All I can say is, no way man. The cat in that video? Is on Xanax.Oh, and one more thing about prescription bottles — they are not refillable by pharmacies where we live. But #5 Rx bottles can be dropped off to Preserve through their Gimme 5 program.
- 2 plastic Straus milk caps. Straus milk comes in returnable glass bottles, but the caps are still plastic. Read about Straus milk below. Would avoiding plastic be easier if I went vegan? Maybe. But I can only eliminate so many foods at a time, people. Give me a break!
- Plastic Rolaids bottle and cap. Okay, this is part of the reason I gave up gluten. Trying to figure out what’s going on with my tummy. The trouble began while I was in Hawaii dealing with family issues and continued after. I think the gluten-free diet is helping, if only I could resist eating late at night. Remember when I wrote about eating too much bread? Thing of the past. Oh, and in anticipation of someone recommending baking soda as an alternative to Rolaids, I’ll just say that it’s very high in sodium, so I’m not sure it’s a better choice.
- 2 plastic blister packs from a prescription. One that I suspect is helping me resist alcohol, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
- Plastic threads and cap from a tube of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. The tube is made from aluminum and returnable to Tom’s for recycling. See the links at the bottom of this post for more information.
- 1 expired credit card.
Plastic waste not included in the tally:
Here are the items I refused to accept, but for which I take responsibility nevertheless:
- Plastic wrapper from an otherwise plastic-free photo album from the Green Festival. I’ll write more about the photo album after I’ve used it at some point in the future. I handed back the plastic wrapper to the merchant, explaining why I don’t appreciate plastic packaging.
- 2 Tyvek wrist bands from the Green Festival. I actually refused to put them on my wrist and handed them back in at the end of the festival to be reused. Doing this actually caused a mini ruckus. They tried to insist that I wear the wrist bands, which would have rendered them unreusable. I explained, with a smile on my face, why I could not accept their disposable plastic. After all, it’s the Green Festival! I’ve searched online and can’t find any type of security wristband that is not made from plastic.
- Plastic salsa container from Green Festival food vendor. I’m not sure this one counts. I handed the vendor my LunchBots container for my food. The server was happy to oblige me but included my salsa in a plastic container. However, before handing it to me, he actually asked if I wanted it or not and said he’d use it for someone else if I didn’t. He got it! He knew I wouldn’t want that plastic. I just thought I would mention it here even though it ended up as someone else’s trash — not mine.
- Find out what envelope windows are made from.
- My visit to Straus Creamery, the source of my milk.
- Eating and drinking on the go.
- Glass drinking straws.
- LunchBots stainless steel food containers.
- How to recycle Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tubes