June 21, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Danielle, Week 27


Beach season is here. We most often go “plastic-free” with bulk items, but it sure is nice to take some chips or pretzels. I thought about making chips earlier in the week to be ready for the weekend, but wonder if they’ll lose their crispness. Any suggestions? Does anyone make homemade pretzels (not the soft ones or the crazy hard ones)?

Location:, North Carolina, United States

Name: Danielle

Week: 27

Personal Info:

See week 1 :)

Danielle’s personal blog: http://itstartswithme-danielle.blogspot.com

Total items: 14

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 milk jug (#2)

Items: Nonrecyclable
3 chip/pretzel bags
2 caps (from milk)
2 rings (from milk)
3 plastic spoons
1 skittles wrapper
1 Fruit snack wrapper
1 gardein package

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Yikes, this week was a doozy!

#1: Fruit snacks. We were at my daughter’s dance and I didn’t take any snacks because I thought we’d be done in less than an hour. What should’ve been a quick dress rehearsal turned into 2.5 hours of chaos. My daughter was hungry and I was spent. Next time take snacks no matter what I “think”.

#2: Plastic spoons. We rode our bikes to the farmers’ market like we always do, but when we got there we saw all of these different “vendors”. Turns out it was family day at the farmers’ market. My kids saw the sno-cone truck and begged. At first I said “no” because I saw styrofoam and spoons, but then changed my mind when I reminded myself that as a kid sno-cones were one of my most favorite summer treats and in Wilmington sno-cones are rare. So we were able to get paper cups, but were stuck with taking 3 spoons :( I’m going to keep them.

#3: Chips/Pretzels. I know I can make these (or something similar). Just have to figure it out. Help appreciated :)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Fruit snacks. We don’t buy them. This was an emergency.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Milk. I say this a lot, but I’m still making almond milk and trying to use it more often so that we use less cow’s milk.

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?
Hmmm…. the chips, fruit snacks, skittles (those were my son’s… a friend gave them to him)… maybe milk??

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
When I was at the farmers’ market, I went to check out some locally made marinara. The lady went to pour some sauce in a plastic condiment cup with a plastic spoon. Before she was even able to start pouring, I saw all the plastic and said, “no, no… no thank you, I don’t need a sample.” She looked completely offended, so I explained to her that I try not to use disposable plastics. She immediately pointed out the plastic bucket I was carrying on my arm (umm.. yeah, I’ve had it for over 10 years!). Then, she immediately started telling me about how she recycles, how they can’t get around using the plastics for giving out samples, and all of these other plastic related things. It was an interesting experience. (Something I liken to the comments I received when I stopped eating meat.)

Ok… so conclusion: I’m non-stop focused about plastic. Of course, I don’t let it run me… but I’m always aware… I know what I’m buying and anything I take/purchase is a conscious decision. Anyone who thinks that reducing plastics is a mindless activity, needs to understand that it takes focus… major focus and commitment.

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