November 10, 2010

Amanda R., Week 4

Amanda's plastic waste

Name: Amanda

Week: 4

Personal Info:

Read Amanda’s description in her Week 1 post.

Total items: 7

Total weight: 1.8 oz

Items: Recyclable
1 #2 plastic bag that the bedding for my worms came in

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 envelope windows
1 coffee bag from CSA
1 lid from coffee cup
1 seal from molasses bottle

Not pictured:
1 individual cheese slice wrapper
1 plastic cup

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
The coffee cup — I always carry my own mug; almost always

The coffee bag — I hate to choose a different brand, because this is a Zapatista community group, paying fair prices, proceeds go to development projects, etc.

The carrier bag — I probably could’ve emptied the bedding into something else and returned it to the vermiculture people

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
I was traveling this week, so had different things available than usual — could’ve refused cheese on my burger, or declined a beverage in a plastic cup.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Like last week, it’s hard to get jars without plastic safety seals.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I could be firmer about going without when I don’t have non-plastic alternatives available

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
One thing I replaced this week was dish soap — I went and refilled my bottle from the bulk bottle at the food co-op, which is something I’ve never done before.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’ve had my worms for a week now, and it really does cut down on the garbage in the kitchen — no plastic trash bag discarded this week! (I’m still lining my trash can with plastic, it just isn’t full yet)

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