August 8, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 7


Any plastic tips when you’re going camping?

Maybe bring my own ice from my freezer? What do I do if that ice melts?

What’s the best way to buy firewood without the packaging? Drive around and find a resident selling firewood from their front yard?

Seems like most camping or prepared foods are wrapped in plastic. Any ideas on this one?

Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States

Name: Hanh Pham

Week: 7

Personal Info:

This is my second go around with the Plastic Free Challenge. Last time, I made it to week 3. I hope I’ll be able to keep tabs on my plastic use for longer this time.

I am super passionate about reducing my waste. I bring reusable containers wherever I dine out so I don’t get non-recyclable plastic… or styrofoam. I bring stainless steel utensils and a water bottle with me too.

I am intrigued about how close I can get to zero waste. Hence, some of my pictures have other recyclables in there. Oops!

I live in a 3-flat with my husband, and we don’t have any pets.

Hanh Pham’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
I refused Kefir in a plastic bottle. Instead, I had bread and jelly for breakfast while camping.

Total items collected: 12

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Peanut butter container
Plastic lids from salad container
Tofu container

Items: Nonrecyclable
Plastic inside wrapping from sprouted bread
Meshy bag from firewood

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Make my own peanut butter at home or at the grocery store (and bring my own container)

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?
Sprouted bread

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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3 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 7"

2 years 1 month ago

Hi Hahn!
I am an avid camper, and I do a few things to eliminate my plastic waste while camping.
For the ice bags, I recommend using reusable ice packs (like the gel packs, or hard-plastic liquid packs that freeze into blocks) –something like this (but not necessarily this brand–I just googled “ice pack”)
Also, don’t bring stuff with you when you’re camping that requires too much refrigeration. I usually bring eggs (which can stay room temperature for about a week–contrary to how they come at the grocery store), fruits, veggies, bread, peanut butter in a glass jar, cheese, and other things that don’t need to be kept super cold.
For fire wood, some of the places I go to sell wood in cardboard boxes, while other places sell loose wood. I keep my eye out en route for those plastic-free options. I also bring a lot of kindling, so that lighter fluid is not needed.
Lastly, what kind of camping or packaged foods are you referring to? I agree that almost everything I come across in this category is packaged, so I don’t eat it. But, perhaps we can brainstorm some alternatives.
Well done!

2 years 2 months ago

I love sprouted bread too and am so sad I can’t find this in a plastic free alternative.

2 years 2 months ago

Wow, awesome job on week 7! Keep up the good work!