Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 2 Plastic Tally: 6 oz, Divide by Two

So I was expecting a horrible result for the plastic weigh-in this week, partly because my husband Peter has joined me in the no-plastics challenge, and he bought bookshelves this week... that had been padded, in their boxes, with styrofoam.

It is amazing how much volume plastic has for its mass, though.  Our combined total for the week was still 6 oz.

And, to make the definitions clearer:
Last week, I was not counting Peter as a full partner in this challenge--though he has modified his habits some, too.  Last week, I did count whatever plastic packaging I used and discarded cooking for both of us, but I did not have Peter save anything he created on his own.

We are now defining our plastic waste as our household waste, generated by the two of us--the ugly pile you see in the photograph is at least the product of two American consumers rather than one.

We are neither of us, however, trying to count indirect plastic.  For instance, when the local deli cut me off a half pound of cheddar cheese and wrapped it in waxed paper for me, I did not estimate how much plastic wrapper around their ten pound block of cheese had originally wrapped the share I took home.  Nor are we counting plastic generated at our workplaces--two public schools.

We are, however, making inquiries about ways we can, just maybe, get our schools to reform a little bit next year, in terms of their plastics use.

Peter is better at this than I am.  I get very shy when it is time to ask an institution to change anything at all.  Peter?  Bold as brass.

On the other hand, I am finding that one reform leads to another, and it is already feeling very natural to simply waft down the potato chips aisle, for instance, thinking, "Nope--nothing here I can have, and nothing here I need."  And I'm finding a real pleasure in figuring out little local places I can get produce, free of plastic packaging.  We're eating more seasonally and more locally, and I'm discovering that it's more fun.

Only eight more days of school left.  Then I can really take stock, and see what lifestyle reforms we can put in place during the long, fertile days of summer.

See you next week!

2 comments:

Heather said...

Thank you so much for beginning this blog. I've been considering reducing my own plastic use for some time now but, for whatever reason (probably pure laziness), have never really felt like putting any effort into it. Reading your posts, I now feel inspired to begin and am already considering ways that I can make my own shampoo and do other things to reduce my use of products that come in plastic packages. I'm looking forward to your future posts!

Tess said...

I just finished my first week's tally (I put it on Fake Plastic Fish but it hasn't appeared yet). I was shocked at how indulgent I was in my shopping - ready meals and cakes in plastic boxes to cheer me up when I was depressed and busy. It does feel I have developed some good momentum now though. Thanks.

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