Posts Tagged ‘waste’

  • The turkey came from a nearby farm, in a plastic bag. Coulda been worse.
  • The green beans came in a plastic bag from the grocery store, which wasn’t reusable.
  • The potatoes came in a plastic bag with holes in it, which wasn’t reusable. I should have bought them in bulk and bagged them myself in cloth.
  • Priscilla made the bread. We put the leftovers in a plastic bag. I can reuse that one. Typically I get 3-5 uses out of a bread bag.
  • Gravy – no plastic involved. And by the way, putting a layer of carrots, onions, and celery under the turkey makes a wonderful base for gravy. I’d never done that before.
  • I have to confess to making stuffing from a bag. I wonder if those cellophane-ish bags are biodegradable. I used sage I got out of the garden.
  • The pecans for the pie came in a plastic bag. The chocolate for the pie was wrapped in paper, as were the flour and butter.
  • We put all the leftovers in plastic containers. I have reused those about a million times.

All told, not too bad, and no worse than a typical day.

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Plastic again

I went to Costco today. They’re good about packaging in one way, because they reuse old grocery boxes, or nothing, to pack your stuff in at the cash register. But on the other hand, there are loads of items that are more blisterpacked than normal, like Oil of Olay, and vitamins. You end up wrestling to get your new purchases free and then throwing away a big gob of plastic and plasticized cardboard. I can see why they use plastic to package multiples of one thing together, but why the single bottle of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which already has a double-sealed top?

That cardboard! Does it degrade if it’s encased in a film of plastic? I bet not.

There are a lot of other ecological issues to worry about, and hardly anything to feel good about (e.g., paper bags use up lots of fossil fuel in the making, more, apparently, than plastic bags). So I guess for the time being I’m picking this one. I’m just going to keep paying attention to the trash I generate.

Last night we had a piece of beef tenderloin for dinner. I had bought a big huge one from Costco, cut it in three pieces, and froze two of them. It came in a big cryo-vac (read plastic) bag. I put it in two more plastic bags. I cooked the beef, and put the leftovers in a (reusable, at least) plastic box. We also had mashed potatoes. Yay! The potatoes came in all their nakedness from the Merc. Same for the broccoli. We had Lindor truffles for dessert. Cellophane wrapping, plasticked paper bag. (Incidentally, the Merc puts most of its deli items in cardboard boxes, not plastic.)

I know, this seems boring. And if I keep doing it, it will become quite repetitive. But if I don’t look at these details I’ll keep acquiring and throwing away more and more of this stuff. IT NEVER GOES AWAY!

I want everyone to pay attention to this. For one thing, unless you live a totally austere existence out in the woods somewhere, you’re going to be using and throwing away plastic. So if we all start paying attention, and complaining or buying less-packaged items, maybe manufacturers will respond by using less. Am I being naive or overly idealistic?

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