April 29, 2010

Condo Blues, Week 2

Condo Blue's  plastic waste

Name: Condo Blues (http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/)

Personal Info:
I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband and dog.

Total items: 11

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 Milk jug #2 & cap
1 mustard bottle #2 & cap
The hard plastic caps will be recycled via Aveda

Items: Nonrecyclable
5 plastic bags – I will reuse these for doggie pickup
1 plastic wrapper from a stack of junk mail sales postcards
1 plastic laundry soap wrapper
1 plastic pill blister pack
1 plastic frozen yogurt spoon

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic?
First off the frozen yogurt spoon because I was caught off guard that day. I went to brunch w/ my husband to a restaurant that uses real utensils & didn’t bring my own. Later we wandered around and found a new yogurt shop & were tempted into a plastic spoon. The plastic pill blister pack is prescription and now comes in metal. I make my own laundry detergent and used Zote because I couldn’t find Fels Naptha which comes in a paper wrapper at my grocery store. I could and do often use bath soap in the mix but I think a laundry soap works a bit better.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I’ll stick to locally made ice cream with giant fruit chunks on an ice cream cone instead of the frozen yogurt in a cup – yeah a big sacrifice I know :)

I’d love to get off of the on time pack of cards mailing list but I’m not sure who sent it. It was for all old people things like grab bars and whatnot. I shredded the paper and added it to my compost for carbon.

What Items are essential and do not have a plastic alternative?

The milk to be sure. My husband drinks gallons of Ohio sourced hormone free milk and this is how it comes. We prefer to get our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat than from taking supplements (that often come in plastic bottles.) Our other drinks are plastic free – coffee, tea, juice, tap water, and the occasional craft beer.

We keep frozen vegetables on hand for in between shopping trips since we have winter. The farmer’s markets and our CSA haven’t started up yet. It will be interesting to see how our plastic changes once we start having vegetables delivered in our CSA share each week.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

I cook using a little of this and a little of that. 9 of my plastic items are from bulk items. I cut and shred hunks off the big bar of laundry soap to make powdered batches of laundry detergent. The other ingredients come in cardboard boxes. I could yell at the little girl who puts the advertising bag on my doorstep each week not to but I can’t be that mean. I shred the flyers inside for carbons after I read them for my compost and reuse the bag for doggie duty – we’re required to bag it and paper doesn’t work very well.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I already replaced the plastic pill pack with foil. I’m a mustard fiend and like having different flavors in my fridge. I should go with ones in glass jars. And suffer through that local ice cream on a cone instead of yogurt in a cup. The bread – I was curious about how a gluten free spelt bread tasted and bought it.

Are there any other conclusions I can draw?
9 of my plastic items are from bulk/non one use items. 5 of the items (the bags) are going to be reused for the dog before being put in the trash. I do try to buy multiuse size as much as possible. My city has plastic recycling but I still try to make mindful purchases because I have to take all of my recycling to a city dumpster. We don’t have curbside pickup and I’m a bit lazy so I try to make purchases so that the recycling bin won’t fill up quickly either :)

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