Sunday, November 1, 2009

yogurt cups and bottle caps

I am becoming paralyzed by the thought of my waste. The more I do to reduce and reuse, the more I realize the enormity of the what I throw away. About a trash bag full a week and one paper bag of recyclable materials.
Literally the recyclables are taking over my kitchen. Washing yogurt cups and creamer containers. And what to do with the waxy soy milk containers? Can treated paper be reborn? These activities and questions are creeping into my dreams.
Last week I dreamt my washing machine had been clogged by an empty cheerios box and egg carton container. Not to over interpret the meaning, but my efforts to be conscientious have not and are not enough and even my sub-conscious knows it.
I've been convicted by a Guardacil commercial, you know the grammatically incorrect assertion of girls desiring to be "one-less" person to contract cervical cancer. Well I want to be "one fewer." One Styrofoam container fewer. One plastic bag fewer.
In my mind, if I don't use a consumable container then that will in fact be one fewer item to leave the stores shelves. And that will impact inventory. And inventory is what drives the demand for more supplies. Because supply and demand and money each drive most things, then in turn one fewer will have an impact. Fewer items needed (like bags and containers) will directly impact how many more are produced. Less would be produced, right?
A butterfly effect.
I have wondered what drives this need for over packaging. I don't need multiple layers to get into my food. I don't need tissue paper surrounding a purchase. I suppose it's all in presentation. And in the example of food, keeping things shelf stable and sanitary both do play a roles. But do I need 3 degrees of separation between me and my cereal?
Plastic grocery bag
plastic bag
toy in plastic bag
perhaps a plastic encased coupon.

Not me.
Though sanitation and presentation play roles, companies also make things look fetching so I pull it from the shelf. So it again falls upon me to be smart about purchases and considering packaging in the store as well.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve had similar concerns lately. (Although not as extreme- I haven’t had any dreams.) I stood paralyzed in the aisle contimplating which hot coco to buy. The prepacakged servings. Or the canister. The choice was less packaging or knowing that I have poor self control. If I bought the canister there was nothing to monitor how many spoonfulls I would use.
    I went with the canister, and have had very chocoltatey hot chocolate.