February 21, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Barbara Fink, Week 1


Barbara's plastic waste

Name: Barbara Fink

Week: 1

Personal Info:
I am 27 year old single female. I currently own my own home north of Pittsburgh, PA. I have 1 full time job and two part-time jobs. Needless to say I am very busy. Since I moved to Pittsburgh I have recycled. I also have always thought of myself as a reducer and reuser, at least until this project.

Total items: 5 [Note: this is only plastic waste generated at work]

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
20oz Pepsi bottle- 1
Yoplait Yogurt- 5
Tomato container- 1
Sabra Hummus- 1

Items: Nonrecyclable
Plastic Spoon- not recyclable

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
All of these items could be plastic free or less plastic.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Honestly, I could give up all of them.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I don’t think any item that I ate this week at work is essential. All of these have plastic free alternatives.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I usually package my leftovers in glass containers. However, when it comes to work food, I go with quick in easy. Adding a few minutes to my nightly routine I could package my own snacks in resuable containers.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I am willing to give them all up.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I thought I was a reducer, reuser, recycler. However, this picture is just one week at work. If I want to make an impact, I need to do more. No more single serve sizes.

Thank you very much for this challenge. I have certainly learned something.

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Barbara Fink, Week 1"

Notify of
Beth, Thanks again for this challenge. I did it again this week and I would show you a picture, but there is nothing to show! I managed to go an entire week without any wasted plastic. I changed things up by making tea instead of drinking Pepsi for my afternoon pick me up. I ate cheese (which I bought at the cheesemarket (no plastic covering)) instead of hummus as a mid-day snack. I bought veggies at the store and cut them up and brought them in. The only thing bad about that is the cashier gave me a dirty look… Read more »

Barbara, I totally agree with you on the single serving sizes. You could reduce the amount of plastic you use by buying larger sizes of yogurt and portioning them out into your own containers.

Here’s my rant about single serving sizes:


Or if you’re really adventurous, make your own yogurt and hummus. If you can’t get cherry tomatoes without plastic, then maybe buy large tomatoes and slice them. I hope you’ll take the challenge again and see if you can do a whole plastic-free work food week.