May 10, 2010

Barbara Watts, Week 1

Barbara Watts's plastic waste

Name: Barbara Watts

Personal Info:
My boyfriend and I live together in St. Petersburg, Florida. When he heard I was going to do this, he said he wanted to participate also. We are both in our 50’s. Bob is going to school in the morning and work in the afternoon. I am working from home right now. I watch my 5 month old grandson 5 days a week, but I did not include his diapers.

Total items: 40

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
3 gatorade bottles
1 water bottle
1 chinese food tray #5
1 brita filter – goes to gimme 5
5 shopping bags – get reused or go back to store
1 bread bag – get reused or go back to store
1 bagel bag – get reused or go back to store
1 styrofoam egg carton goes back to store

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 styrofoam meat trays and plastic
4 styrofoam coffe cups with tops
1 chip bag
2 veggie wrappers
1 grape bag
1 coffee bag
1 spice container
1 milk container not recyclable in our area
1 ice cream carton
1 oatmeal top
4 emergenC packets
1 frozen dog food bag
3 baggies
The trash bag at the top was our trash for the week. That includes all the babies diapers. 1 trash bag

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic?
The shopping bags are something I am trying to help Bob with. He has a hard time remembering to take cloth bags. I have one in my purse, so I usually don’t need plastic. We did find coffee in a paper bag. Bob needs a good alternative to the styrofoam coffee cups. I have invested in glass storage containers to get away from baggies. I am also looking for a good way to carry take out food.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
All of Bob’s stuff (haha jk)
That’s hard because I have already done a lot of giving up and switching.

What Items are essential and do not have a plastic alternative?
We live in the city and don’t have easy access to a farmers market or farms. The essentials would be:
egg cartons
meat trays
ice cream carton – yep essential
frozen dog food
bags that fruit and veggies are packaged in.
milk or half and half cartons
bags for bread products
corn chips

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I did just switch from liquid shower soap to bar soap. Easy change I had not thought of before. I tried to go no-poo for two weeks but could not get it right. My hair was a mess. I am now using a high priced shampoo from the health food store and wish I could get the no-poo thing to work. I am planning on making cloth bags for the fruits and veggies we can get unpackaged. There is a new bar-b-que place that just opened up and I asked the owner if I could bring my own container for take out. Little things like that.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
no more baggies for me. I am going to ask Bob to keep a couple of cloth bags in his truck.

Are there any other conclusions I can draw?
The exercise was a big help for us. I didn’t realize how fast it would pile up. Now I can see more clearly where we need to cut down. We didn’t save our plastics this week, but will start again on Saturday.

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