January 29, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Molly de Vries, Week 1

[Photo missing due to technical difficulties. Will be included later.]

Name: Molly de Vries

Weeks: 1

Personal Info:
My name is Molly de Vries i am the owner of Ambatalia, textiles for a non-disposable life. I am a mom of three kids and I am fortunate to be married to a beautiful man as well. We live in Mill Valley in a 8oo sq’ cottage with a dog, kitty, 5 chickens, 6 fish and a turtle. My journey towards a non-disposable life is a way for me ultimately to find peace in my life. I’m naturally unorganized. I am definitely clearing and moving toward a simpler life. By the way I am only strongly suggesting to the rest of my family to use less plastics. I have made a decision not to control of force any one to not use plastics. Hopefully I will inspire. There for I am only tallying my own plastic use for now.

Total items: 3

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
none

Items: Nonrecyclable
an old tupperware lid that I had to let go of. ( I realized that this was never mine (my husband used to buy these stupid containers and thank god he dosn’t any more))
Two plastic bags from some glass storage bowls I bought.
(I actually collected more than this because at first I wanted to tally the whole family.)

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
To be honest i bought these bowls at cosco. I dislike Cosco for many reasons but I saw this and at the time I thought it was cool. There are a few thing I look for when I purchase. I see where its made, what kind of packaging and what the materials are. in this case I was impressed because the glass bowls where made in the US and the Plastic lids were made in France BPA free. The price was amazing and that is why i don’t buy anything because I want the best and the best cost ya. I usually do with out but I got excited about the bowls. looking back ya there is plastic and then I open the box and of course there is more plastic. Hope fully they will last a long time. I could of passed and just bought one good stainless steel, no plasti lids alternative.

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Learning a new way of cooking. I think I need to take a class.I think making beautiful food that doesn’t come in packaging is an art form and takes planning which is very difficult for me.

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

4 comments
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)

Hi Molly,

I totally know what you mean about being willing to take it to a point. I'm not willing to give up cheese or pay 10 times the amount to get it from a local dairy that doesn't use plastic packaging. I've looked at making it, but I fear it's a rather long term process...

Anyhow, if you want to give flour tortillas a go, this is hands down the best recipe I've found: http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-end-to-my-quest-flour-tortillas.html. I generally use whole wheat flour instead of white and it works fine... they are a bit of work, but mostly just rolling them out, and they're not exactly traditional since they do use leavening and don't use lard, but they taste worlds better than the store bought variety. Good luck with everything!

Molly de Vries
Molly de Vries

Thank you Rebecca and Beth,

I just sent off my 2nd week and it had I believe 9 pieces of plastic. so ya that first week was amazing. I believe that for the most part I'm willing to do with out in my life, to the point of not being able to make dinner in the way the i would like. So I struggle with it on one hand and on the other hand I believe and hope that I am building something. Recently I bought some flour tortillas. Now I have not bought those for so long because I wasn't willing to buy the plastic. I replaced them with corn tortillas hand made with a tortilla press I bought. That was so easy, tasty and so much fun to make. But like I said, I bought flour tortillas this week because my daughter wanted them and I wanted to give that to her. I havn't tried to make them yet. For some reason they seem difficult. If any one does that I would love to know how. Rebecca, I will check and see if I still have Laurals kitchen, I know I used to. Will look at that. I need that inspiration, Thank you. Talk with you all soon, Molly

EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)

Holy Kazoli! Only 3 pieces of plastic?!? I am not worthy.

I have to say, I am probably the least organized human on the face of the planet, but I have developed a total love for cooking. It didn't used to be that way though, I used to absolutely hate it because it was all about following directions and I just plain suck at following directions.

But... 3 forces came together for me to totally change my perspective.

1) A friend gave me a copy of "Laurel's Kitchen" which is the most wonderful cookbook ever written (IMHO). I just love the book because while it does have recipes, it's mostly about how to cook, so it helps you learn the basic skills that you need to cook instead of just telling you to turn off your brain and follow the directions. Looks like you can get a used copy on Amazon for under a dollar: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/089815166X/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0915132257&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0R8MBAMV6T25CY6V6WR8

2) I got diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies. OK... having allergies really sucks, but it totally changed the way I looked at food and made cooking a necessity rather than an option. I like to think it was just the universe giving me a friendly shove.

3) I joined a CSA farm. I actually tried several CSA's along the way, but at this point I grow so much in my own garden that it would be pointless (plus I was allergic to half of the stuff they provided anyhow). That being said, there is no better way to learn how to cook creatively than by joining a CSA. You basically get a big box of veggies every week (with no packaging!!!) and then you have to figure out how to use them all before the next week's onslaught arrives. It's a bit of baptism by fire, but great fun.

Good luck, and congratulations again on your tiny plastic tally!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Molly, that's amazing that you only had a couple of bowl wrappers for the week! Will you please leave a comment here and let readers know how you have gotten your plastic down so low? Just a few tips would be great. Thanks!