August 23, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 13

002

Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 8

Personal Info:

See week 7.

Ellen Simpson’s personal blog: http://www.housebehindtheotherhouses.blogspot.com

Total items: 42

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Coke can
Starbucks cup (#5)
3 cat food cans and lids
Fertilizer bottle (#1)
Doorknob package (#3)
Marrow bone package (#7)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Clock
7 flower tags
Timer package
Netflix plastic strip
5 butter packets
6 bottle caps
Brita filter package
Generic Rice Krispy treat package
2 straws
2 band-aid wrappers
Bread package
Hershey bar wrapper

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Coke can (we usually use glass bottles)
Starbucks cup (we bring our own travel mugs all the time — this was an oversight)
Fertilizer bottle – I won’t buy this again – my compost should do the trick!
Marrow bone package (for dog) – this is from before the challenge, and there is another one left also. Next time, I’ll see if I can buy these in my own container. I can’t do it at my usual grocery store, because they are packaged before they get there, but maybe I can get them at a butcher.
Hershey bar wrapper — we have been getting the large size ones at the grocery store, and they aren’t packaged in plastic.
Straws – ugh – I have glass ones!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Generic Rice Krispy treats — these are from before the challenge. I can make other snacks.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Bread package — I have been buying bread from the bakery without plastic, but they don’t have white bread, and sometimes my kids (and I!) want white bread! I could bake my own but right now I don’t want to put in the time. Maybe at a less busy time I can try this. I do like baking bread.
The clock — it broke, so it has to go. I won’t be replacing it with a new clock, at least. Paul has one from his family that we can use in its place.
Time package — I bought a Kitchen Aid timer, because I’m sick of cheap timers that break. It came in plastic, but I’m hoping it will last many years.
Flower tags – I bought perennials, and these come with them. Not sure how to get around this.
Ice cream containers — I’m sad to have to include the entire container in the tally, but I now know they are lined with plastic. These will be gone come cool weather (but back again next summer).

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
As always, better organization and advance planning, and baking!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I know I don’t have any pie crust packaging in this week’s tally, but I like to buy pie crusts to make quiches. I haven’t bought one since I started the challenge, because of the plastic packaging. This weekend, I plan on trying to make pie crusts that I can store in the freezer, that I will have on hand for quiche-making. I’m excited!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I want to hide my dumb transgressions, like the Starbucks cup. My terrible ice cream habits and straw laziness is out there for all to see. Yikes!

1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Ellen. So glad you don't need to replace the clock. It sucks when stuff breaks and can't be fixed, but it's nice not to have to compound the problem by buying a new one.

The only solution for flower tags is planting from seeds. I got stuck with a bunch of those this year too.

I love that you reveal all the accidents. It shows what changes we need to happen in the world -- simple things like wait staff ASKING if we want straws instead of giving them to us automatically would make a difference, wouldn't it?