October 11, 2010

Amanda R., Week 1

Amanda's plastic waste

Name: Amanda

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I live alone in Tucson, Arizona. I’m a lawyer, moved to Tucson 2 months ago, in graduate school getting an LLM.

Total items: 47

Total weight: 10.5 oz

Items: Recyclable
1 packaging for cell phone (#1) – gets tossed in a big dumpster of recyclables along with everything else (cardboard, glass, paper, etc.)

possibly 8 plastic bags that items ordered on line were shipped in. I’ve been told that Target accepts plastic carrier bags for recycling – don’t know if they also take these or not.

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 plastic ties that held items on cardboard cards
1 plastic-lined paper pasta bag
2 cracker or cereal bags
1 luna bar wrapper
1 granola wrapper
2 camping stove fuel pumps
1 milk bottle top
1 envelope window
1 straw
1 toothpick wrapper
2 bags that herbs came in at CSA
1 label off cheese
1 plug cover
1 bandaid package
1 eye drop package
1 seal from some jar
1 piece plastic wrap from fudge place
4 boxes bicycle lights and cellphone bits came in
2 plastic bags cellphone accessories came in
1 liner from new swimsuit
2 shipping envelopes
2 pieces to bacon package
8 plastic bags mentioned above
4 other random plastic packaging

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The pasta and granola are easy – found a bulk foods place that carries both.

The crackers and larabar are slightly harder – I ordered a book on making crackers, as well as the e-book you advertised with the lara bar recipes.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Some things were accidents – the straw, toothpick wrapper, plastic wrap on fudge.

Can buy bandaids in cardboard, and eye drops without additional packaging.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
The stove fuel pumps have to be plastic – but the two I threw out this week have lasted me 16 years, so I’m not too worried.

Not planning to give up bacon, or cell phone. Nor to choose a phone based on packaging.

The milk bottle top – it’s from the family farm that re-uses their glass bottles, and I’d like to support that.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
On-line shopping was a big contributor – not sure I’m ready to give up zappos!

As mentioned above, making my own snack foods, and getting cheese from a shop I found where they’ll slice a wedge off of the big wheel and wrap it in paper for me.

I’m visiting butchers trying to find those that will do the same…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
larabar

4 comments
Amanda
Amanda

Update: Whole Foods has bulk bacon, that they'll sell wrapped in butcher paper. :)

Laura aka Simply Green
Laura aka Simply Green

Good job, it's always hard to see it all together in a pile. Keep on trucking, and stay aware. :)

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Thanks for taking the challenge, Amanda! It seems like you're doing great in the food department. When shopping online, can you request no plastic packaging? That might be a good area to target.