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February 20, 2011

Benne’ Rockett, Week 1

 

Name: Benne’ Rockett

Week: 1

Personal Info:
After 27 years of raising children, I am now living alone in my home in Austin, TX.

Total items: 21

Total weight: 133g

Items: Recyclable
4 #2 Plastic Bags
2 #1 containers for berries
4 non-recyclable wraps for kitchen gadgets
1 plastic twist tie for lettuce
2 garment type tabs for price tags
1 plastic lid from a tin of coffee
3 parts of broken plastic items (water pick; solar garden light)
4 light weight packagings

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 non-recyclable wraps for kitchen gadgets
1 plastic twist tie for lettuce
2 garment type tabs for price tags
1 plastic lid from a tin of coffee
3 parts of broken plastic items (water pick; solar garden light)
4 light weight packaging from boxed goods

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
All of the plastic bags from previous grocery runs.
Purchase loose lettuce
Coffee beans instead of canned coffee
Make more bulk purchases to reduce non-recyclable packaging

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I began the process by going grocery shopping. I came home with one plastic item – the twist tie for the lettuce. During the course of the week I was horrified by the number of plastic items I was using throughout the week. I think that I could reduce my plastic consumption to ZERO as long as I follow the guidelines I set for myself during the shopping of this first week.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I’m not sure what alternative I have for a water pick but I am open to suggestions. I know that there are metal solar lights.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
When I went shopping this first week, I made certain that every alternative shopping bag was in my car. I purchased meats and cheese wrapped in paper from the butcher and deli section. Though a bit more expensive, it was wholly worth the expense. I placed all of my produce in a single chico bag and checked myself out, allowing me to avoid the thin produce bags used for single items.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
ALL OF THEM
However, even though I will not be making plastic purchases, I realize that I still have many items that remain in my household from prior shopping.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Recycling is a great place to start, but reduction is what will make the greater difference. I love this exercise because it not only made me mindful of my own habits and there contribution to a larger issue, but connected very nicely with the professional work I do. I am planning on using this exercise with my students. I am an activist, working with youth on reducing teen dating violence. I can very readily see a connection between my work and this exercise.

Please give me suggestions!
What can I use instead of a water pick?

Read all posts by: Benne Rockett

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1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Benne'. Thanks for taking the challenge. Mindfulness is the point, isn't it? I'm sorry I don't have a plastic-free water pick for you. Do you need it? I use a toothbrush and floss. Of course, the floss is made from Nylon (there is silk floss, but it comes in a plastic case) and the toothbrush is recycled plastic. This is my dental hygiene regimen: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/04/plastic-free-dental-floss-not-quite/