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July 12, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 8

 

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Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 8

Personal Info:

See week 7.

Ellen Simpson’s personal blog: http://www.housebehindtheotherhouses.blogspot.com

Total items: 56

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
2 Coke cans
2 cat food cans and lids
small #4 bag

Items: Nonrecyclable
shaving cream can
2 pieces styrofoam, 2 plastic bags, and bubble wrap bag from new blu-ray player
Haagen-Dazs ice cream lid and seal
another lid
6 bottle caps
4 butter containers (from work)
sponge, sponge wrapper
2 soy sauce containers
3 straws
pop tart wrapper
cheese wrapper
4 Hostess Cupcake wrappers
expired insurance card
expired membership card
padded envelope
takeout container
cookie package
cream cheese wrapper
Twix wrapper
toothbrush
12 miscellaneous small pieces of plastic

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
sponge and sponge wrapper — I can get Twist sponges, which say they have no plastic. I just need to use up the ones we have (and I think we can make them last a long time)
Straws — my sister had two metal straws she wasn’t using and she gave them to me this week!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
shaving cream can — I prefer to use soap, but a few months ago I decided to give shaving cream a try. I am totally fine just using soap.
soy sauce containers — I was very clear with the guy at the Chinese restaurant that I didn’t want any plastic, but I still found these in my bag.
Pop Tart wrapper — these are from before the challenge
Hostess Cupcake wrappers — also from before the challenge
Takeout container — this is from before the challenge. I reuse them, and this one finally cracked.
Cookie package — before the challenge

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Haagen-Dazs ice cream lid and seal. It is essential. End of subject.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Just more vigilance in general.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I’m going to try to make hamburger buns from scratch!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’m getting discouraged by the amount of plastic we keep generating. I know a lot of it is from before we started the challenge, but still, it’s discouraging.

Read all posts by: Ellen Simpson,Massachusetts,United States

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2 comments
Ellen
Ellen

Hi Beth, Okay, I just posted my next week's tally. What I found was that there was very little old plastic, but the amount of plastic was less than in previous weeks, so I was fairly happy with it. I will keep that idea in mind for future weeks, though. Also, I just placed an order for Skoy cloths! Thanks for the info! Ellen

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Ellen. You're doing great. If you're discouraged buy old plastic, you could separate your tally into two piles -- old stuff and new stuff -- and focus on seeing how the new stuff is reduced. Twist sponges don't have plastic, but they come in plastic packaging. My favorite wipe is Skoy Cloths. They are really amazing and come plastic-free. Here's my review, which incidentally includes a comparison with Twist: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/10/skoy-cloths-theyre-plastic-free-and/