October 11, 2010

Amanda R., Week 1

Amanda's plastic waste

Name: Amanda

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I live alone in Tucson, Arizona. I’m a lawyer, moved to Tucson 2 months ago, in graduate school getting an LLM.

Total items: 47

Total weight: 10.5 oz

Items: Recyclable
1 packaging for cell phone (#1) – gets tossed in a big dumpster of recyclables along with everything else (cardboard, glass, paper, etc.)

possibly 8 plastic bags that items ordered on line were shipped in. I’ve been told that Target accepts plastic carrier bags for recycling – don’t know if they also take these or not.

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 plastic ties that held items on cardboard cards
1 plastic-lined paper pasta bag
2 cracker or cereal bags
1 luna bar wrapper
1 granola wrapper
2 camping stove fuel pumps
1 milk bottle top
1 envelope window
1 straw
1 toothpick wrapper
2 bags that herbs came in at CSA
1 label off cheese
1 plug cover
1 bandaid package
1 eye drop package
1 seal from some jar
1 piece plastic wrap from fudge place
4 boxes bicycle lights and cellphone bits came in
2 plastic bags cellphone accessories came in
1 liner from new swimsuit
2 shipping envelopes
2 pieces to bacon package
8 plastic bags mentioned above
4 other random plastic packaging

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The pasta and granola are easy – found a bulk foods place that carries both.

The crackers and larabar are slightly harder – I ordered a book on making crackers, as well as the e-book you advertised with the lara bar recipes.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Some things were accidents – the straw, toothpick wrapper, plastic wrap on fudge.

Can buy bandaids in cardboard, and eye drops without additional packaging.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
The stove fuel pumps have to be plastic – but the two I threw out this week have lasted me 16 years, so I’m not too worried.

Not planning to give up bacon, or cell phone. Nor to choose a phone based on packaging.

The milk bottle top – it’s from the family farm that re-uses their glass bottles, and I’d like to support that.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
On-line shopping was a big contributor – not sure I’m ready to give up zappos!

As mentioned above, making my own snack foods, and getting cheese from a shop I found where they’ll slice a wedge off of the big wheel and wrap it in paper for me.

I’m visiting butchers trying to find those that will do the same…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

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