June 12, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Amanda R. , Weeks 25-29

may plastic

Location:Tucson, Arizona, United States

Name: Amanda R.

Week: 29

Personal Info:

Total items: 50

Total weight: 8 oz.

Items: Recyclable
1 #1 box for digital voice recorder
1 #1 raspberries box
2 drycleaner bags
1 #2 bag for replacement cell phone

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 plastic liner from raspberry box
3 envelope windows
1 piece freezer paper with plastic lining that venison came in
6 milk bottle tops
6 kombucha bottle lids
6 seals from bottles
1 label off kombucha bottle
1 toothpaste cap
1 ring off bottle of tonic
2 clothing tags
1 #6 tasting / sauce cups
3 bags online clothes/gifts came in
2 packaging bags from digital voice recorder
4 packaging bags from replacement cell phone
1 yogi tea bag wrapper
1 nail polish remover wrapper
1 sticker from top of new deodorant
1 goat cheese pkg
1 foam seal from pill bottle with metal lid
2 small bags, provenance unknown

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I got hooked on kombucha recently. I started making my own – it’s really fun, and tasty. Then I was in NYC for a week and I kept buying it, hence the 6 kombucha bottle tops. Pretty absurd, when you consider that I knew nothing about the stuff 2 months ago.

The taster cup is a result of requesting guacamole on the side at a restaurant that otherwise uses normal dishes. Sad.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Apparently not quite berries! I’ve gotten into kefir smoothies for breakfast, and luckily can get bananas, mangoes, and kiwi fruit without packaging; but the berries just looked so good (and they were!)

And not quite the goat cheese, although I made my first successful kefir/yogurt cheese (from a batch of yogurt that I put excess kefir grains in. It got slimy and horrible, so it became cheese). Kind of fills the same niche, and maybe less plastic (although really, milk bottle top vs. cheese wrapper… toss up?)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
– Milk bottle tops
– This is the second freezer paper wrapper that I referenced last month. Venison from my friend who killed the deer. As I said last month, no better way to get your meat…
– Metro cards expire, after a time.

– on the cellphone, sad story, involving a long day of travel frustration and the tracks of the New Jersey transit station in Edison. May I recommend to anyone with Verizon that you purchase the phone insurance, and use the backup assistant? They are amazing. I filed a claim after 6pm on Wednesday and my replacement phone arrived before 2 pm on Thursday. And given the amount of packaging a phone could have come in, I’m pretty pleased with the 4 little bags. And then it re-loaded all of my contacts. Genius.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
– I haven’t found a plastic-free nail polish remover. I can keep it out of my stash by always getting pedicures, but that seems a little like cheating (I mean, their remover comes in a plastic bottle, too.)

– I’ve discussed my online shopping problem before. Is it better if 2 of them were for organic cotton baby gifts?

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
– Well, the kombucha bottles, but only because I’ve access to the home-brew again!

– Berry boxes. I just came back from Seattle, where they sell the berries in cardboard pints. *sigh*

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
– What’s up with yogi tea bags coming in plastic-lined wrappers?? I was so happy with them, because they don’t shrink-wrap the box in plastic, and I thought it was all paper. Then one of the tea bags got wet on my travels, and the paper peeled off of the plastic lining! I’m so disappointed. I buy tea for my kombucha brewing in bulk, but the yogi “detox” teas are my favorite and there won’t be any way to get those blends in bulk! Very disappointed.

– Second month without tossing a trash bag. Granted, I was traveling for half of it. But I’m betting I can make it through June with only dry waste…

2 comments
Amanda R.
Amanda R.

Fonda, there's a facebook group in Tucson called "fermented foods enthusiasts" where people give away the cultures - I don't know if there would be something similar in Norway, but the kefir grains grow really fast, and the kombucha makes a new culture with every batch, so if others around you are fermenting things, they should have some to spare!

Fonda LaShay
Fonda LaShay

Oh! I am SOO wanting to make kombucha!

Where did you get your kombucha and kefir starters from ?