October 13, 2009

Green_grrl – plastic garbage (week 1)

green_grrl - plastic garbage challenge - week 1
green_grrl - plastic garbage challenge - week 1

Week one is done.  Hadn’t quite thought about how personal posting pics of one’s garbage is!

Is worth it though.  Is such an eye opener and it’s already having an impact.  Today at work we had an all day meeting so pizza was ordered in for lunch.  With styrofoam plates.  :-(  I certainly couldn’t use one since I just promised (see below) to not use any more styrofoam.  So I walked back to my building to get my plate and cutlery from my office.  :-)

Recyclable Items

  1. 2 jugs (local apple cider) – recycling #2 – this is included in our curbside recycling

Non-recyclable Items

  1. 1 potato chip bag
  2. 1 package – organic sausages
  3. 1 bag tortilla chips – bag looked to be paper but is fully plastic on the inside
  4. 2 pieces saran wrap *
  5. 1 plastic window from a bag of bread
  6. 1 bag local cheese curds
  7. 2 stickers from a box of choc
  8. plastic security seal from eye drops
  9. label from a glass bottle of juice
  10. cough drop wrappers
  11. 2 cookie wrappers*
  12. 1 bag salad greens – opened badly so hard to reuse
  13. conference name tag (printed on hard plastic like a credit card – grrrr)
  14. conference name tag holder
  15. styrofoam container – went to a restaurant that only served in styrofoam!
  16. small plastic pot and lid
  17. 4 plastic grocery bags (not depicted)

*items with a star are from my lunches at a conference I attended last week – I was going to bring my own but figured since they were making a lunch for me and the plastic would be going into the garbage anyway, I may as well get the lunch. Good decision?

Total number of items = 32
Total weight of plastic stash = 7oz
Tally analysis

  • What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
    *sausages – bought from a butcher in butcher paper
    *choc box stickers – easy to get choc in non plastic packaging
  • What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
    *potato chips
    *tortilla chips
    *any food served only in styrofoam at restaurants
  • How many of these items are from “convenience” foods that could be made from scratch with less packaging but might take more time to prepare?
    *cheese curds?
    *perogies (was what was in the styrofoam)
  • What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
    *local apple cider (I know not really essential but so good and only available for a short period. Will keep looking for glass though)
  • What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
    *less junk food
  • What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
  • What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
    *I’m actually surprised there wasn’t more plastic. I’m annoyed at the conference pass thing. Am going to write to the organizers to see if they can do it with less plastic next year (is an annual conference).

Personal description

  • location = Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • gender = female
  • relationship status = married no kids
  • work=in an office

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