Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week 3 of plastic tally

Week 3 Plastic
May 25th to 31st
-solo cup that I had been using to hold some all purpose ecover cleanser
-little plastic bag from a cleaning pad, don't plan on buying these ever again, they are pretty useless
-plastic container from new toothbrush, my husbands and a toothbrush he got from the dentist
-six pack ring, hubby brought 3 cans home from work, he worked late and the got dinner for him, he brought me some pizza and sodas
-ziploc bag from something finished in the cupboards
-2 grocery bags from takeout
-2 produce bags from using things bought at store, will be reused for kitty litter
-2 ice cream plastic seals, mmmmmm haagen daz and probably another one by the end of the night, have some dark chocolate waiting in the freezer for me
-plastic tape from sweet potato
-2 meat packages
-bag from rolls, will be reused for kitty litter
-2 styrofoam cups with 2 lids and 2 straws from take out
-pasta package, I wish the store I shopped at had bulk pastas, but I use plastic bags for bulk items still so it would only slightly lower the amount of plastic bags
-honey bottle, bottle recyclable lid is not
-bag of sugar, didn't use it up but put it into a glass jar to keep on my counter
-big bag of kitty litter, not pictured because it was used to clean the boxes and promptly taken out
-shoyu (soy sauce) bottle, it is #7 plastic, from now on we will be buying the smaller bottle that is glass so we can reuse it or recycle it
-trash bag from kitchen garbage can, usually only take trash out once every two weeks because our trash can is too big for our current trash making and it started smelling very badly this week
-styrofoam box from take out, place uses plastic whether you eat in or out more if you eat in actually because they serve their burritos on styrofoam trays if you eat there and wrap it in paper if you get it to go and serve everything in the same containter for take out or to go for the most part

I have 3 pictures:
First is one of the meat packages that I used at the beginning of the week and wasn't going to keep around and stinking to get a pic of it with everything else.
Then there is the bulk of the plastic that I arranged and took while dinner was cooking.
I thought I had gotten everything then I realized the leftovers were still in the fridge and I wasn't going to finish them and then I needed shoyu for dinner and I had not refilled our table bottle since using it up the other night and refilling that emptied the big bottle.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DIY cat beds

The use of this type of bed totally depends on what your cat likes.  I have 2 beds the cats love and 2 they have never used and a few more that they occasionally use, I think I have way too many beds for them as it is, oh well.  I decided I would no longer buy beds for my cats, I also had to take away the fuzzy ones they loved because my big kitty would pull at the fluff and eat it. I swear sometimes I think her belly is huge because it's full of non food items, but she has had belly x-rays recently so I know that is not the case.  

Whenever there are boxes around my kitties love getting in them and chewing on them, don't know what that is about.  They also love fleece so I put one of our fleece blankets in a flattish box and it is my big kitties new favorite beds.

I then had a regular size box and make a big squishy bed out of it by putting old sweaters and things in it and well they avoided it like the plague.  While I was cleaning today I decided to cut that box in half and use the bottom half as a bed, put some fleece blankets in it and had the big kitty take it for a test sleep.  She loved it and while she was in the bottom half I look over and the little one is in the top half.  So I got two beds for the price of one, well for no price at all actually.  I don't know why we had the box but it was from my husbands work.  I didn't put any blankets in and the top half of the box and the little one seems to love it so now they have their choice of padded or non padded.  

Here they are in their new box beds:

If you are the artistic type you could decorate them and they you wouldn't have cardboard boxes around your house but I am not and anything I did would probably be more of an eye sore than the sight of a box. 

I also found a use for old pants, apparently the little one loves sleeping on old pants. I gathered up a bunch of old pairs and didn't know what to do with them, they were holey in places and ways that can't really be salvaged, since I have ZERO sewing skills I wasn't sure what to do with them. I left them lying around and the kitten just loved lying on them.  I have my childhood toy box next to my bed and it holds my t-shirts and would get pile with things on top to the point I would not longer be able to get into it so I wanted to do something with it that was useful but also let me still get into it.  I ended up putting the pairs of old pants on it and it is where the kitten curls up every night.  Someone with sewing skills could probably make a blanket or something that looks nicer than pairs a pants laid on a toy box but for me it works, it's in a dark corner of my bedroom. In the picture you can see the indent the little one has made on the top left of the picture and the collection of black fur she has left too. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Plastic

I didn't track my actual trash this week. I did keep track of my plastic. I think this may become an obsession, and it's not a bad one, but I think my husband might get fed up of the pile of plastic that grows on the counter. It isn't that much though so it shouldn't be too bad. This week was a more eat at home week so there is a lot less convenience food trash. This is the whole households plastic trash not just mine, but it is just me and my hubby and a bunch of animals. It doesn't include any of the plastic he may use at work for personal consumption, i.e. plastic bottle of soda or something from the vending machine. It is literally all the plastic I use for myself. I did track how much plastic I use at work, for work purposes, in a day but I have not decided if I want to go there or not since there isn't a way to cut back or change what we use, it wouldn't be enlightening or anything. It would be more of a look at all this and I would start to feel real guilty and that's not the point.

