Monday, October 17, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 30!

Thirty weeks- wow! That's more than half a year now that I think of it! We started last February after seeing an overwhelming amount of trash sitting at everyone's curb once the excitement of Christmas morning had worn off. I sincerely hope that in the last year our efforts have raised at least a little bit more awareness (if nothing else in our own home) about this disturbing trend. We are a society of consumers going on 7 billion. Where does it end? How far are we going to let things slide before there are more rules regarding the consumption & disposability of nearly everything in our current food system (and in general, really)? And don't even get me started on the health of these people eating this prepackaged "food". Did you see this article? These things are NOT food. Don't eat it if it's not food you guys!

Organic cotton bulk bin bags for our pantry staples.

I am a firm believer that every little bit counts. Walking halfway back through the parking lot to grab my bulk bin bags out of the car is worth it when I know that I'll have to own up to my plastic bulk bin bag in my next weekly post. If they're all in the laundry (I wash them every time to avoid cross-contamination as there are lots of allergies in the family) I'll get whatever I need to get next time. It's usually not urgent (and they're usually not ALL in the wash) and I can get it another time. I also try to keep bulk bin staples (nuts, seeds, dried beans & lentils etc.) on hand in quantities I'll use at home anyways.

Okay so the lids to the milk bottles are plastic...

If everyone did this, think about the effect it would have! Every once in awhile I'll have a cashier at the grocery store comment on my bulk bags. It's usually something positive & they're interested, but sometimes it's someone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I've heard "I don't like your bags because I can't see what's in them." to which I responded "I don't like yours because they're plastic" (I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself that day!) She didn't really have anything to say for herself after that! If for every 100 cashiers that see my bags, only one goes out & practices the same thing, it's worth it. Because there's people in line behind me and readers like you that see them too! Every little bit does count!

1. Dumpling bag
2. Bandaids & wrappers
3. Bubble mailer
4. 2 Yogurt tubs
5. Protein powder tub
6. Chip bag
7. Cheese wrapping
8. Packaging for new tweezers
9. 2 Pasta bags
10. Facial scrub tube
11. Sherbet container
12. 2 Almond bags
13. Stickers on fruit & veggies
14. Sour cream container brought home from relatives containing dessert post Thanksgiving dinner
15. 2 Rings off of a new spatula & new belt
16. Daiya bag
17. Leaky Ziploc bag 
18. Vitamin bottle lid & label (bottle is glass)
19. NYF cup
20. Plastic wrap (not shown) from platter of devilled eggs taken to thanksgiving dinner 
21. Garbage bag from the week's trash (not shown)

Hurray- we kept it under 20 items (by the skin of my teeth!) this week! Or so I thought. Then I remembered the last two items... "Out of sight out of mind" screwed me again!

This week we can add "Processed/prepared foodstuffs ie dumplings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc." to the rest of the list of plastics no longer welcome in our home:

Packaged Fish, Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks, Tubed Polenta, Jell-o Cups, Avocado oil (in plastic), Ziploc bags (new), Plastic coated picture hanging wire, Alfalfa sprouts, Packaged fudge, Gnocchi, Baking powder, Replacement laptop cord (hopefully!), Bagged frozen veggies, Individually wrapped candy, Peanut Butter (in plastic jars), Cooking spray, Spices packaged in plastic, Pre-packaged lunch meat, Plastic salad dressing bottles, Instant noodles, Prepackaged granola bars, Plastic unrefillable spice grinders, Coconut milk fudgesicles, Dairy Queen, Citrus in bags, RealLime & RealLemon juice, Honey Bunny ketchup or their other sauces (unless their packaging changes), Bean sprouts (unless sold bulk), Starbucks (unless in a travel mug)

Fresh bread from Pastry Chef in a paper bag.

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