May 10, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Danielle, Week 21


Location:, North Carolina, United States

Name: Danielle

Week: 21

Personal Info:

We are collecting our plastic trash for all of 2011. Read about our family on my Week 1 post.

Danielle, Week 1

Danielle’s personal blog:

Total items: 14

Total weight: 3.8 oz

Items: Recyclable
1 Dip container (#5)
1 Lid from cocoa (#4)
2 yogurt cups (#5)
1 Heavy cream bottle (#2)

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 Chip bag
1 milk jug cap
1 ring from milk jug cap
1 plastic seal
2 gardein packages
1 plastic seal/covering (from the dip)
2 contact lens containers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Yogurt. Having not committed to making my own yogurt, I usually purchase the large containers of yogurt. My kids must be having a peach craving because they wanted it BAD!! :)

Chips & Dip: We haven’t bought chips and dip in over 8 months!! By not purchasing as often we’re reducing the amount of plastic we use. Next step would be to make our own chips and dip.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Hmmm… dip. Definitely don’t buy it often. I have made it, but even recipes to make homemade french onion dip produce plastic waste.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Contact lenses.

Cocoa powder. I use it when I make homemade cakes, cookies, etc. I thought I could buy it in bulk, but I can’t find it.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Chips and dip, yogurt, and heavy cream.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
At the beginning of last week, I was reading one of my favorite blogs. While reading the blogpost, I immediately thought of this challenge and how I’ve taken on this whole process of reducing single use disposable plastics from our lives. It’s an awesome endeavor… BUT.. Collecting our plastic waste for the entire year, puts me in this constant state of “ack… I don’t want to buy that! It’ll add to our tally. What will people say?? If I use that, am I a hypocrite??”

I realize this is an exercise for me and no one is judging me… but those thoughts have popped in my head from time to time (and in all honesty, I’m more concerned about what *I* think of our plastic tally.)
So, as I do this challenge… I’ve come to realize 3 things: Most things are easy to find a non-plastic alternative, other things are easy to live without… but there are some things that from time to time are just nice to have.  That’s where things like chips and dip come into play.
Here’s my thought that I had while reading that blog:  We certainly don’t have to live without. We can scale back on the things we choose to buy. Like if we buy something once a week… maybe scale it back to once a month… then before you know it, it’s been 8 months since you last purchased something.  (maybe next time it’ll be 9!)
No doubt, lasting change happens slowly… :)

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