Saturday, February 28, 2009

Items collected Friday, February 27, 2009

  • 5 plastic bottles (1 Vasa water, 1 Smirnoff Vodka, 1 Glaceau Vitamin Water, 1 Swiss Premium Lemonade, 1 roadkilled Deer Park water)
  • 1 aluminum can (roadkilled Bud Light)

  • 1 plastic produce bag
  • 1 plastic carrier bag

Items collected Thursday, February 26, 2009

  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park water, 1 Poland Spring water)
  • 1 aluminum can (Miller Lite)

  • 1 Ensure bottle (plastic #5)
  • 1 M&M wrapper
  • 2 Special K bar wrappers

Items collected Wednesday, February 25, 2009

  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park Eco-Shape water, 1 Diet Pepsi, 1 plastic bottle without a label)

  • 1 polystyrene plate stuck in the entrance to a drain

Recyclables collected Tuesday, February 24, 2009

  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park water, 1 Nestea diet iced tea, 1 Lipton diet green tea)

Trash collected Monday, February 23, 2009

  • 1 piece of polystyrene

I don't know why I didn't come across any recyclable bottles or cans on Monday. I walked a long distance over streets that are usually strewn with recyclables, but there were no recyclables to be seen. All I picked up was a single piece of polystyrene. I almost didn't bother writing this blog entry, because a single piece of polystyrene is hardly significant, but, in the interest of maintaining a complete record of the trash I pick up, decided I should record my feeble trash collection effort of the day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Items collected Friday, February 20, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Everfresh Papaya)
  • 1 aluminum can (Diet Coke)
  • 6 plastic bottles (1 Dr Pepper, 1 Deer Park water, 1 Velicoff Vodka, 1 Kirkland spring water, 1 milk bottle, 1 crushed bottle without a label)
  • 1 plastic container from Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Mint Creams
  • 1 newspaper

  • 1 blue pen
  • 2 plastic carrier bags
  • 1 small plastic bag

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Falling off the low-plastic wagon

I haven't been doing very well lately with avoiding plastic. Some of the items giving me problems are:

Lip balm. The weather has been nasty, and I want real lip balm, not shea butter.

Breakfast cereal. I keep thinking I should switch to bulk oatmeal, but I don't always have access to a stove so the only type of oatmeal that really works for me is the "one minute" kind. I really should get around to looking into how regular oats get turned into minute oats. If it's something simple I could do at home, buying bulk oatmeal may be a good way to avoid bagged breakfast cereals.

Dishwashing gloves. My old pair became unusable some time ago, and since then I've been washing dishes with bare hands. It worked well until I washed dishes for three hours straight. The next morning, I discovered the skin on my hands peeling off in a most disgusting fashion. I bought new gloves later that day.

Shampoo. I usually wash my hair using bar soap, but whenever I have an important meeting I use bottled shampoo.

Clif bars. They're on sale this week. I'm only human and cannot resist!

Work items. I use disposable vinyl products at work and don't anticipate being able to avoid them any time soon. (On a more positive note, I'm proud to say that even though my job involves seemingly endless off-site meetings, I've never owned a car and have managed to get to each and every meeting by bus or on foot.)

I'll keep trying to avoid disposable plastic, but don't anticipate much progress in the near future.

Items collected Thursday, February 19, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (1 Steel Reserve high gravity lager, 1 Bud Ice)
  • 4 plastic bottles (1 Fiji water, 1 Nestle Pure Life water, 1 blackberry grape SoBe Life Water, 1 Faygo Pineapple)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

  • 1 polystyrene plate

Recyclables collected Wednesday, February 18, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (1 Diet Pepsi, 1 Miller Lite)
  • 4 plastic bottles (1 regular Deer Park water, 1 Deer Park Eco-Shape water, 1 Coca-Cola, 1 Mountain Dew Revolution)

Recyclables collected Tuesday, February 17, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (1 Caffeine Free Diet Coke, 1 Budweiser)
  • 2 plastic bottles (both Deer Park water)
  • 2 glass bottles (1 Yuengling lager, 1 Richards Wild Irish Rose grape wine with citrus spirits)

