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PSA: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I have been thinking a bunch lately about plastic. Wow. Do we ever use a mess o' plastic. From pens to sodas to cleaning products... it's driving me crazy! We were just having a discussion in the lunchroom (we have a very sociable lunchroom) about whether the cleaning crew actually puts the recycling in a separate bin or if they just trash everything and I remarked that since I learned about the giant mass o' trash in the Pacific ocean I have been nuts about recycling and trying to avoid buying new things that are plastic, which is basically impossible.

Not that my little contribution helps anything, but I forget that people don't know about the trash in the pacific, so I figured I would share that info, and maybe someone else has some other info to share about it. The articles are depressing since there seems like nothing you can do, but starting with considering things less disposable is good.

I feel like shampoo is something I need to use. But short of making my own, I have to get it in a plastic bottle. Hrmm.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
How do I get yogurt unplasticed? HRMM
May. 27th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Make your own... which I have yet to try, but is apparently really easy. Lemmeno if you'd like a recipe
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 27th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - siobhan_sca - May. 27th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 27th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I think of it as a combination of solutions, probably, but yeah.
May. 27th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I think some hippy-dipp chain needs to start selling liquids such as shampoo in bulk.  Bring in your own bottle, fill it, tag it, pay by weight.
May. 27th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: ...
The place where I get my hair did sells a line called Davines or something and it's all in glass jars. Plus, if you bring back the jars and get the refilled, you save a couple bucks.

However, the line is really expensive so I don't actually do it.
I'm a big liarhead - traceracer - May. 27th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - salami_salome - May. 27th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - snidegrrl - May. 27th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - snidegrrl - May. 27th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that shampoo actually /isn't/ something that people need to use; if you let the oils go back to their natural state, all you'd need to do would be wash it.

I want to try that sometime, but with much shorter hair, as I believe it takes a few weeks and I think I'd need short hair for it not to be gross in the meantime.
May. 27th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
I thought about that, too. I know the whole curlygirl revolution is about that, and I've always wanted to try it, but I've also felt like I want to do it when I'm off work for a week so no one had to see the experimental phase.

I've also never met anyone who didn't use shampoo to see firsthand that it's not disgusting, so there's that.
(no subject) - angela_la_la - May. 27th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 27th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - edamame - May. 27th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I have resolved time and time again to stop buying plastic and I always fail. You're right, it's damn near impossible to completely eliminate plastic in this day and age. I have really cut back though.

Lush sells solid shampoos and conditioner that I use and love.

Also, it's really easy to make yogurt at home, although all the home yogurt makers I've seen have plastic housing. To eliminate the plastic completely, you can make yogurt in mason jars in your oven, but this is fussy and far less reliable. I recently started making my own soy yogurt (with the yogurt maker I linked above), because the soy yogurt sold in stores is way too sweet, overpriced, and generally just not very good.

Edited at 2008-05-27 06:16 pm (UTC)
May. 27th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
How long do the shampoo pucks last?

Thanks for the yogurt making tips. I am not much of a cook (tend to resent the time spent on something I don't enjoy doing) but whenever I get back into WW (which I am trying to do right now) I am more open to trying.
(no subject) - edamame - May. 27th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - May. 27th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
1. Yogurt's pretty easy to make. Alternately, you could buy a big carton of it, flavor it yourself (if they don't sell "your" flavor in large sizes), and bring it to work in your bento.

2. The best solution you can do for now w/r/t shampoo is to buy really large bottles and refill your smaller ones. A large bottle, crushed, doesn't take up much more room than a small one, and you buy far less frequently.

I really don't seem to produce that much trash. I don't even fill a whole kitchen bag each week, and my recycling pickup (which is only twice a month) is typically two brown bags. I'm not saying this to feel superior, because I honestly don't know what I do to make this happen. I do buy some items in bulk, but not usually because of transportation issues (i.e. biking everywhere). I have to admit, though, this does affect my choice of products pretty extensively. I was buying dish sponges last week and eschewed the ones which came in boxes to buy some that just had shrinkwrap. I mean, boxes for a sponge?!? They aren't fragile. I also tend to wrap edible scraps tightly in their plastic bags, which adds more plastic to the stream but greatly reduces bulk. (Also discourages insects and stray cats, but that is less applicable to you.)
May. 27th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Damn, I can't look at that instructables page at work. They block things so randomly.

Fortunately I am already in the large shampoo bottle business!

See, my logic on the sponge example would be that I wouldn't want to dispose of plastic, but would rather recycle the box? I dunno.
(no subject) - angela_la_la - May. 28th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
semi-related - I just read that plastic bags aren't accepted with my recycling!!!! and I've been stuffing it in there for YEARS! whoa nelly, that's a lot of bags I've been basically throwing away without noticing it.

I'm *decent* about recycling and cutting down on the amount of products that include excess packaging, but I'm not great. I vow to work on that!
May. 27th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
They usually have a bin in front of grocery stores for plastic bag recycling, so that's something. I have a Trader Joe's bag for when I make small trips, but whenever we make BIG trips we end up with bags. *sigh*

So we try, but what's up with the rest of everyone?

You know what's awesome about the Bottom Dollar (used to be Food Lion) near our house, is that they have plastic bags but you have to buy them. So most people use boxes that they leave at the front of the store but I try to bring my TJ's bag. The store is trying to cut costs, but it works for everyone.
May. 27th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
That book I was raving about (that hits paperback in August) has a great section on the Pacific trash island, where it's come from and why it's getting bigger.
May. 27th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I vote for that next time.
May. 27th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
On the 'poo thread: a recent issue of BUST had a one-pager in there about transitioning from shampoo to a baking soda (?) solution, along with some tips on how to manage the potentially oily transition stage.

Since reading it, I've tried to be more mindful about sudding my hair when it needs it, and typically only at the roots.

I'll see if I can dig up the article and/or find a link....

... FWIW, Dr Bronners diluted can work as a 'poo, but my hair doesn't do well with the castille soap... starts to dread up, esp if I'm using salty / hard water when camping (doesn't rinse well)
May. 27th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
200,000 albatrosses!
May. 28th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Tom sez the reason all that floating plastic mass ends up at that spot in the pacific, is because there are no currents to drive it away. It's effectively sitting in the middle of a maelstrom that's becalmed in the middle.

Actually, the best way an individual can make a positive impact on the environment, is to stop eating meat. Blargh. Depressing, right?
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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