Puck Flastic

I got the most amazing gift from a friend. It is a ceramic cup, with a silicone lid and it says ‘puck flastic.’ I loved it! It will go and sit proudly on my desk as of next week. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time know that I have been working towards improving my personal relationship to the planet. Some of the ideas I think have been fabulous others though, I have thought to be a sham.[1] Regardless, I have started to engage with how horrific I am in terms of recycling and other environmental issues.

We are now recycling more at home. As time goes on, I keep trying to divert some from the garbage to the recycling. It is working. Our recycling is way up and the garbage is decreasing. Our ‘zero food waste’ program is working really well. We are not throwing food out and/or wasting it.

Then there is plastic. Saying that plastic is ubiquitous is like saying rain is wet. When you start to take stock of the amount of plastic we consume on a daily basis it is staggering.[2] Instead of looking at national or international numbers, just look at your kitchen. If examining the whole kitchen is too overwhelming, then just look at your refrigerator. Most of the condiments are now in plastic bottles. Meat is wrapped in plastic, deli meats come in little plastic Ziploc bags.  What was wrong with wax-lined butcher paper?

How long do we use things? Not very long is the answer. They are meant to be disposable and like good little consumers we dispose of them, one way or another. Even if we recycle the plastic, how much energy is used in this process? The thing about plastic is that it is forever. It does not break down in landfills and there is really nothing that can be done with it once it is made.

What have I done about this? Well, not much yet. I am trying to re-use things like Ziploc bags. I am trying to make sure all plastic goes into the recycling bin. I am looking for alternatives to products in plastic. I carry water in my car with me so that I will never, ever have to buy a bottle of water.

I am curious what some of you are doing about recycling and plastic. What are your thoughts? What changes have you made?


[1] Check back on the ‘Our Green Year’ series of blog posts. There are several posts in the category. Here is the link.

[2] I am not going to bother to pull stats to try to illustrate the problem. If you want them they are everywhere on the internet.

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Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. For us it starts right at the beginning when doing groceries. We choose products with no packaging or packaging that is recyclable. It really depends on the brand e.g. most coffee out there is packaged in plastic but if you go straight to JJ Bean and get freshly roasted coffee, it comes in a bag made of recycled paper and other than the clip on top is recyclable.

    We use re-usable shopping bags.

    Ziplocs was a bad thing for me and it only just hit me recently. It’s such a convenience just because we’re lazy to use re-usable containers. My Ziploc usage has gone way down.

    I also use re-usable containers for the dog’s and cat’s meat vs a gazillion ziploc bags.

    Don’t forget about composting. If you don’t already have one, get one! I know you have the little garbage disposal units known as “guinea pigs” who will eat a lot of the veggie and fruit trimmings but there’s still some such as onions/garlic/coffee grounds which they shouldn’t have.

    Your coffee/frapp at Starbucks. Yeah that’s another bad one people can easily slip into. We’re pretty good with the coffee… and horrible w. frapps but I just bought us some re-usable frapp cups for Christmas from The Animal Rescue site. So although we’re pretty good, there’s room for improvement

    • Thankfully my Starbucks’ habit is well under control as in it is non-existant. We have a very, very long way to go here for sure. I think you are right that it starts with better choices at the grocery store. We did that today if only a little. We bought olive oil in glass rather than in plastic. I fear the ziplocs are going to be a very hard habit to break!


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