August 2, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 2

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What to do with plastic labels from glass bottles???? I peel them off since I like to run the bottles through the dishwasher and we know the glue from labels is not good for our other dishes, or the machine.

Location:Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Name: Eve Stavros

Week: 2

Personal Info:

I recently retired early and moved from Florida to Virginia, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m fortunate to live in the basement apartment of my best friend’s beautiful log home, where I have time to garden, read, cook, play with my cat, Armani, and SLEEP! Living on a budget, but enjoying some travel – and most of all the time to enjoy the slow life.

I’ve been following this blog and posting for more than a year, but finally decided to join in the challenge – yeah, it’s cheating a little, since I waited until the big plastic consumption pack/move was finished….

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

Freebie plastic pedometer
Straws
shopping bags
bottled water

Total items collected: 56

Total weight: 5.7 oz

Items: Recyclable
Milk bottle cap & rings – 3
Vitamin bottle ring – 1
Plastic case from pedometer I purchased – 1
Misc plastic case from solar battery cell – 1
plastic wrapper/bag from case of canning jars – 1

Items: Nonrecyclable
candy wrappers – 3 (give me strength!!! Those Lindts are killer!)
plastic labels from glass jars – 2
envelope from yogurt starter – 1
cheese wrapper from Ikea farmer’s cheese – 1
seals from vitamins – 2
seal from citric acid (but now I can make like 20 lbs of mozzarella!) – 1
dill pickling mix package (it was a freebie) – 2
packaging tape – 2
toothbrush bag – 1
plastic sheets from French door glass – OUCH!! – 30
Misc plastic trash I picked up on my porch – 3
Plastic envelope window – 1

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Toothbrush – I bought a Preserve w/mailer, but still have 2 or 3 from my dentist.
Yogurt starter – I try to use my previous batch, but it doesn’t always work, so I use a new culture every 3rd time or so (I’ve cut back from every time, so that’s at least some savings)
Individually wrapped candy – make some plastic-free sweet to have on hand when I get the craving.

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Milk bottle cap & rings

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Spend some time scouring the thrift stores before the gigantic tomato harvest begins so I don’t have to buy new jars!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Pickling mix – make my own from scratch
Those darn Lindt candies!!!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’m still dealing with the vestiges of moving in, and using up existing plastic-wrapped items. I wonder if it’s better to use them up myself (like unopened toothbrushes, dental floss, travel-sized toiletries, etc) or give them away to someone who might not use them as long as I would or dispose of them responsibly.