March 11, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Melody, Week 2

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Our week 2 is more than a year after week 1. We did the challenge a while ago but I’ve been back sliding. Just want to see what we’re using.

Location:Santa Cruz, California, United States

Name: Melody

Week: 2

Personal Info:

Two adults and two children. I homeschool the kids and my partner works long hours a 35 minute drive away.

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

brought own containers to the store for many items

Total items collected: 54

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
paint bottle (#3)
3 cheese wrappers (bag with plastic bags and wrap)
broken food storage container (#2)
cold medicine bottle(#1)
cereal bag
7 other plastic bags (bread, CSA veggies, …)
wrap from gopher wire
bag from garden soil

bags and wraps can be bundled together for our curbside recycling

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 plant marker
4 milk caps and rings
1 bacon package
1 mini cheese wrapper
felt ears
chip bag
medicine cup (#6)
spaghetti package
2 seals from paint botttles
2 package fronts from toy boxes
14 teabag wrappers
2 bread tabs
2 safety seal from food jars
packaging from tin snips
3 crinkly bags
bubbles bottle (found in yard)

not collected: 2 or more trash bags, unknown # of envelope windows, and dental floss.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
we usually bake our own bread. We could get noodles from the bulk bins (though I buy a different shape. How do you get long skinny noodles out of a bin?) will try to be more gentle with frozen plastic to avoid breaking more containers.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Can skip the potato chips and individual cheese (came from a friend’s house so there was just 1)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
plastic seals on glass food jars, milk lids (for returnable bottles)

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?
Many items came from the compost bin project, which will reduce our trash bag use. So hopefully a net gain.

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