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I’m 19 and a college student (U of M). I live in a dorm with one roommate. I have a meal plan so I don’t cook very often, but part of the meal plan is $200 dollars a semester for convenience foods and fast food. Off campus, it’s easy to find food in bulk or plastic-free packaging.
Total items: 10
4 granola/cereal bar wrappers
1 cereal bag
fig newtons wrapper and tray (tray is #6 polystyrene)
fragment from a bag of dried mangoes
tom’s of maine toothpaste cap
not pictured: tape from toothpaste box
What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
granola bar wrappers: I just bought a lot of ingredients (almost plastic-free!) so I can make granola bars when I go home next week.
cereal bag: I don’t actually know, but maybe cereal is available at Whole Foods. it definitely comes in recyclable plastic bags.
fig newtons: you can make them yourself, and it’s probably a lot healthier (but they’re my absolute favorite packaged junk food ever, and my roommate gets me them sometimes)
What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
dried mangoes: I got these because they’re available downstairs and I can use my “dining dollars” to buy them, but I don’t need them or even like them very much.
What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
eating oatmeal or granola for breakfast
not spending my dining dollars impulsively. you can use them for plastic-free things if you’re careful. maybe i should make a list of those things and keep it handy
What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
granola bar wrappers (I still have a couple more to finish up first)
What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Read all posts by: Tess
Hi Beth. The reason I don't have a lot of plastic trash is because I live in a dorm, and a lot of my food comes from the dining hall. When I move out in April, I will face a whole new set of challenges. I made my own granola bars, and they're really good! And I don't buy cereal, but my mom brings me food and it's often in plastic.
Hi Tess. Your plastic consumption is really minimal. Energy/granola bars were something I had to deal with at first too. Did you find cereal in the bulk bin? Our Whole Foods has a ton of bulk cereals and granolas.