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So, as part of this project/hobby/whatever it is we’re doing to avoid plastic/single use disposables, I have been cleaning and keeping all plastic trash of any kind in this box since the beginning of January. My plan is to tally it, share it on my blog (for several reasons: to keep me accountable; to track my progress in decreasing the amount of plastic coming into my home; and in case it’s of interest to any of you, my readers! 🙂 Thus, without further ado, here is my plastic tally for January: 


Here is a vague rundown of items : a few bags from items bought at IKEA , little of which there comes unwrapped…  -a flour bag I had in my pantry before starting the project; – the wrapper of the last pack of toilet tissues we had in our home ( I will post another time about what we do for toilet tissue now! Don’t worry, we’re not gross or dirty.:) – some packaging and stickers from items ordered from iHerb.com; some bubble wrap and bags that were in a package we got; -a contact solution bottle and wrapper;- the plastic from the packaging from two Radius toothbrush heads;- a few milk bottle caps (haven’t found a good solution for milk yet); -a medicine pak; -some shower curtain hangers we don’t need, same shower curtain wrapper ( but the curtain itself is cloth! It will be in a future post); and various little bags that came with stuff I ordered. Oh, and some clam shell boxes and wrappers from a hideous Sushi Express takeout lunch that shockingly was covered in plastic from head to toe. Grr… But lesson learned. 

So, much of this was either in packages we got, or from stuff we had in our home before starting the project. It makes sense to use up what we have already before replacing with new alternatives. The Sushi Express takeout was a giant mistake, and the Ikea stuff..well… I’m only human! 🙂 We’ll see what happens this month! But take note, the only plastic bottle in there is the contact solution bottle, a replacement of which I haven’t found yet. Cutting out plastic bottles is a GIANT reduction of our plastic use! This seems like a lot of trash to me, but it is actually a huge improvement over what it was before. 

In other news, Aaron and my students, as well as one who is not in either of our classes, have made it their personal mission to see that we get as many drawings of us/colored pictures as possible. 

ImageThis is just what we’ve been given over the past couple of weeks. More cover our refrigerator. One teeny tiny girl who’s not even in our classes, colored a princess picture for me, cut it out, made an envelope, wrote my name on it, and put it on my desk the first day back at school. It warms my heart, but I wonder how many we will end up with at the end of the school year? The environmentally friendly part of me is happy they are reusing paper (the backs all have unused worksheets or something on them), and the “love language of gifts” in me feels very special. We have a great job! 

On another side note, yesterday when I went to get dumplings for lunch, I saw a lady with a glass lock top container. She placed her order on the order sheet, and then the container and the order got put in the order line. When her dumplings were done, instead of having them put in the regular paper box they always get put in, the dumpling workers just put them in her lock top container, and away she went, completely garbage free! I was so impressed, and also kind of upset that I hadn’t thought to see if Dumpling People could put my dumplings in one of my own containers. I guess I just assumed the box was paper, I was doing alright to refuse the bag and chopsticks, and they probably would give me trouble about it anyway. But, I will sure be bringing my own lock top container next time I go! 

That lady with the container probably didn’t notice I was watching her. She didn’t know that I was impressed or that she’d reminded/taught me that I can do that too. She was just doing her thing. And I thought, I hope that’s what people see when they see me bringing my own cloth bags to the store for bread or whatever. I’m sure some people view me as the local hippie foreigner, but I hope somebody watches me and thinks “wow, that was easy. I bet I could bring my own bags too.” Maybe! One step at a time, right? 🙂