April 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Benne Rockett, Week 10

Benne-Rockett-Plastic-Trash-Week-10

Name: Benne Rockett

Week: 10

Location: Texas, United States

Personal Info:

See Benne’s previous posts: http://myplasticfreelife.com/plastic-challenge-pix/category/united-states/texas/benne-rockett/

Total items: 15

Total weight: 240 grams

Items: Recyclable
Old Items:
1 – Yogurt container
1 – Lid
1 – Hand soap container
1 – Tic-Tac dispenser
1 – pasta wrapper
1 – twist tight lid for Tom’s tooth paste
1 – 1/2 & 1/2 pull tab
1 – plastic spoon

New Items:
1 – plastic cover for Liquid Nails
6 – plastic covers for wall switch plates and door stops

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 – plastic cover for Liquid Nails
6 – plastic covers for wall switch plates and door stops

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The skinny on yogurt – I’ve bought a yogurt maker from the thrift store. A couple of weeks back I talked about having used an ice cream maker, also bought from a thrift store, to prevent bringing in the non-recyclable wrapper that many ice cream manufacturers put about the lid and carton. Even though every part of the yogurt container is recyclable, the more I learn about the harm plastic out gassing can do to my body, the more I want to vanquish it completely.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I had found one store that carried my coffee in a paper bag. No more! Either they have stopped carrying it or the company is no longer using paper. I have contacted one company regarding their pasta packaging. Not very helpful. Of course, that’s why I bought a pasta machine. The largest item on my list is actually something I brought in since I’ve been boosting my awareness – a bag of chick feed. I know the store I went to doesn’t have an alternative. I should have to buy another since only one of my five chicks lived. So much for fresh eggs….but, the good news is that the adult food comes in paper.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I recently listed my house on the market. I had some hardware I needed to replace and it needed to match what was already in the house. Unfortunately, all of those pieces came individually wrapped in plastic sealed plastic sleeves.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I feel like I’m changing my entire life! Though I’ve always done the things I’m about to list, I don’t think I’ve ever made the effort to do them all at once, really committing to a particular way of life. The List:
1 – Gardening on many levels, especially seasonally
2 – Composting, including shredding paper waste
3 – Shopping farmer’s markets
4 – Preparing my own food staples, like yogurt, pasta and ice cream
5 – Increase in reuse and upcycle

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I had several amazing experiences this week. About once a month, a group of friends go to the same restaurant for breakfast. One of those women has joined me in the effort to reduce plastic. I had noticed that my coffee was served with plastic containers of half/half but that my oatmeal (YES, I like oatmeal!) was served with a metal pitcher of milk. My friend insisted that we be served two pitchers of milk – one for our coffee and the other for our oatmeal. Yeah Us! I believe I have mentioned that I will be moving to the Yucatan soon. There are huge issues with garbage, especially plastics, in the beach areas. An online English version of the paper issued by the capital of the Yucatan, has invited me to submit bi-monthly articles on my reduction efforts. The more I read about the issue in general, and specific to Mexico, I realize that in a small way, I might have a voice in how the Yucatan approaches plastic. Recycling isn’t working – but banning the bag and bottles, could save the Gulf of Mexico and the livelihood of the fishing villages. Very exciting!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Things that never required plastic in former decades are using plastic. Milk was fine before plastic – perhaps a bit more difficult to open, but who really cares? What’s wrong with a paper twist tie? What’s wrong with allowing a paper bag you used for vegetables, to dry out and be reused? What’s wrong with wanting to have a healthy body and environment? Nothing – I don’t need plastic.

Question…
I don’t have very many plastic storage containers. I don’t want to just get rid of them, not knowing where they will land. So, I’ve decided to keep them and store things like buttons, rubber bands, ect….what do you think about this alternative use?

1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Benne, I think you're amazing and totally inspiring to me.

Oh, what about repurposing plastic containers for non-food purposes? Absolutely! Don't get rid of what you already have. :-)