Friday, September 21, 2007


A few other households have started "satellite" projects echoing our own. This is fantastic! Some are trying to eliminate all plastic, while others are cutting back on the excess.

I wanted to take a moment to write about awareness. Plastic isn't "bad". It's not "The Devil", not by a long shot. I, for one, embrace our evil plastic overlords. Plastic has been a major attribute to the successes in our scientific community and is one of the top contributors to the advancement of society.

I believe that there's an overuse of plastic in the United States. Americans want everything sterilized, and thus everything is wrapped in at least one layer of plastic. The point of this project is to become aware of how much plastic has seeped into our everyday lives.

It's working. I can't help but notice plastic everywhere. Today, I tried to buy a jar of mustard. I'm making a potato salad for a party tomorrow, and it's just not right without a little stone ground mustard. I looked at the options available, instantly dismissing the plastic squeeze bottles. Looking at the jars with metal lids, I realized that even with a metal lid, 9/10 jars had a plastic shrink-wrapped seal "for freshness". The jar that I purchased (seen in the photo to the right) only has a strip of paper attached from the label to the lid. It was almost the only option. I've noticed this same use of a plastic seal on almost every product that is sold in a grocery store. Some I can understand, but others confuse me. Sure, a plastic seal on a bottle of medication is great. A plastic tray with two bell peppers and a bunch of shrink wrap? Unnecessary. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, check out their produce section. You'll be enlightened.

Today marks the 11th day since we officially started this project. We've saved almost all of the plastic that we've bought, minus a plastic bag from a box of cereal and a juice bottle from my train ride. Pictured on the right: 2 boxes of wine (via Carl who very sneakily brought them home while I was visiting relatives), a plastic wrapper from the canning pot, a plastic cover for a candle (Carl turns 30 this weekend), two bags that held streamers (a frivolous purchase), a plastic seal for something, a pizza box insert (which our friend Mike actually paid for), a plastic tag for cilantro, and two plastic tags for green onions.

I listed this out to show how easily one can eliminate a lot of excess plastic from their daily lives. I scan the groceries of the people ahead of me in line at the grocery store and some have plastic wrappers on everything they are buying!

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