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First off, a bit about me for background context: I’m 23 years old and I live in Ann Arbor, MI (college town home to U of M) with my husband. Both of us work full-time away from the home. We just moved here a month ago and have gone from an apartment without any recycling to a house with curbside and an excellent recycling center. I drop off at the recycling center since I bring home recycling from work and it won’t all fit in the curb bin.
This was originally post in my blog on May 26th, 2009.
–2 Mt. Dew bottles: not sure what the # is, but I know they’re recyclable
–Softsoap Hand Soap:It was in the house when we got here.
–1 Sprite bottle: #?, but I know they’re recyclable. conscious–bought for Tim last week
–Starbucks cup: #1 plastic, recyclable. I have many reusable mugs but none of them work very well for Frappucinos. And I do love Frappucinos. Starbucks has a reusable cup and straw for cold drinks, but thats also made of plastic.
–Plastic Cap from Mirin bottle: Recyclable at Aveda Salon
–Spic and Span bottle: bought forever-a-go. Just finished. Plastic #2
–Straw from Starbucks: no straw, no Frappucino.
–Beef Jerky Package: also conscious.
–Corners from 2 skittles bags: where are the bags? Hidden somewhere on Tim’s desk, I think.
–Bag from bike basket: the metal bike basket came packaged in this
–Plastic packaging from new razor: apparently 4 blades are not manly enough for Tim
–Bag for Sub buns
–2 cheese wrappers: these were bought when we had people helping us move.
–Tostitos bag: also bought when we were moving by others
–Plastic cap from soy milk: at least we can recycle Tetrapaks, that soy milk maker scares me.
–Plastic cover for electrical plug: this was covering the plug on our can opener. Surprise plastic.
–Bag used for bagels at Whole Foods: (didn’t have enough reusables with me)
–5 Claritin packages: for Tim’s allergies
–3 markers for flowers: from the flats of flowers I bought a while ago
–Tag from Broccoli: apparently some people can’t tell that its broccoli without the tag.
–Zip-loc bag: I wash and reuse all of them until they get holes in them.
–Plasticky paper strip covering envelope seal from NetFlix
–Tag holders from new rugs
–Orange Juice tab: that little thing that lets you know that no one has “tampered” with your orange juice. Who actually tampers with orange juice?
–Cheezits inner bag: Tim gets these everyday at lunch.
–Frozen cocktail shrimp bag: bought a while ago. Just finished.
–Plastic bag from Bed, Bath, and Beyond: sent Tim to BB&B to get those felt things for furniture on hardwood floors and he brought them back in a bag.
Total Weight: 312 grams
* What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
-Plastic bagel bag: I actually worked this one out for groceries this week and brought my reusable bag for them.
-Shrimp, Beef Jerky: from their respective counters at Whole Foods
* How many of these items are from “convenience” foods that could be made from scratch with less packaging but might take more time to prepare?
-I could make my own soy milk, but that machine grosses the heck out of me.
-Cheese in ’singles’ wrappers: bought my guests on our moving day for hamburgers. I usually bring my own containers to the deli.
-We don’t really eat a lot of “convenience foods”….
* What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I am not sure if this is a cop-out to this question or not, but one of my answers is the Skittles, Claritin, Cheezits, and sub-buns. It seems dumb and unnecessary, but I think if I took those away from my husband I might become a divorcee very soon after.
* What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
-I’m trying! I could give up pop (note: again) or scour the world to find Mt. Dew still in glass bottles.
* What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
-The ‘fluke’ items will definitely be gone: bag from those darn bagels, bag from Bed, Bath, and Beyond when Tim went to buy stuff (and he should know better by now)
* What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Overall, I think I did pretty well. 312 grams is less than one pound (or 11 ounces). We don’t eat a lot of convenience foods, but I still feel like there is a lot of conscious plastic that I can’t really do anything about. Like that little seal in the inside of the orange juice–do I not buy the juice because of that? Or do I not buy things because of that little piece of plastic attaching the price tag?
That’s it for right now. I have another tally to do tonight, so we’ll see how that goes.
Read all posts by: Jessica in Ann Arbor