Potato Chips and Ear Plugs: July’s Plastic

July’s Plastic

-2 Califa Farms Almond Milk Bottles
-1 If You Care Dish Soap Bottle
-14 Small Chip Bags
-2 Big Chip Bags
-2 Quorn package
-1 Frozen Corn Package
-3 Dog Treat Bags
-4 Bread Bags
-1 Pizza Dough Bag
-1 Tortilla Bag
-5 Produce Bags
-2 Polystyrene Containers
-22 Daily Contact Cases
-1 Disposable Razor Head
-2 Disposable Water Bottles
-2 Cereal Bag
-10 Lids
-1 Container for Chocolate Covers Graham Crackers
-2 Ear Plugs
-1 Trail Mix Bag
-1 Pretzel Bag
-5 Electircal Tape Cases
-5 Cheese Films
-3 Food Containers (Veggie Cream Cheese, pesto, and unknown)
-1 Frozen Dog Treat Container
-2 Pill Containers
-1 Nature Valley Granola Bar Bag

Titan always gets excited for the end-of-the-month plastic count.  As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and this month Titan scored my used earplug, seasoned by my inner ear as I spent 3 weeks sleeping in a tent in down east Maine.  Those little foamy nuggets helped me sleep through rainy nights and thunder.  They were then going to provide Titan an indigestible snack, but I managed to chase him down and steal it back before that happened.

July was an unusual month.  I (Kim) was away in Maine starting my grad school program.  Eating in a cafeteria, I couldn’t help but feel like a liar when I brought my plastic home.  My portion of this pile is small, but most of the plastic I used this month was indirect, behind the scenes.  I was also issued an extraordinary number of potato chip bags, which my beast of a stomach gladly accepted, and I wore contacts a lot more than usual.  Brandon is working hard at his school’s summer session/camp.  A portion of our plastic came from the projects he did with his students (bottles), or from his lack of time to cook (aka cereal).  We didn’t realize just how much we balanced each other’s time with cooking and taking care of Titan until I left!  It is so lovely to be reunited after 3 weeks apart :O)

Some plastic-free victories of the month:

-Seeing everyone show up in Maine with Tuperware containers!  Not a single ziplock baggie was used for sandwiches and snack, huzzah!

-Per my request, a bar brought our group’s beers in glass, even though they were serving other’s in plastic.  And all of our waters came in glass AND straw free! Bravo!

-Meeting Bill Coperthwaite, who has the rare propensity for making everything with his own hands.  His yurt (put together without powertools in the 70’s and still holding beautiful and strong) was equipped with hand carved wooden spoons, bowls, even a tape dispenser!

Bill's Yurt!

Bill’s Yurt!

What plastic victories did you have this month?

Life in Bloom: June Plastic Total

June passed by in a rainy blur, ushering in summer so fast it feels like winter never happened. The plastic pile in our crawl space grows, and it turns out a month of plastic for the two of us and Titan (dog) fits quite perfect inside a 25 lb dogfood bag.  Per usual, mostly film… bread bags, food wraps… a couple Tetrapaks, a couple bags of chips, some old toothbrushes, lids, inevitably a couple sneaky straws.  As the year goes on, we seem to have hit a plateau.  The pile is not alarming or troublesome by American standards.  No water or soda bottles.  No produce bags.  No processed food.  Yet, we cannot seem to reduce in the past couple months.  Partially it is a symptom of where we live.  Bulk isles are hard to come by.  So is a fresh bread source (there are a couple, but they are 30 min away!)  Local businesses are taken over by larger corporations.  Without local businesses, we sometimes have to buy online, and end up with bulky plastic packaging as a result.  Out culture does not support a life with reduced plastic.

One thing that we LOVE about summer is the supply of fresh produce.  This year we are receiving weekly drop offs from an organic CSA, supplemented with a bounty from our own home garden.  This year we grew our whole garden from seed; here is a snapshot of how it is coming along!

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Beautiful Eggplant :O)

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You can see scallions on the left, kale on the right, and tomatoes in the back, yum!

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Scallion :O)

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Broccoli on the patioIMG_6048

This might be my proudest sproutling, I cannot believe this was just a seed a few short months ago!IMG_6045

Patio carrots = genius!!!IMG_6052