January 29, 2011

Ashley Paul, Week 1

Ashley's plastic waste

Name: Ashley Paul

Week: 1

Personal Info:
I am 23, single, no children, one cat. I recently started rock climbing which involves quite a bit of plastic (the ropes, harness parts, etc.) which also requires a lot of prep as far as nourishment goes. Since March of last year I have been trying to go as plastic-free as possible since reading No Impact Man’s blog and taking his one week challenge to do right by our lovely planet Earth. There are two co-ops within 20 miles of where I live.

Total items: 18

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
*3 cheese stick wrappers (I usually don’t eat these single servings of cheese but – long story short – they were acquired and used on a climbing trip this weekend.

*1 compostable corn plastic cup from Burgerville (a fast food joint that uses local farms as their only venders); a friend ordered a shake and I took a few sips without even thinking.

*6 plastic windows from envelopes (2 are missing from picture)

*6 produce stickers

*1 can lima beans (also missing from picture)

*1 straw that came in my water at a restaurant. (Warning: bartenders ALWAYS put straws in your drinks, even water.)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Produce stickers, envelope windows?, cheese stick wrappers, straw?

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
I could buy bulk cheese to reduce the plastic impact, bring my own reusable cup to restaurants if I’m feeling the itch for a shake, and I could call the businesses that are sending me mail with plastic windows and 1) request that they use a plain envelope or 2) request that I be taken off their mailing list (if applicable).

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
Individually wrapped cheese sticks.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Fruit and veggies – rarely do they come without the plastic stickers.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Cook more regularly at home instead of eating out so much. This will reduce my incidentals (straws in my water order, dipping sauces in plastic cups, etc.)

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Anything that is individually wrapped.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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