February 11, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Jen C, Week 2

Jen's plastic waste

Name: Jen C.

Week: 2

Personal Info:

See full description in Jen’s Week 1 Plastic Tally post.

Total items: 39

Total weight: 1 pound, 2 oz

Items: Recyclable
plastic lids, which we can recycle at my daughter’s school

Items: Nonrecyclable
Packaging for George Foreman grill
Cereal inner bags (could be waxed paper – not sure)
Lids for missing plastic containers
bag from meatless meatballs
tube of toothpaste
newspaper bag (we don’t order this)
unknown sheet of plastic
wrapping for the checks
rings from milk jugs, mineral water & almond milk
prescription bottles and packaging
plastic disposable bathroom cup
toothbrush packaging
produce ties
compression shorts package
potato bag
top of the bag of yeast
piece of styrofoam from composter

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Cereal – I can buy cereal in bulk for myself, but the selection is limited, so the family will still want boxed cereal
“Meat”balls – anyone have a recipe? My daughter just found out these were meatless today
Almond milk – will make my own after last container is empty
Disposable bathroom cup – replaced with a glass
Salad dressing – try to find a brand the kids will eat that has a metal lid
Compression shorts pkg – Didn’t realize it would come packaged this way – pay more attention to that for future clothing purchases
Potato bag – Mom split her potatoes with me. I don’t buy packaged fruits or vegetables

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Meatless meatballs if my family doesn’t like the homemade version

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Toothpaste (sorry but I do believe that fluoride is a good thing)
Produce ties
Checks (although we don’t use them much)
Milk, which I buy in returnable bottles
Prescription bottles/packaging
Yeast (bought a bulk bag instead of individual packets though)
George Foreman grill – to replace our 10-year-old model, which I will give to one of my friends

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Convince my family to be less reliant on packaged foods

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
disposable plastic bathroom cups (I was reusing them, but glass is much better)

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It is really hard to avoid plastic even when making a conscious effort!

Please help!
If anyone has a good TVP-based vegetarian meatball recipe, please pass it on to me. It needs to be something I can pass off on my family.

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