January 27, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Emily, Week 1

Emily's plastic waste

[A few items are not shown in this photo.]

Name: Emily

Week: 1

Personal Info:
I live in a town of 1200 just outside a small college town of 15000 in coastal northern california. Even though the population is small we have a pretty good eco-groovy culture including 2 natural food stores.

I also have a large garden space that allows for preservation and storage of food, only I wasn’t able to participate in that last summer as I was writing my thesis instead. :(

Total items: 5

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
– Straus half and half cap (#2)
– Straus creamer cap (#2)

Items: Nonrecyclable
– a fishing license
– a kitchen sponge wrapper (even at the coop there were no plastic free sponge package options)
– spaghetti (i planned dinner poorly and had to buy noodles at the local store > didn’t want to drive 10 minutes to buy them in bulk
– guitar string holder

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I know there are options for kitchen sponges other than the ones at the store. I need to research and plan accordingly.
The spegetti was just bad planning. But I did get spegetti in a box with only a small plastic window vs all plastic.
I just wasn’t thinking when I bought the guitar strings. There are other options that i WILL use next time that come in cardboard.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
the fishing license

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
More planning. A redesign of my kitchen to better use jars for bulk items.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
hmmm… I will try giving up yogurt as I attempt to make my very own for the first time.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I feel empowered every time I decide to do without a plastic item. I feel empowered when I find plastic free alternatives to plastic. I feel the empowerment I feel from reducing plastic will empower other aspects of my life as well.

I feel thankful for all those who are trying to reduce plastic in their lives and the inspiration I receive from them when they share their stories and knowledge.

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