Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Plastic bags, drycleaning and food containers ... one small step for a better tomorrow

Okay, let's be serious. No one really WANTS to destroy the Earth. If you ask anyone I honestly believe that they will tell you "Sure, I want to do my part." It's just when it comes down to it, it's HARD to be green and sustainable and recycle and stewardly and all those words that I would love people to use when they talked about me (this would obviously be before they saw me climb into my GIANT truck that I have to drive because I have a shorter commute than Mr. Nick, so he gets the car).

I have compiled a list of things I am currently doing which makes me feel a little better about trying to break my consumer driven reliance on plastic. Maybe you have your own list you'd like to share (I'd love to hear it). The bottom line is, it's better to do something than nothing.

  • I stopped getting plastic bags when I go to the grocery store. Our store even refunds you .05 per bag so you kind of feel like you're winning. I also try my darndest to use the reusable bags at other places too. It's hard though, sometimes I'll be distracted just chit chatting away at the cashier and not even realize that my items are being stuffed into a plastic bag. I have offered to take it all out and give the bag back to them but have been told that once it's been "opened" it can't be used for another customer. (I mean really, what kind of policy is that, we're talking plastic bags not 19th century bottles of wine). At that point I will take the bags because I know ...

  • I recycle my plastic bags. This is actually a neat story. When I blogged about Trex decking a representative from the company contacted me and told me about starting a Trex recycling program. I wrote them back and found out that Trex has partnered with a lot of chain grocery stores to collect bags for them, they're working on expanding their list but I went by our Safeway and they are taking them so check out the one near you. They sent me this handout which actually expanded my recycling options, most notably, the pop holders (you know, the ones that you're supposed to cut so that the baby turtles don't get their little necks stuck) and dry cleaning bags. Which brings me to #3 ...

  • Take your wire hangers back to your dry cleaner. Don't throw them away! They can and will re-use them.

  • Re-use your plastic containers from items like yogurt, deli snacks, sour cream ... you get the picture. Wash them up and use them in place of 3" pots, (try to ignore the sarcastic comments from your significant other about living with a hoarder). While I haven't had the chance to do this yet (ref: my latest gardening attempt) should something present itself as ready to move out of the seedling pot I am ready to go.

  • I started using brown paper bags to clean my kitty litter. (You know, the ones you use when you brown bag your lunch). Yes, I have to buy them and yes I'm sure there are better options but the reality is I am no longer using plastic bags which means I am no longer contributing to the plastic in landfills.

Real Simple magazine actually has a great post, "How to recycle anything" which could help you if you have a specific item in mind. Otherwise I would say keep on keeping on with whatever you are doing, I KNOW every little bit helps!
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1 comment:

  1. I joined the 350 Challenge to defeat Climate Change! :) One blog at a time! :) YEA!


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