Here is the list from Monday to Sunday, 18th to 24th:

-2 styrofoam meat trays with plastic film (only one is in the picture because it was thrown out at the beginning of the week)
-sugar bag (I could buy my sugar in bulk but I much prefer the organic and fair trade I can get although it's in a bag, I probably go through one bag a month if that)
-herb box (I bought a living mint plant from the grocery store, I did re-plant it but it's not looking so good)
-styrofoam box from leftovers
-tofu container (#2 plastic that is being recycled)
-2 lids and 2 straws from fast food cups
-cheese wrapper
-1 envelope with a plastic window
-plastic cover from set of hooks
-fig bar tray and wrapper (those things are so addicting)
-cap from box of chicken broth
-package for shoe insoles (been getting really sore feet from working on them all day)
-bubble wrap lined mailer
-safety seal wrap from a bottle top
-1 plastic grocery bag from buying insoles (not in picture but I did put the meat tray in a plastic bag left over from some previous shopping trip so let's pretend it's that bag)
-plastic foam padding from mailing (not pictured, forgot to add it to the pile)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trash Tracking

I got a free membership to Going Green Today and on Saturday the daily action was to track your trash and then on Tuesday Fake Plastic Fish posted a Challenge: show us your (plastic) trash. I decided to do a whole week a tracking my trash starting on Monday May 11th. I was doing pretty good writing it all down and putting the plastic aside through Wednesday. After that I didn't put in as much effort and figured I could sort through things on the weekend. That didn't go as planned either and I went digging through my trash about an hour ago figuring out what I actually threw away. I got pretty much everything but I was not super meticulous about any of it.

This week seemed to be a bit low on trash over all compared to an average week, we were flat broke until Friday but also because of that we had a few meals of fast food graciously provided for us which did result in a lot of trash items we usually don't have. In whole though this week would fit well into a months worth of trash. We often have times of little money and meals provided by friends and family, we also have times of pure laziness and the quick run to the fast food joint. In the past month we have really tried our best to not visit fast food establishments and were doing pretty good until this past week. Also because of the lack of funds we were not cooking at home as much and so there was less packaging waste than normal so it probably, amount wise, balances out.

Here is my list of the week's trash:

Trash Tracking Starting Monday May 11th

10 or so paper napkins
lemon rinds
about 2 cups of various leftovers not eaten
1 medium pizza box
5 bags with kitty litter cleanings
little balls of hair everyday from shower drain and/or brushing my hair
6 inch piece or so of floss everyday

Non-recyclable plastic trash (only #1 and #2 plastic containers are recyled curbside):
package from ramen noodles and sauce packet
tahini tub #5 plastic
1 fed ex bubble envelope from shipment of new moto renew phone made from recycled plastic
1 plastic baggie from charger for phone with a bit of tape
2 small grocery bags from taco bell
1 plastic plate and lid
1 food envelope with plastic window
1 salsa cup with lid #5
4 plastic lids and 4 plastic straws
1 plastic film wrapper to new "eco" sponges
1 plastic wrapper from top of wine bottle
1 ice bag (i know you are thinking, "you buy ice" just a luxury we have gotten use to)
1 asparagus tag
1 plastic twist cap from soy milk
1 inner plastic seal from soy milk (often times save these and use them as cat toys, they love them)
6 hot sauce or bbq sauce packets
1 gallon zip lock bag that appeared out of cupboards, hubby probably finished something
1 fig bar snack tray
1 container of turtle food no recycle number on it so I just toss it

Plastic Trash that will get reused:
Lid from turtle food (reused as an animal food dish)
3 fast food cups (reuse in garden, for watering or cut bottoms off and use to start seedlings)
cottage cheese tub (reuse in garden use as pot)
2 produce bags (will be reused for cat litter collection)
2 bulk item tag/clips (will reuse for next purchase, i always say that and always forget them and get new ones but i have not thrown any away in a long time)

Plasticized items that are trash:
plastic coated paper soy milk carton
8 paper lined with plastic tea bag wrappers
6 paper coated with plastic fast food taco wrappers
paper bag from fast food with plastic reinforced handles
butchers paper lined with plastic from meat counter
1 produce bag used for pre-marinated meat from meat counter (cant use for cat litter)
8 fast food sandwich foil looking plastic coated paper wrappers
1 paper coated with plastic fast food box (says on it not to microwave because its lined with plastic)
1 fast food fry plastic coated paper cup
1 regular fast food plastic coated paper drink cup
plastic lined paper "saftey" seal from new turtle food

1 large can and lid, plastic coated
two foil trays from dinner leftovers
2 half foil half paper lids to trays
2 cans cat food and 2 lids, plastic coated
6 paper Lipton tea bag wrappers
cardboard egg carton
paper display sleeve from sponges
4 straw wrappers
2 receipts with coupons/adds on back
5 pieces of old scrap paper with notes on them that are no longer needed
2 glass drink bottles with metal lids

Mail that gets recycled:
small box like envelope from dog treat sample
6 junk mailers, add coupons and things, that's addressed to postal customer
nrdc native voice mailing
2 election fliers
netflix DVD flap

Paper that gets added to scrap paper for notes then eventually recycled:
2 envelopes
7 bill envelopes with plastic windows
2 receipt

Here is the picture of just the pure plastic stuff, including the stuff I plan on reusing:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Green" Shoes

New "green" shoes from Zac and Zoe available at Payless. I read about it on Treehugger, here is the article with appropriate links and info. I have not seen them in person but I do plan on buying myself a pair when I have some extra cash, which actually might be never so...