August 2, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Melody, Week 1

100_0774_2

This was a low bandaid week, usually there are many more. What’s an alternative that stays on busy kids and can be carted around in my purse?

Location:, California, United States

Name: Melody

Week: 1

Personal Info:

Family of 4. I homeschool our 2 kids.

Total items: 46

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 ziplock bag
broken parachute toy
3 tubes from quarter rolls
1 plastic bag from 3D glasses
1 bag from hair elastics
2 cheese wrappers
1 bag from meat
(all above are recyclable, bagged up with plastic bags)

1 medicine bottle #2
7 milk caps #4

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 safety seals from jars
5 rings from milk bottles
package from bath fizzy
seal and polyfluff from new medicine bottle
broken sunglasses
1 piece of bath texture
1 toothbrush head
blister pack from toothbrush head
2 bandaid wrappers (and bandaids which aren’t in picture)
3 dead markers
4 teabag wrappers
1 bacon package (not shown)
1 cream cheese foil (is this plastic lined? , not shown)

dental floss about 28 pieces (not shown)
trash bags(not shown)
4 straws(not shown)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I can try to be faster saying “no straw please”. Try to ask for paper on the quarter rolls.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
bath fizzy. This was found under the sink from long ago.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Cheese. local grass-fed beef.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I’m not sure. We switched to a lot of home cooking to avoid packaging this year after the 8 year old and I saw “Bag It”. I feel like we’ve eliminated the easy stuff now and I’m not sure where to go next.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Drinking tea from loose tea. Getting the kids used to colored pencils, so I won’t need to replace the markers when they’re used up/ left to dry out.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

4 comments
Melody
Melody

The meat is coming from the farmer's market already shrink wrapped and frozen. We buy meat sometimes from a local shop where I can bring my own container, but I also have a strong commitment to buying direct from local farmers. Maybe I can talk to them about packaging alternatives.

I'll have to try freezing cheese to see if buying a whole wheel would be an option.

The toothbrush head is an Eco Dent brush. I didn't feel that I got my teeth clean enough with the funny angle on the preserve brush, though one of my kids liked it.

How do you keep the scabs from forming through the gauze or cotton? Lots of ointment?

Rachael
Rachael

So much food packaging is still hard for me, but Band Aids are actually the easy one - we use cotton padding (cut as needed) and medical paper tape (also cut as needed) - you generally can find these in the first aid section of your drug or grocery store/ CVS, Rite Aid, etc -

And keeping the kids (and yourself) moisturized (for my baby i use Weleda Calendula cream in the morning and then if she has a scrape or minor cut i can use Weleda minor scrape ointment) reduces boo boo's drastically...

But it's a lovely inspiration to see someone doing so well with the challenge who has children...thanks and good luck!

Pheas
Pheas

Cheese and beef are definitely not essential. Keep in mind that staying healthy reduces plastic, too!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Wow Melody, it seems like you've already made great progress. Cheese and meat are tough ones. Is it possible to bring your container to the butcher shop for local meat? Or is it delivered from the farm pre-packaged? I found whole cheese wheels out here that are not wrapped in plastic, and I buy a whole wheel, grate it, and freeze it in glass jars. Is that a possibility?

Bandaids -- I have not found an alternative, but I did post the question on Facebook in case anyone else has an idea. Check it out: http://www.facebook.com/MyPlasticfreeLife/posts/244819945538878

3D glasses -- save them and bring them with you next time so you don't have to take new ones. I know they reuse the ones they get back, but if you bring your own, you eliminate the plastic bag.

Toothbrush head -- Is that an electric toothbrush or some other kind? If electric, it's a pet peeve of mine that they won't take back the heads for recycling. If not electric, there are less plastic alternatives. Let me know.

Cheers! And welcome to the challenge!