Items collected Monday, February 16, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (both roadkilled Pepsi)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park water, 1 Diet Dr Pepper)
  • 1 glass bottle (Corona Extra)

  • 1 black pen

One of the Pepsi cans has "LIVE EARTH" printed on it. What irony.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recyclables collected Friday, February 13, 2009

  • 6 aluminum cans (4 Tecate beer, 1 Miller Lite, 1 Coca-Cola)
  • 5 plastic bottles (1 Odesse Vodka, 3 Deer Park water, 1 plastic bottle without a label)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Items collected Thursday, February 12, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Budweiser)
  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Clear Fruit Cherry Blast, 1 Deer Park Eco-Shape water, 1 Nestle Pure Life water)

  • 2 plastic bags

Items collected Wednesday, February 11, 2009

  • 1 aluminum can (Natural Ice lager)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Perrier water, 1 Safeway Refreshe water)

  • 1 intact plastic bag

  • 1 torn plastic bag too dirty to recycle

Reusable found Tuesday, February 10, 2009

  • 1 black pen

Recyclables collected Monday, February 9, 2009

  • 3 aluminum cans (1 Vintage Seltzer, 1 Bud Light, 1 Arizona Fruit Punch)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Fuze slenderize, 1 Canada Dry ginger ale)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recyclable collected Friday, February 6, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Deer Park water)

Recyclables collected Thursday, February 5, 2009

  • 6 glass bottles (5 Corona Extra, 1 Sapporo Premium Beer "Japan's Oldest Brand")
  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Dasani water, 1 Coca-Cola, 1 bottle without a label)
  • 1 torn plastic bag
  • the tear-off tops of two sets of newspaper bags

When I was approaching the end of my travels on Thursday, I thought about how short that day's recital would be. I hadn't found any bottles or cans at that point, only the remains of plastic bags. Then, right before I finished plodding through the cold, I came across 6 glass bottles on one block followed by 3 plastic bottles on the next.

Two of Thursday's plastic bottles were noteworthy for the unusual physical damage that had been done to them. The label-free plastic bottle was torn apart at both ends while the middle was left intact. The tearing looks intentional, yet I can't think of any motivation except perhaps for a display of manly strength. The Dasani bottle is even more perplexing, because it's in perfect shape except for three holes with smooth, flat edges. Could the plastic have been melted away somehow? Why on earth would anyone do that to their water bottle?

Another little mystery I can't get out of my mind is why my current neighborhood is the only one I've ever lived in that is frequently littered with the tops of sets of newspaper bags, even though I've always lived in places with high rates of home newspaper delivery. Until I moved here, I wasn't even aware that newspaper bags had tear-off top sections that were stapled together. I always knew that newspapers were delivered inside plastic bags, but I never gave any thought to how the bags were bundled together before being used by the people who deliver newspapers. Then, I came here, and soon came across the stapled-together tops of the bags, often with several complete bags still attached. Until very recently, I threw the bag tops straight into the nearest trash can, but now they're recyclable where a friend lives so I can take them to her house for recycling. Anyway, although I can understand newspaper delivery people being litterbugs, I find it odd that I never came across these bag tops before moving here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Items collected Wednesday, February 4, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Heineken)
  • 1 aluminum can (Arizona Green Tea)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Dasani water, 1 water bottle without a label)

  • 1 plastic bag

Items collected Tuesday, February 3, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Corona Extra)
  • 1 aluminum can (Miller Lite)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Tropicana pink lemonade, 1 water bottle without a label)

  • 1 black pen

  • 2 dirty plastic bags

The plastic bags had a tar-like substance on them that wouldn't rinse off in plain water. I could still have used the bags as trash bags, but they smelled bad and I didn't want to keep them around until I needed a new trash bag so I threw them out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Items collected Monday, February 2, 2009

  • 3 glass bottles (2 Corona Extra beer, 1 Amstel Light lager)
  • 1 aluminum can (Steel Reserve high gravity lager)
  • 1 plastic bottle without a label
  • 1 brown paper bag

  • 2 small plastic bags (1 from a liquor store, 1 from the 7-Eleven bakery)

  • 1 plastic straw from inside the Steel Reserve can

Recyclable collected Saturday, January 31, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Classic Selection spring water)