What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

plastic cutlery

on January 17, 2014

Nimue suggested and took the lead on this shed. “Our plastic cutlery drawer is overflowing,” she said as she emptied its contents to sort and count.

There are way too many of these in our world.

There are way too many of these in our world.

We avoid purchasing disposable products on moral, religious, spiritual, ecological, economic and pragmatic grounds. But they get into the house nevertheless. We might go to an event where food is served with plastic eating utensils. Or attend a meeting where a boxed lunch is provided which thoughtfully includes a packet with a paper napkin, salt and pepper, and, yes, plasticware. Our habit is to use them gratefully, wipe them off when we’re done, and bring them home to wash and re-use. (Note: food safety experts say: don’t do as we do. Disposable plastic cutlery isn’t designed to be easily sanitized.) Our “real” flatware set has only four place settings, so some extra spoons come in handy for stirring hot drinks. I whip eggs for the morning frittata with the forks. Sometimes we ride the tandem to a park with a picnic on the rear rack, and we’ll use the plastic then.

They’re useful. They pass the test of the Morris Rule. But they breed in the darkness. We decided to cull the collection down to four forks, knives and spoons each.

Nimue researched whether we might recycle them. We can’t. Our community is blessed with a lot of good recycling resources, but plastics present challenges, particularly when they aren’t marked with a resin code. Not one of our pieces was.

We’re fully engaged with a DIY-remodel of our house, so we need a few consumable utensils for spooning materials from containers and mixing products like resin filler and (my favorite!) Durham’s Water Putty. So the extra cutlery has temporarily joined the tools. I used a fork awhile ago to make a batch of Bondo. Of course I had to throw it away when I was done. To quote Laurie Anderson in “It Tango”: “That’s the way it goes. It goes that way. ”

shedding styles: re-use, throw away
destination: landfill

Comments welcome … what might you shed today?

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