February 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Rebecca M, Week 4

Rebecca's plastic waste

Name: Rebecca

Week: 4

Personal Info:
Read all about me in my Week 1 Challenge Post.

Blog: http://ecocatlady.blogspot.com

Total items: 30

Total weight: too lazy to weigh it this week

Items: Recyclable
1 – cat treat jar
1 – parmesean cheese jar
1 – cauliflower wrapper

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 – cat treat jar lid
1 – parmesean cheese jar lid
1 – lightbulb clamshell
1 – cheese wrapper
1 – tempeh package
1 – top of a bag from frozen scallops
1 – broccoli tag
1 – banana sticker
1 – milk cap ring
1 – wine cap
1 – wine seal
2 – jar lids
1 – candy wrapper
1 – piece of tape from diswasher soap box that was falling apart
1 – bit of duct tape
2 – soy sauce packets
2 – q tips
7 – breathe right strips

To be honest, there were also a pile of fruit stickers and envelope windows, but I got too lazy to collect them

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The light bulb clam shell, I found light bulbs in all cardboard boxes. Although… I really want to buy a LED light for the lamp in my front room, which is the lamp that is most used, but ALL of them come in hideous giant clamshell boxes big enough to hold 6 bulbs. AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! (sorry, just had to bitch)

Well, the soy sauce is not something I buy in single serving packs, it’s leftover from the occasional takeout splurge so I try to use them up when I make stir fry.

I did find “ear picks” on eBay for a dollar to replace Q-tips. Won’t help for the non-ear wax uses, but I will get one.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
The candy. It was a leftover from Halloween. BTW – I have a crisis every year at Halloween. Has anybody come up with a better alternative for what to hand out that isn’t toxic and/or plastic?

Bananas – I’m actually having a bit of a crisis about bananas, which you can read all about here if you want to be bored and/or amused: http://ecocatlady.blogspot.com/2011/02/banana-excuses.html

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Ug… I’m getting down to where most of it feels fairly essential without giving up some things I’m not willing to part with, like cheese and/or finding a way to spend a pile more money.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I WILL grow some cruciferous veggies this year and protect them from the aphid army. I WILLLL (that should solve some of the veggie plastic).

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Halloween Candy :)

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
No conclusions, I fear, just a whine… WHY must all cauliflower come wrapped in plastic. WHY????

One More Question:
Parmesan Cheese. I’m Italian… I can’t live without it. (OK I’m a quarter Italian, but it’s the part of my heritage that I identify with.) I generally buy it in big hunks at the deli when I can afford it because it is worlds better than the stuff in the jar, it still comes wrapped in plastic. Any suggestions?

6 comments
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)

Oh Beth, I'm so sorry about your mom. Please take good care of yourself and know that my thoughts are with you.

XOXOXO,

Rebecca

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Thanks, Rebecca. It's just all part of the journey.

Kisses back to you.

Beth

EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)
EcoCatLady (AKA Rebecca)

I haven't ordered the ear picks or tried the organic swabs yet (I still have 2 un-opened boxes of the regular kind in the closet.) I'll ask for no plastic packaging on the ear pick, but they're all being shipped from Hong Kong so I'm not gonna hold my breath!

I love your parmesean story! I may have to see if I can find a small deli or specialty store around here that can help. My last trip to the grocery store was comical. I ended up with 3 different varieties of parmesean (in the jar, in a bag and a solid block). My intention was to weight the cheese to plastic ratio and see how it worked out. Good GAWD I AM crazy! (But, we knew that...)

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Thanks, Rebecca. I have my health back, it seems! But sadly this flurry of posts is also because I have to leave for the East Coast again tomorrow to probably see my mom for the last time. I don't really want to dwell on that, but I do really want to get the challenge posts caught up before I go.

You crack me up. You cheese weighing sounds like something I would do.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Congratulations on completing Week 4!

That's so strange that your cauliflower comes wrapped in plastic. Ours comes naked. So many regional differences, which is why I have people list where they live on their challenge posts.

Please let me know about the ear picks when you get them. Hey, didn't you order those organic swabs? Or did you decide against them? Let me know about the packaging for the ear pick, too. Can you contact the seller and ask for no plastic packaging?

I hear you on the parmesan cheese. I went crazy and bought a whole wheel of parmesan-like cheese a while back:

http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/09/cheese-crazy-plastic-free/