Name: Tess Giles
I’m based in the UK, about 50 miles from London in a medium-sized town. I’m a single woman, mid 50s, child-free and live alone, apart from two cats, in a small house with a small garden. I do interim work projects, so sometimes I’m based at home, sometimes work away. We have road-side recycling collection once a week for paper and card, food scraps and garden waste, glass and some (not very many) plastics.
Total items: 26
Total weight: 13.5 oz
One plastic bottle of dishwasher cleaner
Wrapping from a bunch of flowers.
Two small carrier bags I got when I didn’t have my canvas shopper with me.
One carton that had strawberries in it.
One small bag from mozarella cheese.
Two pasta sauce tubs.
Two cakes/desserts containers.
Two cartons from pre-prepared salads.
Two cartons from pre-prepared fruit salad.
Two large yoghurt tubs.
Various sheets of plastic wrapping/bags including bag that had fresh fish in.
Pointy thing from box of dates.
Two band-aid wrappers.
The shrinkwrap from a DVD.
What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
All the pre-prepared sauces, salads and cakes, which I tend to buy when I’m busy and/or depressed. Carrier bags.
I could learn to make my own yoghurt. I already have a yoghurt-maker I’ve never used.
What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
It’s difficult here to buy soft fruits not in plastic tubs. I’d be willing to give them up or find places that sell them direct and not in plastic (although then there’s petrol to consider).
What Items are essential and do not have a plastic alternative?
And wrappings for fresh foods like fish and cheese,which I would prefer not to give up but would if I absolutely had to.
And the dishwasher cleaner. I think it’s better use of energy overall to use the dishwasher since I already have one. Perhaps use the cleaner less often.
What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
What became crystal clear to me looking at this was that a lot of it could be avoided if I were better organised – bought fresh food and made the time to cook it.
Find my collapsible cloth shopper bag and carry it with me always.
Rent or download DVDs, don’t buy them.
What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Are there any other conclusions I can draw?
I was really shocked at the amount. I’ve thought of myself as quite environmentally-friendly, but it seems that I’m far too prone to treat myself “just this once”.