Goodbye, plastic wrap

The farther I get into this zero waste journey (and, granted, it hasn’t even been a month yet), the more my eyes are opened to just how MUCH there is to do. Which is good for the blog, I guess, because I have plenty to write about.

Now that I feel like I’ve got a decent handle on my grocery cart*, I’m starting to look at other kitchen items we’re used to buying. So my latest project was my plastic wrap / aluminum foil / baggie drawer:

Foil, cling wrap, press and seal ... and the phone charger. Oh, and that thing I use when I can to keep the canner off the burner.

Foil, cling wrap, press and seal, baggies … and the phone charger. Oh, and that thing I use when I can to keep the canner off the burner.

Out of curiosity, I did a bit of research into how much plastic wrap Americans use each year, and found THIS survey – it looks like one to two boxes every six months. Then I found THIS article by Northern Colorado Disposal (with a lot of alarming facts, actually), and learned this:

Every year, Americans make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.

(Um, that’s a lot. Texas is 268,820 square miles.)

Anyway, I’ve been storing all of that wrap for literally years, because we don’t really use it. But I don’t want to just toss it, either, because that also seems wasteful. Then Eric came up with the solution: Just hide it. Eric’s theory is that hiding these items means we won’t automatically grab them, but if we end up in a bind, we’ll still have it. And eventually we can give it away.

I have a pantry in our hallway that is dedicated to holding jars of canned items and the random bits of overflow that don’t fit in the kitchen. So that’s where this stuff is living for now.

One thing I do NOT want to happen with the project is to use it as an excuse to buy a bunch of new stuff just for the sake of filling drawers. So now that I’ve said that, I get to tell you that I just bought two “reusable plastic baggies” at a local art and craft store:

Reusable baggies with a side of Johanna's color study.

Reusable baggies with a side of Johanna’s color study mini-canvases.

I haven’t used them yet, but I figured two would be about right for any potential emergencies. This is what the drawer looks like now:

You can really get addicted to nothing.

You can really get addicted to nothing.

Eventually I’d like to also store napkins here, too, as getting rid of paper towels is also on my list, but I want to find those used, and that’s going to take some time. I’m okay with that.

All in all, I feel good about this. I mean, the plastic stuff hasn’t really gone anywhere yet, but I feel like it’s a step in the right direction.

* Pork chops were on sale this week, so I got six really gorgeous cuts in my orange Tupperware. Same guy as with the chicken debacle, but maybe he learned from that whole adventure because instead of putting my order in a plastic bag, he just lined the scale with paper. (We’re getting there.) STILL overshot the size of my container, but somehow he got it all in there, and I immediately put it into one of my bags. Glad I did because the lid popped off somewhere in all of this (I had just taken that bag out of the laundry, so I was like, whatever pork chops, you do what you need to do, although yay, they stayed put). I guess if nothing else, I always get a story when I visit the meat counter.

Next up: For Mother’s Day, I attempted a coffee scrub facial. So you’ll get to see my face in coffee grounds, basically.