How I Came To Possess All This Plastic

As you may know, I'm trying to be single-use plastic free in 2015. To get a feel for how well I'm doing, I decided to keep every bit of "accidental" plastic I acquired during the month of April.

Here's how I came to possess all this plastic:

1. THEY CHANGED THE PACKAGE!
I've been buying West Hen Scratch specifically because it came in a paper bag. But West changed their packaging in April, and I didn't notice until the bag had already been purchased and placed in my trunk by the kind gentleman at the feed store. West had been the only supplier I could find who packaged in paper, so my chickens are gonna be bummed when they don't get to have scratch (aka chicken crack) anymore.

The two white plastic strips are the pull-tabs from the hen scratch package.

2. I DIDN'T PAY ATTENTION
The bubble wrap is totally my bad. I saw something I wanted, it was given to me, and I was oblivious to the bubble wrap until it was too late. But I'll re-use it, for whatever that's worth.

3. I DIDN'T ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION
I was invited to this cute little restaurant in Nashville, where their desserts were pre-packaged in plastic shell containers at the counter. So I asked if they also served slices of cake on plates. But I didn't ask what kind of plate. Or what kind of utensil, for that matter.

4. I FORGOT ABOUT SALSA
When you go to a Mexican restaurant and check to see if they use real plates and silverware, you should also check to see what they put their salsa in.

5. THE HABIT'S NOT FULLY FORMED
I swear I try so hard to remember to say "no straw" when ordering a beverage. Some of these straws are because I forgot, others are because the server forgot (but I've actually been really impressed by how many servers remember my weird request). According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million straws per year. NPS goes on to say that's enough straws to fill over 125 school buses every day!

6. I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER
I think that tiny plastic cup was some dressing on the side, but I can't say for sure.

7. CAN YOU SAY "NO LID?"
I knew you could get a paper cup at a certain fast food restaurant, which is why I went there, but then I totally forgot to say "no lid or straw." Duh.

8. I DID IT ON PURPOSE
This was my conscious choice of the month: I bought a glass jar of plain yogurt but it had a plastic seal. My rationale was that I could continue to make home-made yogurt for the rest of the year using starter from that one jar, so I went for it. I'm on my second batch of home-made yogurt and, BTW, from-scratch frozen yogurt is pretty damn great.

I feel like I could have prevented almost all of this plastic by just paying closer attention. That's my next goal, but not my strong suit. Let's see how it goes!

Joan Wells

Swash Labs, 608 E. Hickory St. Suite 120, Denton, TX 76201, United States