April 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Rebecca Jackson, Week 2

Rebecca's plastic waste

Name: Rebecca Jackson

Week: 2

Personal Info:
I live in the city of Springfield, MA, I’m female, I live with two cats, I work full time.

Total items: 17

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 plastic bag from green beans
2 clamshell from blueberries
3 plastic bottle from moisturizer
4 plastic bottle from salad dressing

bag goes back to the grocery store
other three go out with my curbside recycling

Items: Nonrecyclable
5 styro tray from cheese (not in photo)
6 plastic wrap from cheese (not in photo)
7-8 plastic bag from cauliflower x2
9 wrapper from a coupon that was in the bag of cat food
10 plastic window from box of pasta
11 plastic cover from dental floss
12 plastic pump lid from moisturizer
13 container from anti-perspirant
14 plastic lid from salad dressing
15 styrofoam cup of coffee (not in photo)
16 plastic lid from coffee (not in photo)
17 wrappers from bite-size chocolate bars someone brought to the staff lounge

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
once I get some net produce bags, I won’t still need plastic to buy fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I ought to give up the chocolate candy and the coffee, regardless of the packaging, but at the time I bought the coffee I needed it to be safe to drive.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I can’t buy the blueberries, lotion, or salad dressing without the plastic container, but those are recyclable.

I can’t buy cheese, cauliflower, pasta (or even the semolina to make my own pasta), dental floos, or anti-perspirant without throwing away plastic containers.

I didn’t know about the coupon that was in the bag of cat food before I brought it into my house.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I could dress my salads with vinegar (can buy in glass) and oil (can buy in steel) but I don’t want to give up the occasional other dressings. Once summer comes and the farm markets are open and my yard is bearing, I will bring less plastic in with my vegetables.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Did better on the take-out food plastic this week, so I’m sticking with that goal for hte coming week.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I am less motivated to reduce my plastic consumption when it requires giving up things that I otherwise value (like cauliflower and dental floss).

2 comments
Rebecca Jackson
Rebecca Jackson

That beautiful black kitty is my Godzilla, and he likes to be in the middle of whatever I'm up to. :-)

I have not seen EcoDent, but I also hadn't been looking, and now I will.

There ARE stores in my region that have bulk bins, but not within a distance that I could make them my routine sources. I buy a lot of my non-perishable foods in bulk directly from the farmer (through local harvest etc), and I think I am more committed to being carfree and getting my food dollars into the hands of small local farmers than I am to getting the food packaged without plastic. That said, small producers who know me personally are even more likely to accommodate my requests for different packaging than my local full-line grocery store, and I haven't tried that before.