May 11, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Sarah M. Braik, Week 2

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lids, printer cartridge packaging

Location:Standish, Maine, United States

Name: Sarah M. Braik

Week: 2

Personal Info:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
plastic lid on paper coffee cup–it was in a Starbucks in Boston and when they asked if I was sure I did not want a lid I announced rather loudly that I was giving up plastic. Quite a few people looked interested but I guess I missed a teaching opportunity here. Plastic wrap on 4 oz. cheese I bought from a larger block.

Total items collected: 35

Total weight: not known

Items: Recyclable
1 honey jar #1
1 pc. saran wrap from an ancient and very moldy piece of ginger in the fridge
2 vitamin bottles #1
1 package from frozen kelp
9 plastic thingummies that enable me to seal envelopes without licking them
1 plastic stamp sheet
1 toothpaste tube
1 mustard jar #1
3 lids from feta/yogurt jars
4 produce stickers
8 assorted lids
2 security doodads from new glass bottle of vitamins
1 plastic packaging from printer toner cartridge

Items: Nonrecyclable
none are recyclable except the 4 # 1 jars, which are recycled in my town.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
vitamin jars–new ones are all glass
mustard–after I finish my stash I am making my own
honey jar–bought 3 pound jar of honey that I will reuse
saran wrap–haven’t used it since 3 months ago when I wrapped the ginger
envelopes with plastic strips
toothpaste tube–I still have one more in my stash and then I’ll switch to tooth powder
produce stickers–I actually looked through the organic oranges for ones without stickers–found 3

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
none of the above

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
some of the lids and security packaging, although I will inquire of Balfour Farms if they can use recyclable plastic or metal lids.
I don’t think I could bring myself to give up eating kelp daily, and don’t see how they could package it differently.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Cleaning may not be quite as easy.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I suspect the paper cup of coffee from Starbucks may have had plastic in it–will be sure to bring my ceramic coffee cup with me when I may want coffee while out.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Every week I am more astonished at the places I find plastic! I thought I would have less plastic week 2 but that was not the case. It will take me a while to use up all the plastic packaging I already have–and I thought I was mindful before that! I am also concerned about glass jars that I don’t have a reuse for–am trying to severely limit all throw away items.

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