April Plastic Tally

It’s that time of month again, when I excavate under my kitchen sink to reveal all the new plastic trash we’ve accumulated in the last month. If you are new here, this is a monthly ritual in which I take account of how much plastic our family of three brought into the home when doing everything in our ability to not bring in any. As I learned pretty early on, we were never able to get it down to zero–plastic lids are acceptable if no alternative is available, and as you’ll see there are other transgressions.

This will be a familiar picture to anyone who’s been around for the tally before. Lot’s of milk bottle caps. A handful of missing rings. (Did I say this was scientific? Not really.)  There are a few extras this month because I wanted to finally make sour cream and had a bit of trial and error buying the right kind of cream. More on that later. The ink pad isn’t trash and hopefully will be around for a while, but it does represent my big, pre-meditated plastic purchase of the month. You’ll also see a lollipop wrapper, a mini yogurt container I needed for starter, a ketchup bottle lid wrapper, the last of my plastic yarn wrappers purchased mail order back in January (I had no idea anyone would think of labeling yarn in plastic!), some random cellophane, and the bag from my vital wheat gluten debacle back in February or so. A sort of sad follow up to that quest for plastic free VWG is that by the time my packaged stash ran out the store that carried it in bulk discontinued it. Yup, that was Whole Foods in case anybody wants to complain. I’d hate them outright, but they also started accepting #5 plastic for recycling. Bring them lot’s of trash, please.

This is the CSA pile. Apple cider, local raw honey, garlic, cheese, and a few bags I couldn’t realistically transfer the contents of to my  cloth bags. The local food arena is one area that I’m going to loosen up about as we enter the Plastic Free Lite phase of our experiment. If something is available locally, but packaged in plastic, I might choose it over a non-regional, unpackaged version. But only if we really need it, it really makes sense, and I can’t find an alternative locally or convince the producer of the error of their ways.

A broccoli tab, a plastic lined bag of cat food and some packing bubbles. Can I just that I had a whole lot more of those packing bubbles, but they’ve been stowed away in the shed in case of future shipping needs. I inherited a sewing machine from my grandma, and it arrived safely thanks to a sea of this stuff. My mom sent it for me, and I have to add that she also padded the box with some thrift store clothes she thought I’d like.

not included here is the bag of ice we bought for our road trip without even considering it was in plastic. An excellent example of how invisible plastic can be when you need it and have blinders on. Or the beer bag we got on that trip. And probably some other things, like the plastic wrapping on the neck of a wine bottle. Who saves plastic when they’re tipsy? Also, I don’t save things like olive oil lids with plastic inserts, or junk mail with plastic windows in the envelopes. Just to give you full disclosure.

Thanks for your interest in my trash! Have a nice day.

8 Replies to “April Plastic Tally”

  1. Hi Kyrie – Have you thought about feeding your cat whole foods instead of bagged food? We’ve been feeding our dogs and cats that way for over a year now and we love it. Just a thought – love what you do.

  2. As a new reader of your blog who loves what you’re doing, let me just say, AMAZING!

    I have not made the leap you have, but I do notice and think about all the things packaged in plastic (it’s a start, right?) and try to avoid it when possible.

    I was thinking about your plastic-free commitment when I was at the grocery store today and wondering how in the world you do it! So now that I see there are some things that can’t be avoided, but I am thoroughly impressed by how little plastic is coming through your life.

    You’re inspiring me to do better.

  3. Your trash makes me smile…maybe not the trash per say, more your great efforts and ability to share, that’s what makes me smile. I recognize the Lamb’s Pride yarn wrapper. I always noticed it said recyclable on it and found it a bit odd.


  4. i’m *so* interested in yer trash! in fact, yer trash *inspires* me. it *moves* me, makes me yearn for simply.better.

    that is some badass trash.

  5. You continue to inspire me! So proud of you and yours for your efforts. Truly wonderful and what a beautiful, small amount of trash!

  6. This experiment seems to say that plastic is unavoidable. Which should translate into: it’s unavoidable that money be invested into researching and producing viable and green alternatives.

  7. Thanks for writing this blog! I found out about it in last month’s edition of Local Flavor.

    Do you know when Whole Foods (in Santa Fe) started recycling #5 plastic? I tried to drop mine off there at least a few months ago, but they said they didn’t take them in our region b/c the nearest recycling facility was too far away for it to be environmentally viable.

    1. It was just very recently that they started this program–I’ve seen stations at both Wild Oats and WF. Thanks for visiting!

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