Reduce plastic in 2010: halfway check-up

Huzzah for the longest day of the year!  I think I’ll head to the southern hemi in six months and have another longest day.  Man, I’m sure now that I’m solar powered.  Anyway, on to the update.

Back when I had my green and (war)crafty blogs separate, I talked about reducing plastics in my life in 2010.  In January, I vowed to stop using plastic bags at stores.  So far, so good.  In February I stopped using “disposable” tupperware and tried not to get takeout food in plastic.  That one worked at home, but not so well for the takeout.  However, in posting this and admitting my lapse, I’m redoubling my efforts.

I stopped blogging about them, but I kept on reducing plastics.  In March, I concentrated on my cloth shower curtain.  It had been a bit of an experiment: just hanging a cotton shower curtain I’d had for a while, using metal hangers I’d made (which I’d like to re-engineer before I recommend you try them, btw), and spraying tea tree oil and vinegar to keep mildew down between washings.  Today it’s hanging on the line getting de-grossified by the sun.  I use a combination of vinegar and tea tree oil and spritz it down before I get out of the tub.  Ultimately, the best way to keep mildew down is to keep the shower curtain pulled across the space.  Don’t let it fold up and make little spaces for grossness to grow.

Image from Story of Stuff.com

In April, I bought my first Camelbak-type backpack for hiking.  It’s not non-plastic, but it means I can do one more thing without plastic water bottles for convenience, or without plastic sport bottles.  I borrowed a stainless-steel canteen and tried that out.  I’m still looking for a final option for hiking, but for now, I felt one “big” plastic item to use for years is way better than lots of little plastics.  Do you know we use half a billion bottles of water a week?

In May, I made sure to have a spoon and fork into work from home and when our work cafeteria re-opened, I used their real cutlery even when I took food back to my desk.  Every few days I return my borrowed items.  🙂  I have a spoon in my car, too, for random in-car uses (yogurt comes to mind).  It’s minor, but stuff like that adds up, and it’s ultimately no skin off my nose.

Now, in June, I’ve purchased more Mason and Ball jars.  I still save any jar I have and put my bagged items into it as soon as I can.  Someday I’ll figure out how to tare the scale at the store and get all my bulk items in my own jars rather than bags.  I finally used up all the zip-style baggies in the house and found that my quart jars were in use everywhere and scattered around.  I’m happy to not find them!  I like trying to tally them all up and enumerating in my head “one has laundry soap in it, 6 are holding flours and beans in the cabinet, …”

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