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January 4, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Mary Katherine, Week 10

 

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Location:Mountain View, California, United States

Name: Mary Katherine

Week: 10

Personal Info:

My name is Mary Katherine and I’m 17. I live with my mum and sister. I’m trying to produce less waste to help the planet.

Mary Katherine’s personal blog: http://theplasticfreechef.com/

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
plastic shopping bags
plastic produce bags
bottled water
stephen colbert’s americone dream
crackers
a slice of pumpkin cheesecake at whole foods… O_O
bacon chocolate (yes, bacon chocolate. that’s a real thing.)
yogurt in a plastic tub (got it in a glass jar)
a loaf of bread in a plastic bag

Total items collected: 17

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
none

Items: Nonrecyclable
sheet from lint roller
seal from a jar
plastic bag I reused a couple times that got nasty
packaging tape
tape roll
toothpaste tube
3 milk rings
ribbon
lays chip bag (holidays…)
bacon chocolate bar wrapper
ice cream tub (agh! i seriously feel like someone is trying to sabotage my efforts because there’s always ice cream in my freezer when i open it.)
udon noodle package
plastic tape around noodles (i kid you not. there was tape around the noodles.)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I can eat normal chocolate wrapped in foil instead of the plastic wrapped bacon chocolate I like to get. I can also make homemade noodles in my new pasta machine instead of buying them.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I won’t get a new thing for my lint roller when the sheets run out. Lint rollers are kinda silly and I don’t really need one.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Toothpaste. I was using a baking soda concoction for a while, but my gums started to hurt a lot. I switched to Lush toothy tabs but I got the same thing. I also tried some tooth powder from Aquarian Bath, but it’s kind of messy and I don’t want to use it all the time because it doesn’t feel like its cleaning my teeth thoroughly. I want to make sure I’m using something that will prevent cavities and other horrors. My parents also spent tons of money on having me tortured at the orthodontist for eight years. If I mess my teeth up they won’t like it. So toothpaste won. Which sucks. I try not to use that much, but it still goes in the landfill. This is really frustrating to me. Why can’t something be invented that’s plastic free and will prevent my teeth from falling out? Maybe they could start selling bulk toothpaste… It could be like a frozen yogurt machine with toothpaste in it. (Mostly kidding, but I can picture it…)
Also, milk rings.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Trying not to make so many impulse buys at Whole Foods. This would help a lot.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Ice cream tubs. I’m going to try to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I had an ice cream maker but I dropped the freezer bowl and it broke. By the way, I’m sorry my picture is so bad.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Pretty good week, considering the holidays.

Read all posts by: California,Mary Katherine,United States

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2 comments
Mary Katherine
Mary Katherine

I'm using Nature's Gate right now. I emailed them asking them to change the packaging and they sent me coupons in the mail to make me shut up. I wish companies would deal with customer complaints by fixing the problem, not by sending them coupons to try and make them stop. I'm not necessarily looking for fluoride, just something that makes my mouth feel clean and doesn't hurt my gums. (The stuff I'm using right now doesn't have any fluoride in it.) My mum has some Ultrablast toothy tabs, so maybe I'll try them out. I also have a tin of tooth powder that I use sometimes but it doesn't make my mouth feel super clean. I hope I find something at some point but for now I'm just going to stick to what I have I guess.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Just so you know, bacon chocolate makes the baby Jesus cry. I don't know if this would help or not, but Lush just started selling different flavors in the U.S. My fave is Ultrablast, which has wasabi in it. It actually feels milder in my mouth, believe it or not. But of course there is no fluoride, if that's what you're after. I can't see what brand of toothpaste you have there, but if you get Tom's of Maine, even though it comes in a plastic tube, they will take it back and figure out how to recycle it. At least, that's what they claim: http://www.tomsofmaine.com/business-practices/environmental-practices/laminate-tube Okay, maybe the baby Jesus doesn't care about bacon chocolate. But even thinking about the taste of it makes me want to cry (yes, I've had it), so the next time you are tempted to buy bacon chocolate in a plastic wrapper, think about Beth sitting all alone crying and afraid to leave the house because there is bacon chocolate in the world, and see if that helps. JK!!!!!