January 23, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Jessica in Ann Arbor, Week 1

Jessica's plastic waste

Name: Jessica in Ann Arbor

Week: 1

Personal Info:

24 year old, married, living with my husband and cat in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I work away from home, at an office very close to our apartment. This tally only includes plastic from me, or shared plastic.

Blog: https://shortystylee.wordpress.com/

[Note: This is Jessica’s second time taking the challenge. Read about her 2009 Week 1 and Week 2 here.]

Total items: 14

Total weight: 6.7 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Yogurt container: #5, recycling bin
Yogurt lid: #5, recycling bin
Yogurt pull tabs: #5, recycling bin
Soda bottle: #1, recycling bin
Soda bottle cap: Aveda Institute
Spinach Carton and Lid: #1, recycling bin
Broken bowl: #5, recycling bin
Salsa lid: #1, recycling bin
Beef broth cap: Aveda Institute

Items: Nonrecyclable
Spinach tray plastic seal
Salsa cup
Broccoli tag
Beef broth spout
Rice cracker wrapper

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could make my own yogurt, however, the yogurt that I buy is from a local company that I am happy I am able to support. I could buy the spinach without plastic – either in season at the farmer’s market and sometimes our grocery co-op has it loose. There wasn’t any loose this week and the carton was one pound, which was what I needed.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Of course, I could give up pop, but I’ve tried that one…. many times and times again. Maybe they have diet coke in the glass bottles at the store…?

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Most of mine seems to have some sort of alternative… or is not “essential.”

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I need to think a little bit more sometimes… It is just second nature to get a pop, or a to-go salsa container at Qdoba, or pick up a snack off the lunch table at work that is wrapped in plastic.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I can definitely *try* not to have pop. I shouldn’t have it anyways.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Honestly, I think I do pretty well at minimizing the amount of plastic I use. I try to be very conscious when grocery shopping about produce bags and bringing my own bulk containers. It is little bits of plastic that sneak themselves on in.

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