February 10, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Jessica in Ann Arbor, Week 3

Jessica's plastic waste

Name: Jessica in Ann Arbor

Week: 3

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/

See Jessica’s Week 1 challenge post.

Total items: 16

Total weight: 1.9 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Hummus Lid: #1, recycling bin
Hummus container: #5, recycling bin
1 applesauce cup, #7, recycling bin

Items: Nonrecyclable
3 produce/fruit stickers
Plastic from inside hummus
Broccoli tag
Bread bag
Pita bread bag
Top of pasta bag
Plastic from watch battery packaging
Three bag twisties
Potato bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Applesauce: Food my friend left. I only have three more cups to eat.

Bread bag: I bought bread this past weekend in paper from Great Harvest.

Pita bread bag & Hummus: I know how to make my own, this was a matter of poor timing.

Potato bag: I knew I shouldn’t have, but it was exactly how much I needed. The hanging scale at the store was broken.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I guess I will say the fruit (where the stickers are from). No way to get citrus fruits in Michigan in the winter, heck even in the summer, that don’t have the sticker.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I guess the stickers are “essential,” at least until Michigan gets warm again and starts growing more veggies. The batteries I don’t think come in any other form and are not the rechargeable kind (they were lithium watch batteries for my kitchen scale).

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Thinking ahead and planning. The pita bread and hummus, for example, I’ve made both of these from scratch and they were quite good. I bought both of these to take on our ski trip… and although I knew about the trip for a month, I still didn’t find time to make it myself.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I’ve replaced the bread already. Great Harvest was more than happy to put my bread in a paper bag when I asked for it. I also made a batch of homemade bagels over the weekend.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I think you can learn that sometimes the plastic free option is better than the convenient plastic packaged one. The fresh-baked bread at GH has just come out of the oven… it was a nice warm treat for making the right choice.

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