May 11, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Dara C, Week 1

plastic-week-1

How can I cut down my individual consumable items such as string cheese? Also since I work crazy hours (it’s D.C.) what convenience foods are available that have no plastic?

Location:WASHINGTON, District of Columbia, United States

Name: Dara C

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I’m a 20 something girl living in Washington, D.C. I’m originally from a small town in Tennessee so I love traveling and exploring my new city. I currently live with 2 other girls in DC in a small apartment. Recently I attended the DC Environmental Film Festival and that spurred by interest in being more eco friendly.

Dara C’s personal blog: http://ecolifecrisis.blogspot.com/

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Lids
Straws
Plastic Utensils
plastic bags

Total items collected: 36

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
3 water bottles
3 Mountain Dew Bottles
1 Gallon Sweet Tea
1 Tide Detergent Bottle
1 Bottle Conditioner
2 Bottle Shampoo
1 Box pasta noodles (plastic window)
1 McDonalds Cup
1 ice pack container

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 Straws
2 Styrofoam Cups
1 Candle lighter package
1 Hair Accessory Package
1 Pore Strip Packaging
3 Granola Bar packages
1 ramen package
1 bread plastic
1 plastic package for fresh Parsley
1 plastic six-pack ring
1 bag shredded cheese
1 individual string cheese wrapper
1 oatmeal lid
1 bag Doritos
1 bag Ruffles potato chips
1 styrofoam take out container (not pictured)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Drink items can be stored in reusable stainless steel bottles
Straws can be replaced with a glass straw
Plastic Utensils can be replaced with metal utensils
Shampoo and Conditioner can be replaced with No-Poo (currently trying it, but not loving it)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Granola Bars (though I would want another fast snack)
String Cheese
Chips (these were leftovers from a camping trip)
Bills or other mail with plastic windows
candle lighter (I could use matches

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
trash bags (my roommates aren’t open to the idea of composting)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I need to change my eating and cooking habits. I work a lot of weird hours for my job and most of the time I don’t have the chance to cook and it look for convenience foods.
I should look into bringing my own to-go containers with me.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
This week I changed from using plastic utensils and paper plates at work to bringing my own dish and utensils.
I want to look into using bulk bins more, though this will take extra planning since I’ve never made items like dry beans before.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Most of the plastic I use is for convenience items. To make big plastic changes in my life I need to make sure that I plan my meals and time to fit this lifestyle.