Plastic waste journal

Zero Waste Journal #12

The year is half over, and it feels like it just began! I asked my 87-year old grandma if the years continue to seem faster and faster with each passing year, or if it was just part of my phase of life with small children. “The years just keep going faster” was her answer. She admitted it felt a little slower right after retirement, but overall, my feeling of time slipping through my fingers will only continue to increase. Our time on earth is short. I find great solace in my faith, which is the main motivation for my husband and I to live in careful consideration of our earth and the people with whom we share it.

As Lauren Singer said, “I want to be remembered for the things I did while I was on this planet, not for the trash I left behind.”

And so….here is the plastic waste that we have left behind for the month of June 2018:


It is amazing to me how much plastic we still have from our pre-zero waste days! It shows how much it can accumulate in your house if you aren’t paying attention. And just paying attention is a great first way to start making changes!

I still have quite a few plastic shopping bags. The plastic shopping bag pictured was used to transport some paints, and it got paint all over it. The diaper stuff is also from a few last-resort supplies. We changed over to cloth diapers about 6 months ago–something I wish we had done for our first daughter. Seriously, I used to scoff at moms using cloth diapers, but now I love them! The cactus potting mix killed my cactus, so I had left the rest of it sitting in the basement. Time to let it go… 🙂

The two brown squares are from The Hot Chocolatier. They make awesome chocolate (although it does have dairy in it, just fyi), so if you are buying some truffles, bring your own container. You can use a pretty cardboard box if it is a gift. Speaking of The Hot Chocolatier, they have some of the best plant-based sorbet in Chattanooga and will serve it in a mug with a real spoon if you ask nicely.

I’ve been brainstorming about how we could have avoided the conference name tag. To follow the train: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, then the best place to start would be refuse. I am the queen of avoiding name tags. Those name tags end up backwards most of the time anyway and it really doesn’t offend me to repeat my name a few times. If I can’t get out of it, then the next best is to return the name tag as soon as it is over. Perhaps some forward thinking organizer will reuse them for the next event.

Somethings not pictured: our receipts. Since most are coated in BPA, I throw them away and don’t save them. A wrapper from a peppermint I stress-ate during a meeting, with no regret 🙂

My final thought:

It’s plastic free July! July is when people all over the world take pledges to avoid single use plastic for the month. Want to give it a try? If that sounds too overwhelming, just pick a few, such as straws, silverware, coffee cups, and/or water bottles. Check out Plastic Free July.

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