Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small Changes

The last couple of posts have held ideas for making changes regarding our plastic consumption.


Remembering that


plastic = oil,



I have begun to work on slowly reducing the plastic that literally surrounds me. I had a good opportunity to begin this past Tuesday. I had run out of my liquid dish soap and have decided not to replace it. I have one of those soap-in-the-handle-thingys too. The scrub sponge part is looking pretty nasty and I didn't have any of those replacements either, so let's see if I can "cut two carrots with one knife" (as Colleen Patrick Goudreau would say, because we both really like birds and wouldn't even want to kill one with a stone!) by getting rid of both the soap and the thingy and see if I can save myself some money too.



My new set-up is crocheted cotton around a bar of glycerine soap and a jar with baking soda with holes punched in the lid for easy sprinkling and scrubbing.  It kind of looks like milk and a cookie, doesn't it?


The crochet is just a quick pattern I made up.  It took me less than an hour and I was able to use cotton from a sweater I'd unravelled and recycled! Bonus!!



I cut another piece of yarn when I was done and wove it in and out of the ending round of crochet, creating a drawstring.  I knotted it so it would stay tight, but I made a loop so that I could cut it when the soap runs out and then re-string with another drawstring.



I'm also trying to switch my seemingly millions of food storage containers to glass.  I have 3 with plastic lids and I found two new round ones today (one shown on the left) with glass lids, which is what I really want.  That is acutally a baking/freezing container, which is just what you can do with the food storage ones too, but it is round.  I found it at the grocery store and noticed that it was $3.00 cheaper than the food storage ones are advertised as being.  Why??  Because they are round and not square and therefore won't store as neatly?  It bugs me, but whatever.  I do have one rectangular container (shown on right) that is vintage that I got at an antique mall a while back.  I actually used it upside down as a butter dish for the longest time, until I found the cool little butter dish  at Goodwill that I use now.


I also took a huge number of plastic bags from bread and the free newspapers that are delivered with me to the grocery store where they have a bin for recycling plastic bags.  I always wonder where they go?  Since our dog, Lucy, died in April there's no more picking up after her waste in the yard and that is pretty much what I used the bags for.  I also use the bags for purchasing bulk dry goods and storing some produce in the fridge, but I am going to be making some smaller cloth bags for those jobs.  I'll share those when I get around to that project too.  For now, I'm happy with my little soap project.  I hope it's something that will work for our family!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is a struggle these days to rid ourselves of plastic isn't it? I hate that so much comes in it and I too am learning more and more how to keep it out of the house. One thing we have here that maybe you do as well, is where you recycle the plastic bags (like shopping and bread) you can also put in other plastic "bags" or wrappings, like what tofu come wrapped in, or tofu dogs. Once I found out this bit of into my throwaway plastic went down quite a bit. Some foods you just can not get with out the plastic unfortunately, and some of those I don't want to give up or make my own version of it (like tofu). Just a thought for you! -Lena

Marie said...

just one thought: I would not use the soap in the cotton rag. I would encourage you to use a separate rag and soap. Make at least 7, use one per day and then launder with your regular laundry. Germs will grown on the food particles (and the natural cotton) on the rag. By using one per day you limit it from spreading. And not having the soap inside will make this easier to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Instead of "Kill two birds with one stone", I say "Feed two birds with one scone"!

(ha ha, the word verification is CONES, which is an anagram of SCONE!)

Mrs. Pivec said...

Nicola - Funny! I like that one! :)

Marie, I thought about that, but then I also thought that the cotton is all mixed in with the soap... do germs get on the soap? And then I also thought that I wasn't changing my plastic handled sponge thingy nearly that often and my family rarely, rarely gets ill. I wonder if cotton would be different.

Lena,

Such a good idea! I have a pretty good feeling that the good folks at Sweetbay where I recycled my bags would have absolutely no idea if I could do that or not! Still, I suppose it won't hurt to ask. Thanks for the tip. :)

affectioknit said...

I'm still working on the plastic elimination too...I love your yarn covered soap - and I have the same round small glass covered container - love it...

Susan said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I love it. I have been thinking of starting up a new blog about our family life and trying to live more wisely and lightly. I've been an organic gardener for years now, but have moved to the suburbs from the country and I find I am the only one in my little neighborhood that really seems to have this mindset. And... I also have a family who is very plastic oriented. Computers, games, music CD's, Videos... you name it. It's a tough uphill battle.

I'm happy I found your blog because I've needed other like minded people so I don't feel so alone in this uphill battle (at times).

Thank you for such a lovely and inspirational blog,
Susan

Mrs. Pivec said...

affectioknit: Thanks for dropping by. :)

Susan: Thank you for your comments; you made my day! :) I do wish I had more folks around me that might be trying some of these things... folks that might inspire me or just join with me in what truly is, as you said, an uphill battle. That's one of the reasons I find comfort in the internet. At least I don't feel like the only one - even if my neighbors sometimes make me feel like I am!

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