January 31, 2011

Danielle, Week 6

Danielle's plastic waste

Name: Danielle

Week: 6

Personal Info:

Me again ;) Read about our family on my Week 1 post.

This week is different than the previous weeks because my husband and I went to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. My mom watched our kids from Friday to Monday. (I keep track of our plastic waste from Sunday to Saturday) So this week on Friday and Saturday doesn’t include my kids, but does include (unphotographed) plastic from our trip.

Total items: 16

Total weight: .9 oz **not including non-pictured items

Items: Recyclable
Those numbers don’t mean a thing.

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 lid from cocoa powder
2 milk caps (from glass milk bottles
3 rings from milk caps
2 produce ties
1 debit card

Sundance Film Festival Trip: (Friday and Saturday)
4 cups from drinks (from lunch and a party)
1 sandwich container
1 plastic wrap (from hotel)
1 tea bag wrapper

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The cocoa powder. I think that I can (possibly) buy it in bulk… if I can I will.

The items from our trip were kind of hard to avoid. I personally don’t use plastic wrap… but when the hotel left us chocolate covered strawberries, I wasn’t going to turn them away.

We buy bulk tea… I haven’t figured out how to travel with that… any suggestions?

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Debit card. (this was a silly mistake…I left my purse in the hotel room..oops!!… so we cancelled my card just to be safe.)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
If we go to the festival again next year, I’ll know what to expect.

We got the sandwich in a plastic container because we were shuttling around to different films and were unable to sit down for lunch.

The cups from lunch were a bummer. We did our usually of requesting no straws, so when our waters came in disposable plastic cups we shook our heads because we had our reusable water bottle with us.

At the party, drinks came in plastic cups. Since this was a once in a lifetime experience… I accepted two drinks. (I don’t see this happening again for a long time ;) )

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Everything that we used while out of town.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Aside from the plastic that we used on our trip, I’m really thrilled with our lack of plastic use this past week. On our trip, we definitely used things that we normally don’t. I did pack all of our own snacks and reusable water/coffee/tea mugs for our trip… which eliminated a lot of plastic.

Even planning ahead, I ran into times when I couldn’t get around plastic. I refused plastic when I could, but tried not to focus too much on it…

4 comments
Sabrina
Sabrina

Really impressive since you were traveling!

Congratulations!

Danielle
Danielle

Thank you!

I appreciate the tea tips... I'll just need to remember to bring my bulk tea and strainer. :) (then not only will I skip the plastic... I'll save some $$ too!!)

I'm really great about packing our own snacks... I had apples, nuts, dried fruits... and even chocolate for the mid-movie snack ;) Will be even MORE prepared next year!!!

Kate
Kate

So cool that you were in Sundance!! That's wonderful!!

I know exactly what you mean about not being able to avoid it all the time. I can't believe how plastic enters into my life uninvited so often. My husband and I have gotten into a pretty good travel system that involves food in glass and coolers (when we're in the car -- or things that can be in baskets and bags when we fly) and we bring our bulk teas in these little things:

http://www.taooftea.com/detail.php3?pid=2788&link=L3Nob3AucGhwMz9zY2M9MTA5

They work great! To steep the tea, we bring along a metal strainer like this one:

http://www.taooftea.com/detail.php3?pid=1782&link=L3Nob3AucGhwMz9zY2M9MTA3

The little canisters are really lightweight, so they're easy to travel with. We also bring our to go mugs and our klean kanteens. We can avoid most plastics this way, but not all, of course. :(

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Danielle, I know exactly how to travel with bulk tea. In fact, I'm traveling with bulk tea right now! And bulk pretzels and prunes, too. I carry them all in glass jars, and I carry my tea strainer too. I am staying in an efficiency room that has a little kitchen, so I heated water on the stove. But there are always other ways to get hot water. If your room as a coffee maker, you can heat up water that way.

Plastic while traveling is hard, but it can be avoided with some planning. You will definitely know what to expect next time, and I hope you can go again. What an awesome experience. Especially since you had a film in the festival!!!