Monday, March 30, 2009

Dishwasher Detergent

So, yesterday when I (finally!) went grocery shopping, I had to choose between the sulfite-inclusive paper container brand and the eco-friendly brand in a plastic bottle (yes, that is something of an oxymoron). I went with the low-sulfur kind in the plastic bottle because I figure I can recycle the bottle but I can't get the sulfur out of the lakes and streams. What would you have done? Do you have a great "make-it-yourself" dishwasher detergent recipe for me?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A (mostly) Plastic-free Day

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the anti-plastic fight. It might have been because I only left my house to do yoga, but I did a GREAT job avoiding plastic.

I haven't been to yoga in so long, but it was great to be back at my favorite studio, Tranquil Space. Yoga studios are naturally eco-friendly places, and Tranquil Space really goes the extra mile. Paper towels to clean your mat? Nope, reusable towels. Plastic cups for the yummy tea they serve after class? Nope, recycled paper cups. Candles sold in the boutique? That's right - soy wax, soy ink on the package, and packaging made of 100% recycled paper. There's barely any plastic in sight in that place. It's divine!

I even got some new yoga pants on sale. They are mostly cotton, but they do have some synthetic fibers. Still, these things are amazing! I tend to sweat profusely - under normal circumstances but especially when doing yoga - and these pants are fantastic. They wick away the sweat and make it evaporate in about 2.5 seconds. Which allows me to continue doing yoga. Which is good for my body and spirit. And me having a happy body and spirit is good for the world. So I'm down with a little bit of plastic fiber in these amazing pants.

I also picked up a new aluminum water bottle. I lost my Nalgene bottle ages ago and have been surviving on old glass iced-tea bottles. My new container is totally BPA-free (including the top, which is the only plastic part -- but it's recyclable!). It has great pictures of fish on it too, to remind me about the inspiration for this plastic craziness!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A trip to CVS, aka Plastics 'R Us

I just got back from CVS, where I acquired way too much plastic:

*A new blow dryer. I just got my hair cut and realized that it really does look different when you use an ionizer/shaper. Smooth, instead of static-y. Plus, my old hairdryer was about 4 years old and starting to make those scary smells that foretell of doom. Anybody have non-plastic hairdryer options while I still can return this hunk o' plastic?

*New mascara. Ladies out there in the plastic blogosphere, please offer advice. Are there any plastic-free cosmetics? I would love to eliminate, but I just can't go without mascara. My eyelashes are blonde.

*Pantyhose/knee highs. To their credit, the Leggs hose do come in fully recyclable containers that are even marked as such (so as to remind us to recycle them). But obviously hose are plastic. And I get runs in my hose ALL the time, which means that I need to buy new ones very very often. Plus I have a number of interviews this week, and I'll be needing the nylons. Any thoughts?

Wow, this was a girly blog. Must be easier for guys to cut down.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On "Social" Plastic

I like hating plastic. It can be a good conversation starter. I've mostly swallowed my pride. But sometimes I run into social plastic and don't know what to do. For example, when I'm at a job interview and they offer me water or coffee, I usually take it. It was nice of them to offer. And I'm often nervous. And it can be awkward carrying my own water into an interview (doesn't always fit nicely into the purse, what with the portfolio and all). Sooo...plastic. I mean, if I were to get the job, I'm sure I'd ease my co-workers into knowing all about my plastic-related eccentricities. However, it just doesn't seem like the wise choice.

Another example -- I visited a friend recently. We both stayed with her significant other, which was incredibly generous of him. Although I've learned to rule out "take out" via the "too much plastic" issue, I definitely wanted some yummy Chinese food. And he was exhausted after a tough day at work. It would have definitely been rude to pitch a plastic-related fit.

What do you suggest? What do you do in these situations?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recycled Scissors

Today, I purchased a pair of scissors whose handles were made of 100% recycled plastic! A great re-use of old plastic and a great chance to purchase scissors without having to buy plastic!

Yay for new scissors that didn't force me into a plastic purchase.

I'm Back!

So, I realize I've been a little MIA. The last semester of grad school will do that...studying, working, and searching for a job have definitely distracted me.

But I do love blogging about plastic. Obviously. There's always a story because plastic is EVERYWHERE!

Here are a few observations:
1. I am convinced that population density and difficulty in avoiding plastic increase together. I was in NYC for the weekend, and I found it so challenging to avoid plastic. It gave me a whole new respect for my friends at who live in LA and NYC respectively. It's also possible that the added challenge stems from travel/being out of a routine.

2. I'm yearning for a less "disposable life." That is, after all, why I started this crazy journey. Yes, it's about plastic, but it's also about lifestyle. However, given the aforementioned "busy-ness factors," my life has been all too disposable lately. Even if it's disposable paper, I need to be reducing. My friend Monica made good arguments about the rainforest recently. Plus, I keep hearing about how much energy it takes to produce assorted types of disposable containers. I think cooking for myself and visiting farmers' markets are crucial parts of this process.

3. I get distressed by all those things that are mostly paper/glass but part plastic. For example, kitty litter containers. All paper except for that handle at the top. Or cat food bags. Paper, but coated in plastic. Or iced tea in a glass bottle -- not even a plastic ring around the top (yay!) -- but with a plastic label.

Plastic is a huge challenge.