Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week 15 Plastic Waste

Bless me, Blogosphere, for I have sinned. It has been 8 weeks since my last plastic tally.

I started slacking off because of the guilt. Its not like I've been churning out tons of plastic, but when you keep track of it you get freaked by how MUCH there is, and then when you feel like you have to explain WHY you have it... I felt like I was back in parochial grade school, playing hooky from confession.

So here is a list of what I threw out this week, plus some other things from a picture I took a few weeks back. I'm calling amnesty on the rest, and will try not to let guilt prevent me from posting my tally in future.

- wrapper from a kielbasa sausage
- plastic fork
- display hook from a pair of socks
- tape from a piece of mail
- eye drop vial (one of many thrown out in the past few weeks)
- 2 pocket tissue wrappers (last ones, I swear)
- lots of fruit stickers
- Annie's Mac-n-cheese powder envelope
- 2 'disposable' contact lens cases
- 3 Metrocards
- broken and melted plastic clock
- chicken broth box (recycled)

Sausage: I looked for kielbasa w/o a wrapper, didn't find one, so went ahead and bought one in a wrapper. WELL. Since then I've found two sources for "naked" sausage:

1. Saturday at Union Square greenmarket there is a vendor with poultry products, including pheasant sausage that is not sealed in plastic.
2. Koglin German Hams at Grand Central Market has naked kielbasa and a variety of other unwrapped wursts. EXACTLY what I was hoping to find.

Fork: came from a trip to Hallo Berlin (can you tell I've had a craving for wurst this winter?), where the meal was served on a real plate, but came with a plastic fork.

Eye drop vials: I have a chronic, cyclical eye condition. Some weeks I don't need drops at all, other weeks I need lots of them. This is one area where I use plastic with no regrets.

Fruit stickers: Still can't find citrus without stickers locally. I'll keep looking though.

Annie's Mac-n-cheese envelope: You'd think I'd be sick to death of Annie's mac-n-cheese after my January experience. You'd be wrong. I get these unholy cravings for cheap and easy processed food sometimes.

Contact lens cases: Because of the eye condition, my eyes just aren't tolerating contacts anymore. I tried this pair in January and spent the next couple weeks getting my eyes calmed down again. I still have several pairs of contacts left. What to do with them?

Metrocards: Is there a way to get a monthly unlimited card that is re-fillable?

Clock: It stopped working, even with new batteries. I had it leaning against the steam pipe in the corner of the bathroom and it melted. Bye-bye, plastic clock.

Chicken stock carton: there are still a few more of these from my last trip to Costco. Thing is, I'm not using them and would rather just make broth from scratch. I might give the other boxes away. BUT- I haven't tried buying a whole chicken without plastic yet. Is it possible?


The Green Cat said...

Juli: I think it is part of the awareness. Once you start looking at your waste, you realize how much there is. Don't feel guilty; the awareness alone is helping you reduce it. Think of the number of folks out there show don't even think about it--they just continue to blithely use and toss plastic in the landfills.

Regarding Metrocards: Wouldn't it be great if they would make the monthlies refillable? I know this question has come up from a number of people. Do you think we should start a campaign to get the MTA to take back the cards and reuse them?

Regarding the contact lenses: If you are looking to get rid of them altogether, you can donate new sealed lenses to Madre. Email helpinghands@madre.org for info. Or mail your lenses to MADRE Helping Hands 121 West 27th St. Rm 301 New York, NY 10001

Anonymous said...

I bet your local butcher could hook you up with whole chicken wrapped in paper.