After my February plastic trash challenge, I got inspired and started to look more closely at everything else I toss.
Now that I have some sort of control over my plastic trash, and gotten into a good routine of using the plastic recycle bag, I have found that most of my other trash is paper (advertising/junk mail) and food scraps.
Let’s talk about the junk mail. I tend to look through all the advertising from grocery stores, as I try to save a little when possible. I bulk up on some of my everyday products, when there is a good sale. All these adverts ends up in the paper recycle bin, so the paper is recycled, but I would have loved not contributing so much to paper waste.
I discussed this with a friend of mine that I do a bit of grocery shopping with, and we decided that, since I am the one who pays attention to when there are good deals to be had, he would be the one to put the “No junk” sticker on his mailbox. This way we can at least reduce one household of paper! And hopefully over time, I can figure out what advertising I “need” and see if I can find it online instead, to ultimate reduce two households!
But for now, the sticker is on his mailbox, there is one less household filled with paper junk and he think this is the best idea we (I’ve) have had since… ever!
I know it’s not much in the big picture of things, but a bit here, and a bit there… ads up eventually 😉
I can’t believe how fast the month of February have gone by. It feels like it just begun, and here we are, February is over and I’m at the end of my plastic trash challenge.
There is no doubt! I use more plastic than I realised. I have to admit, I’m glad I jumped on the bandwagon together with Every Week Is Green, as it have made me more aware of the type of trash I have and how much.
As I mentioned at the start of this challenge, we have several ways to recycle our stuff, in the area I live. I have always been pretty good at sorting the paper in the paper bin and food scraps in the organic bin, but I have to admit, that unless I have had bigger plastic items, I have not been good at sorting the plastic, and neither have I been good at separating glass and metal tins either.
Well, all that has changed!
I am now much more into separating the stuff. I have a dedicated glass/metal tin container, a plastic trash container (a mason jar for the time being) in addition to my old paper, organic and other trash containers.
While on this challenge, I have noticing that it is just about impossible to avoid plastic in your everyday life, regardless off how much you would like to! For example, I never realised how much of our vegetables and fruit that come wrapped in some sort of plastic. Even paying close attention, I find it almost impossible to find my vegetables and fruits unwrapped. I mean seriously, why the heck do they need to wrap broccoli, red peppers, carrots, ginger, onion, grapes just to mention a few?
In the Stavanger region, where I live, I have not yet found a place where I can buy everyday items without the packaging. There is no “bring your own jars and bags” alternative. Close to where I live I have several food stores, and it seems like they get a lot of their food from the same production line.
We have a few (and I mean only a few – I know of 3 or 4) farmers markets and farm shops around this area, but even there, I find that a lot of their items are wrapped in that darn plastic. Since these places are quite a drive from my everyday haunt, it’s not natural to go there for everyday shopping, even if they might (I’m saying might, because it’s not given) have a couple of more things not already wrapped.
As a lot of other people around, I have my share of plastic items, already stacked in the house! You know, items like storage containers, bowls, hard plastic plates, tumblers, lids, zip-lock bags +++ Having jumped on this “not using to much plastic” bandwagon, does not mean that I will get rid of all my plastic and only use glass or paper going forward. To me that seems a little pointless, as that would just mean that I would throw even more unused plastic out there in the world.
No, what I will be doing is use the heck out of the plastic I already have 🙂 Which among other things means wash and reuse all sorts of plastic bags, so that I can get the most out of them.
For years, I have brought my own shopping bags, but this month I also started bringing bags for fruit and vegetables++, I’m reusing the same bags that the fruit and vegetables came into the house with… I figured, that every little thing helps 🙂
So how did I really do this month?
Total of the month
- 1 chocolate wrapper
- 1 baguette wrapper
- 5 salad bags + all the little bags inside that holds cheese, dressing and stuff
- 3 cheese bags
- 3 mashed potato bags
- 1 puffed rice bag
- 1 windshield washer fluid refill bag
- 7 milk carton tops
- 4 candy wrappers
- 1 tikka masala spice lid (the glass for the sauce goes into the glass recycle bin)
- 1 carrot tray (don’t ask, I cant believe they have to wrap carrots)
- 3 bags for Norwegian “Kakemenn“
- 4 popcorn wrappers
- Bunch of plastic that covers things like fruit, vegetables, pork chops, fish and a few other necessities
- 1 plastic box for 500 grams of grapes – unfortunately they come in boxes, no loose grapes here in my stores 😦
- 56 contact lenses and their storage trays – I use SoftLens daily, and they come in small plastic containers
- 2 orchid pot (Plants no longer flowering – from my Christmas decoration)
- 1 orchids info tab
- 2 Christmas plant pots (Poinsettias no longer flowering)
- 1 lamp electric wire wrapper (project I will tell you about shortly)
- 2 magazine wrappers
- and 2 beef jerky bags – which I have decided I will reuse, as the bags are pretty solid – so ignore the jerky bags from week three photo 🙂
Would you believe that with the exception of the contact lens trays and the flower pots, I managed to wrap all this stuff into the grape box mentioned above 🙂 Check it out, in the picture below!
So what now? Did I learn something?
Yes, absolutely! I have learned that I need to pay more attention. I have found that with a little effort, I can reduce my plastic consumption. It’s not difficult to reuse, and by keeping continuing focus… it might save a plastic bag or ten…