Plastic Free: A Good News/Bad News Day

I feel like this product symbolizes everything about where we are, culturally, on waste reduction. It’s a bamboo-handled toothbrush with what appears to be plastic bristles, packaged in plastic and cardboard. The company assures me that the packaging is from recycled materials and the bristles are “dental grade,” but come the F on. I’ll give it a test drive later (I’m drinking a beer right now and don’t want to mix it with toothpaste).

By the way, there’s an alternative to toothpaste, zero wasters. It’s little tabs of something. I haven’t found them yet but they look like Altoids that you put on your brush and then, I don’t know, mash into your grill. Again, good idea, weird execution.

I feel like everybody these days (including the sentient people-corporations recognized by our Supreme Court) KNOWS they are supposed to be reducing their carbon footprint/waste output, but they want to do it in the laziest and flashiest way possible. Or not. Today, I bought an ice cream sandwich — famously wrapped in paper, right? — and the wrapper was plastic. WTF?

You’re probably wondering when I will get to the good news referred to in my title. Here it is:

This is a bottle of red wine from a new vintner who sells their product in refillable bottles. I won it at the school auction and I’m psyched to finish it off so I can bring it in for my refill. More of this, please.

In fact, there are several breweries in the East Bay that do this, like Linden Street and Drake’s. Buy a growler and you can get it refilled at a discount. As the only bulk beer drinker in the house, I don’t find this to be tenable, but it reminds me of Gill’s, a Chicago south side establishment that would deliver jugs of beer until 2:00 am. You could return the growler for a refill or refund. “Won’t Go Flat, Stays Cold Without Ice,” said the sign over the door. I was taught (by Diamond Dave Mulcahey) that the way to drink Gill’s was the hoist the jug onto your shoulder, turn your head toward the mouth of the jug, and drink from the side of your mouth. Messy business, disgusting beer, trendsetting brand.

(I just found an ad online for Gill’s from 1962. Beer that “won’t go flat” sold for $1.35 a gallon).

I’ve got one last picture, and I bet these babies would even go well with Gill’s.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the company of several other Oakland Tech parents, learning how to make sausage. It was hella fun, and I left with about 12 lbs of Italian and Tuscan sausage. Guess what’s for dinner? Making food en masse is fun and makes hard work go quickly. Plus, I can name all the ingredients, feel proud of the results and meet new people. Not a lot of waste, particularly since there was a dogger running around at our feet dealing with the scraps.

I now feel ready for the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere.

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