Friday, April 20, 2012

Self Evaluation: Plastics Use

Blessings Darlings!

I use Earth Day as a time of evaluation and vow taking.  Two years ago my vow was about reducing my use of plastics. Evaluation (a few days before Earth Day, I admit) makes it clear I'm failing at this.

I've had some success at reducing styrofoam and #5 plastics that are brought into the house - because we can't afford Chinese take out any more (comes in #5 black plastic bowls with a translucent plastic lid) nor can we afford to eat out (leftover brought home in styrofoam plastic boxes).  OTOH many of our groceries still come into the house in plastic bags, because we fail to use the cloth bags.  Even at Aldi's, where we use bags from home, the bags we re-use are the plastic bags from other stores.

Implementing a system other than Gladware for refrigerator food storage has also been a failure.  I can't buy Pyrex replacements (which still have plastic lids) and I am afraid that if I DID use them I'd break them.  I drop things.  A lot.  And we have regular 'landslides' in our freezer and refrigerator.

I'm going to keep looking for metal bowls of all sizes at garage sales, in the hopes that they will be useful for fridge storage.  I would be able to use aluminum foil to cover them with ... not that the mining and refining of THAT is not destructive to the environment, just that aluminum foil can be recycled more readily than plastic wrap can be.  Like - it can be recycled at all.


  1. What really sucks is the recycling places here locally don't take glass! That truly sucks. They take 1 and 2 plastic and cans. And locally here the is no newspaper drop off. How can we recycle when the recycling locations don't take the usual assortment of recyclable materials. It just sucks.

  2. As to the take out containers (black with clear lids)some of them are sturdy enough to save and reuse for ones own leftovers or to prepare single serving stuff for storage. They are also good for germinating trays, sort of like mini green houses. Once the seedlings get too big, just take off the lid or raise it with some spacers.
    We've also used the plastic shopping bags(test to see if they leak first) for making ice blocks for the cooler. Fill them part way with water then knot them closed and place upright in the freezer. We also re use them as trash bags for small trash cans like in the bathroom or bedroom or office. We also keep some in the car and use them to collect trash off the beach when we go for our daily walks. MIlk jugs and two liter bottles can also be made into bird feeders, and also be used as weights for tieing down tarps and such. I also use the milk jugs for making batches of homemade plant food and pesticide mixes. The also make fairly decent funnels.

  3. Che, I DO reuse all of those, in those ways and more. The black bowls with lids go with my husband on business trips as bowls/dishes (His trips tend to take him to the West coast, so he has breakfast at 5 am local time, cereal and milk in his room). But my UPG says that the first R is reduce ... and none of that plastic goes away. Ever. It has a longer hang time than charcoal does!

  4. sure, I understood what you're getting at. I just mentioned them in terms of reduction generally through re use.
    It's almost impossible to reduce plastic incoming. Very little is sold in glass anymore. Styrofoam trays are predominant in meat packaging, unless you go to a butcher and get paper wrapped. Just about any goods you buy are packaged with some form of plastic. We're typing on plastic right now.
    Aside from reducing what comes 'in' you can reduce the amount that goes 'out' and reuse and recycle as much as possible. Even the smallest reduction isn't a fail.