September 30, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Katie Sumner, Week 1


Any and all. My big thing is yogurt cups. I love yogurt. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I keep on with this.

Location:Beavercreek, Ohio, United States

Name: Katie Sumner

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I am a 28 year-old woman and I live in a small house on a half acre lot in Ohio. I work at a used bookstore, love to write, sculpt, draw and read. I’m a beekeeper, vegetarian, native-plant enthusiast and generally considered myself to be pretty eco-minded. I had no idea how huge my plastic footprint was though! What an awakening. With the help of this blog, I’m going to try and reduce my use of plastics as much as I can.

Katie Sumner’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Several plastic bags while shopping.
Disposable coffee cup (used a mug instead).

Total items collected: 88

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Will add later.

Items: Nonrecyclable
14 plastic tampon applicators
14 plastic tampon wrappers
1 plastic bag containing cat poo
2 plastic-coated cardboard microwavable food trays.
at least 4 plastic film coverings on microwavable food packages and cereal package.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Cheese, apples from the farmers market.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
My single use, pre-packaged Amy’s meals.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

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?
My Amy’s meals.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I have a long way to go, but now that I really SEE what I use…knowledge is power!

5 Responses to “Plastic Challenge: Katie Sumner, Week 1”

  1. Welcome Katie and thank you for participating in the Plastic Trash Challenge. I noticed in your photo you use Mineral Fusion for your shampoo and conditioner. I’ve used this brand in the past for my hair as well and was really disappointed to discover it contains cocamide which is a carcinogen. It’s listed as Cocamidopropyl Betaine on the shampoo bottle. You can read more about it here:
    I’ve since switched to baking soda as my shampoo and apple cider vinegar that’s been diluted with water as my conditioner and I’m a big fan of this plastic free alternative that also doesn’t contain dangerous cocamides or any other chemicals. 
    I tried searching for dairy farms in Beavercreek that may sell yogurt that comes in glass but unfortunately I wasn’t able to location one. I am such a huge fan of yogurt as well and am so thankful I’m able to find a plastic free yogurt where I live. I hope you’re also able to locate a store that sells yogurt in glass as it taste so much better. 
    Take a look around the site and let us know what new plastic alternatives you incorporate in your daily life. And remember, every bit helps and by asking for plastic free alternatives it will also spread awareness to others.

    • bluestem10 says:

      Hello, and thank you so much for your kind comment.   A huge thank you for letting me know about the carcinogens in my shampoo/conditioner!  Stuff like that makes me so mad…you think you’re making a better choice and then find out that there’s dangerous chemicals lurking inside!  It doesn’t seem like it should be so hard for a company to keep from it. 
      I have been interested in making my own shampoo, conditioner and deodorant for a while now and had read good things about baking soda.  This may be a stupid question, but do you do anything to the baking soda prior to use, or do you just rub some into your hair?  What ratio of apple cider to water do you use?  Any information would be helpful at this point. :D  I feel like a child lost in the woods.
      I found a few recipes for yogurt online, and it doesn’t seem that difficult to do.  I’m going to give them a try once mine runs out.  If I can find ingredients that aren’t packaged with plastic may be another story. 
      Thanks again for the recommendations and letting me know about my shampoo!

      • BethTerry says:

        Hi. Everyone’s hair is different, but here’s how I use baking soda as shampoo:

        • bluestem10 says:

          Thanks so much for the link.  I was planning an outing today, so I’ll pick up some ACV and maybe some essential oils and see how it works with my scalp/hair type.  :)

      • bluestem10 I was really upset as well when I found out the shampoo and conditioner I was spending a ton of money on was tainted with carcinogens. It’s really disappointing… As far as the baking soda goes, for me personally, it took me a while to get used to it. When I first started using baking soda as a shampoo, I wasn’t using enough for my hair. I have short hair but a lot of it so I need about a 1/2 cup worth of baking soda in order to wash my hair completely. I just scoop some into my hand and then get a few drops of water on top and then just lather my scalp. I also use a little coconut oil once or twice a week as a deep conditioning treatment. I’m really amazed at how well baking soda as a shampoo works. It seals the hairs cuticle so you have less flyways, it’s great!