March 19, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Melody, Week 3

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Why is so much children’s art done with plastic?

Location:Santa Cruz, California, United States

Name: Melody

Week: 3

Personal Info:

2 adults, 2 kids

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

I brought my own cups for hot drinks out, and my own bags and bulk containers shopping.

Total items collected: 52

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
wrap from cookie
3 cheese wrap
tofu package
3 milk lids (#4)
2 ricotta cheese tubs (#5)
water bottle car (parts of it recyclable as #1,4)
meat package
2 bags
1 ziplock bag

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 tigermilk wrappers
1 candy wrapper
seal from paint bottle
bag from dried oranges
2 twisty ties and small plastic off screen of watch
2 stars with cellophane and pipe cleaners
tortilla chip bag
11 teabag wrappers
4 milk rings
1 card from junk mail
5 envelope windows
green mesh from grass
1 space ship model
old game made from foam egg carton
ice cream tub
single serving milk carton
sticky strip from lint brush

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
make granola bars instead of buying bars for kids

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
buy less sweets or make our own

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
milk , cheese, tortilla chips (while some people would see those as optional, they are very important to some household members)

As we dig up grass to plant other things we keep finding mesh from rolled sod. Not my purchase, but it’s there.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
A lot of our pile this week came from discarded art projects. How can I encourage people leading children’s classes not to use plastic trash as a material? (To be fair the egg carton game idea came from a mom who thought we’d be using cardboard egg cartons but more polystyrene ones were donated than cardboard ones).

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I was very pleased that my husband’s fancy new pebble watch came with only a tiny amount of plastic (the twist ties and screen protector). Most electronics is much worse. Lots of the plastic comes in for the kids: some bought by me in weak moments, some from other people (candy wrapper, some art projects)