January 10, 2011

Michelle C, Week 1

Michelle's plastic waste

Name: Michelle C.

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I am English living on the South West coast of Portugal. In a rural town just a few km from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Two years ago I started to reduce my plastic. After doing a beach clean I read a small article in The Surfers Path, that led me to the Rise Above Plastics website, at that time the video “Entangled” was on their blog, it changed my life overnight.

I am a photographer & videographer, working for myself. I am now about to start work in a studio some 50 km away.

I live with my boyfriend & 3 cats (there are a lot of strays & they seam to like it & stay here.) We divided our time between the house & a camper van, as my boyfriend rents his house out to guest. Last year we were in the camper for nearly 6 months.

In the last year I have stopped eating fish & now try to only eat free range meat – occasionally. So only really cook vegetarian, my boyfriend has been great & when we eat at home we eat the same.

Although my daily habits have changed beyond belief, I was still quite nervous about doing the challenge, but already I can see how it will help. Though this wasn´t a good week to start it would seem… !

Total items: 15

Total weight: about a tonne

Items: Recyclable
Down-cyclable do you mean? None. [Note from Beth: exactly.]

Items: Nonrecyclable
plastic bags for spices, lentils, coffee, toilet rolls, flour,

(the crumpets were a gift)

a plastic lined tin.

The tiny thing that put in oil to make it pour more easily,

Cat flea stuff & eye drops for the new cat that is pretty ill.

[Not shown] A 20 year old – new to us car!

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
We need spices to sex up our vegetarian diet, but this week I called a spice man & he said he could do them in paper! So I need to be more organised & order online.

The tin, easy. Not sure why I bought it?

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Coffee. I can´t get fair trade here any way so am not really happy about it.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Toilet roll!

The car…. there is no public transport here. The nearest town is a huge hill away. I loved not having a car when I lived in a city, but here it really is tricky.

The annoying thing is the oil, I´ve tried all the brands they all seem to have them.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Go to the toilet less! [You’re kidding, right?]

Being more organised & ordering online

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Once the coffees finished I´ll make it the last.

No more tins.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I did pretty well at a friends Birthday party, having taken my own plate etc to a restaurant…. (WTF)

I have also done a weeks shop.

But still, 15 items in week one? Argh!

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