"Write what you need to read." ~Brene Brown

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Do What We Can Do to Be Greener Series #1: You Can Stop Using Plastic Utensils

Eight days ago, on a day when I was feeling particularly doomed by the negativity of the political atmosphere, and when I was beginning to feel like shutting down, I decided that maybe I needed to figure out what I needed to do in order to create change. Waiting for our politicians to work it out is a recipe for misery.
Here's my change for today:  No more accepting plastic disposable utensils when eating out. I already take my fancy-schmancy drink thermos with me - why not take my own fork?
If this would catch on, we could work wonders. I did some rudimentary math using my shitty Social Worker math skills and here's what I came up with:  There are 300 million of us in this country. If half of us started to say no to plastic utensils and straws because we keep our own with us, and let's say we did that once a week for a year, that's 7.8 billion fewer sets of utensils in our environment. 
Inspired by a high school classmate who told me she carries a set of utensils in her bag, I decided to make a cloth bag for my mother and myself to take with us when we are out and about. She has been keeping chopsticks in her purse and is totally on board after getting an 'atta girl yesterday, for walking a drink carrier back to the counter.
This cloth kit has room for knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, straw, straw cleaner, and toothbrush. There's a pocket on the end. Cloth napkin? Floss? toothpaste?  Wine bottle opener?  Hey, I like that last one. (Note to self).

Here's how I made it:

1.  Get 1/2 yard of 44/45" material.

2.  Cut a strip of the material that's 1 1/4" wide
3.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and sew a 1/4" seam around the edges, leaving an opening so you can turn it inside-out.

4. Turn the strip inside-out to make a tie for your bag.

5. Sew the opening shut
6. With right sides together, sew edges together, leaving an opening to turn it inside-out
7, Turn it inside-out
8. Press seams flat
9. Sew opening shut

10. fold cloth over 1/4 to 1/3 from bottom and pin where you want to sew channels

11. Sew channels, fold middle of tie and tuck it into the seam on the far right outside edge.

12. Fold top edge down, place your utensils in the channels, and roll it up.

13. Tie a bow and you are done.
Congratulations on your completed portable reusable utensil kit. Now, let's get out there and reduce our disposable usage, one spork at a time!!

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