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Posts Tagged ‘bummer’

I don’t want you to think I’m asking for a pat on the back about how much we recycle or reuse when I write about what’s in our trash. I’m really looking at how much perma-junk our household of two reasonably careful people is creating all the time. We’re pretty good about reusing plastic. We’ve used the same cereal containers for about 10 years (acquired during a bad grain moth infestation). I reuse every plastic food bag as long as I can, until it gets holes in it or is too dirty to reuse.

This morning I had cranberry relish and Swedish crispbread, both being stored in Rubbermaid plastic containers. I made the relish last night, so in our wastebasket we now have two bags that cranberries came in, and a plastic apple bag with holes in it (not easily reusable). I threw moldy bread into the compost, and threw out the bag. I usually drink an Emergen-C, which comes in a little foil envelope – thrown away. We buy our coffee in bulk, using paper bags that are practically family heirlooms. I ran out of hair conditioner this morning. The bottle went in the recycling. How much plastic can we recycle? It’s still there, just in different form. Our newspaper comes in a blue plastic bag every day. Those go in the recycling. I wonder if I could get the carrier not to use a bag. I doubt it, but I can ask.

I went to Target but didn’t take my own bags. I made the checker consolidate, but I still walked out of there with two plastic bags. And what was in them? A plastic bottle of oil. A plastic spray bottle of environmentally gently all-purpose cleaner. A bag of sugar, yay, biodegradable! Mascara in a plastic tube, blisterpacked to cardboard for easy display and theft prevention. A new throw rug with a non-slip rubber backing (OK, 4 rugs so I can see which one looks OK) – what is that backing made of? Two plastic bottles of dish soap (2 for 1 sale). From the natural foods store, I brought out one plastic bag each of apples and oranges.

Oh gosh, there’s more. I find this critically important, and I can’t see how we’re going to fix it.

Take a look at the video below, Alphabet Soup, about the double-Texas-sized floating trash mass in the North Pacific Gyre. It’s horrifically fascinating.

Or look at the LA Times series on the altered ocean.

I’m going to go make chicken soup (chicken in plastic, broth homemade but stored in plastic, noodles in plastic).

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