KATE'S TRASH JAR
Building awareness of my trash, by boycotting "away" & throwing it in a jar instead.
An inventory of “Kate’s Trash” jar reveals a shocking performance for a plastic free mermaid:(clockwise from bottom left)
1. Plastic Cup (from a gig at the beach hotel. they let me reuse this cup all night! #bigone)
2. Black Plastic Straw (sometimes you politely ask for “no straw” 10 times, but they bring one anyways.)
3. Bandaid (the night of that gig i climbed a tree & scraped my knee. bad news for the trash jar as the first aid was not on the plastic free program.)
4. Plastic Bottle Cap, “Tamper Evident Band,” & Sticker (this came on a gifted kombucha, which was delicious. now i make my own kombucha at home, so I am not quite as tempted by fancy, over-priced health drinks & can choose all my fav ingredients.)
5. tin foil (can’t recycle soiled tin foil. this bit got reused until crinkled & torn. )
6. Glossy Paper Tab (not recyclable paper. from a shared block of chocolate that didn’t end up in my hands. but i took the tab to represent the trash we created.)
7. Travel-size Neutrogena Face Sunscreen (one of many items from my former life as rare-plastic-using mermaid. now i feel strongly about eating anything i choose to put on my face to reduce my exposure to harsh chemicals, but admittedly still occasionally find myself rubbing in the spf on hectic sunny days & or dabbing in some cheek shimmer. we human. this bottle represents that. but believe me, i shall reuse this handy little tube!)
8. Giant Spaghetti Squash Sticker (big plastic oval with adhesive on the back. not recyclable. just like all those stickers on the rest of the produce.)
9. Soft Plastic (bought basil from the organic greens stall at the farmer’s market. it came wrapped in PLASTIC. my options were non-organic or organic plastic wrapped. I usually walk away at this moment. I had a moment of weakness--mouth watering at the rich scent. I could have left the plastic at the stall with him to reuse, but it didn’t seem likely. so in the jar it goes, in the ground go basil seeds, & viral goes my shame.)
10. Luggage Tag (I’m going on a trip soon, so i pulled out by board bag & had to rip this old plastic-disguised-as-paper sticker from the handle.)
11. Receipt (I always say no thank you, because most receipts are coated in an alarming amount of plastic freshly heated from the printer & easily absorbed into skin! but i kept this one because they printed it even though i didn’t want it.)
12. Bank Deposit Envelope (I tried to deposit money at the ATM, but forgot to include a note, thus had to open the envelope & begin with a new one. the white strips are from the adhesive. next time i’ll wait until they open to work with a human being. yay for being social.)
13. MORE bandaids (after the knee scrape I invested in some “biodegradable” bandaids. but it all looked suspiciously plastic, is probably made from monsanto-owned bioplastics, & will probably take decades to break down. i’ll pop them in our compost bin after the jar experiment.)
14. Golf tee (my dad wishes I didn’t break this.)
15. Alcohol wipes for the scrape (layers of paper, plastic, and foil all sealed up. this will never be recycled.)
MORAL of the story: Think ahead.
To live low plastic lives we have to plan in advance. Such as, going to the bank not at my convenience, but when a human is available. Having cloth bandaids handy at home for run-ins with gravel. And, being adaptable.
As I learn from my mistakes, I identify solutions! Some ways I can improve are planting basil (yay for the great outdoors!) & using a wooden golf tee.
sign up for plastic free July:
BYRON BAY --> www.plasticfreebyron.com