Plassic Free March

I wore this to:
- work
- walk around with sloppy hair
- think about plastic

shoe clips & pins/vintage
cotton tights/maggie's organics
belt, shoes, jacket/sweatshop retail
dress/resale shop



It's Deal With Your Plastic March. Already I've got the green-guilt and have sink-holed on several "how to kick plastic" sites. I am only human! Reading Beth Terry's comment about seeing a picture of a plastic-filled albatross belly is like my kryptonite. When I read this stuff I hem and haw, swear off takeout and look up ways to make my own soy yogurt!

But let's take my inventory, shall we?

I currently...
- use a travel mug 90% of the time
- carry an insulated Klean Kanteen water bottle every day
- have an insulated metal food thermos if needed
- compost my food scraps**
- carry reusable bags 90% of the time
- have dishes, glasses, mugs and utensils at my desk
- leave half my dish-stuff in work kitchen accidentally for coworkers' use
- carry my titanium spork much less than I'd like these days but at least I own it
- use Wrap-n-Matts & leak-proof lunch bowls to bring lunch to work
- clean primarily with white vinegar (glass bottles>refillable spray bottle)
- bring produce bags to the food co-op
- don't bag some produce
- use produce bags for bulk items (not flour-like items though)
- reuse glass jars at home
- my cats get cardboard scratchers 99% of the time (no plastic/carpet)
- favor bar soap instead of liquid soap (bars have less junk in it, too)

Okay, not so bad. But where am I a consumer joke when it comes to plastic?

I can do better by...
- seeing if woorijip will let me get salad bar on something other than styrofoam
(the splendor of kimchi pancakes shouldn't be saddled with that baggage)
- trying Lush container-free deodorant (it's vegan)
- giving up gum (who knew it was made with plastic - groadie!)
- buying bread at the farmers market (no plastic bag)
- remembering to check the bulk bins for an item before buying pre-packaged
- reconsider pre-packaged bulk foods at the co-op
- helping food co-op's plastic reduction efforts
- bringing containers for flour-like bulk items I can't put in canvas bags
- replacing my silicon ice cube trays with stainless steel (when it's time)
- dropping off laundry with soap nuts to avoid them using their plastic-bottled soap
- when all disposable pens die, getting pen refills for a classy wood pen

As much as I'd love to, I probably won't make my own soy/almond milk or soy yogurt. Or cut out buying my favorite natural shampoo in a plastic bottle. Or give up my Soapwalla natural deodorant. But I think it's good to stop, drop and roll. (Or look at what I'm actually using, think outside the box and raise the bar a little.) You know. Every once in a while. [Fake Plastic Fish/Guide is here]

**I save my compost in my freezer and defrost it the night before I bring it to my community garden for public composting. I am a compost squad garden member. Yes, people are duly impressed by my status. I might have complained to you last summer when I had to turn compost for five hours straight and had an old man back for the next two days. This year I'm helping out with the leaf collection project instead! (NYC doesn't compost/"recycle" leaves any longer; they just throw them out and pretend they do. Local gardens have stepped in to collect the leaves to use in gardens and parks instead. Hug your public community garden today!)


  1. Jesse, you always get me thinking. Now I'm looking at the box of plastic sandwich baggies sitting in my kitchen and thinking about a seagull eating them. How can I keep my sandwich from drying out though?

    Secondly, soap nuts and I have a torrid love affair. I swear my laundry is so much softer with them. Plus I love that they don't leave my laundry smelling like a fake garden.

  2. I recently found your blog and I love it! You are really inspiring me to do a better job and how and where I shop!

  3. Great post. I find that making my own bread isn't time consuming. I can send you a simple, barely kneaded, no fuss 2/3 whole wheat loaf recipe if you'd like.
    I need to get on the produce bag game. I'm good about using reusable bags. However, the biggest challenge for me is garbage. Are they any alternatives to plastic garbage bags? Would the city even collect non plastic bags?
    As for Woorjip, how about taking a bunch of recycled cardboard containers from Whole Foods? Or talk to the cashier before you fill up, having him/her weigh one of your leak proof containers, and they can subtract the tare weight from the total weight once you're done filling it with goodies.

  4. I love your blog because you give a damn.

    I have never even heard of soap nuts before. Interesting!

    FWIW soymilk sounds reasonably easy to make, but perhaps time consuming. I've never tried.

    Alyson - have you tried reusable sandwich bags?

    Rad in BK - do you think you could share it with the group? I'm not Jesse but I am quite interested in your recipe :) Also, when I was younger my mom always used paper grocery bags for garbage bags instead of plastic. Of course getting paper grocery bags doesn't align well with using reusable bags...

  5. You truly are inspirational lady! I believe that you actually adhere to this list and are earnestly trying to lessen your impact on the world around you. You make me wanna do better! sob. It's incredible how much waste we produce as a species. Yuck. I am definitely not pristine when it comes to sustainability, but if we all do something, it's got to help right.

  6. I need to do a lot better with my plastics, and at the end of the day, it really isn't all that difficult after you just make the commitment, right? We are pretty good with reusable shopping bags and we recycle the few produce bags and plastic containers we are sometimes stuck with. I have been planning to write to Wegman's for a while and your post just made me decide to do it now; they have this great section in the store where you can bag your own cereal, wheats, oats and nuts, but they only offer plastic bags! So annoying!

  7. i really need to invest in a glass container for sandwiches. we switched to glasslock containers for leftovers and they work well (they have a plastic lid though, but eh).

    i've used the vintage-style, glass lidded fridge containers before, but it does not have the suction to contain smells. maybe i should just get over that.


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