July 25, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 11


Is real maple syrup available in bulk? We use lots of it, and the glass bottles are small and expensive.

Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 11

Personal Info:

See week seven.

Ellen Simpson’s personal blog: http://housebehindtheotherhouses.blogspot.com/

Total items: 26

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
2 Diet Pepsi cans
3 cat food cans and lids
Plastic package from repair kit

Items: Nonrecyclable
Bag from repair kit
2 ice cream lids, 5 round seals, 3 lid seals
Maple syrup lid (from glass jar)
Little plastic cup
Super glue package
Coke cap and beer cap (from glass bottles)
Notebook spiral binder
Spaghetti window
Amazon receipt
Watermelon sticker
Not shown: 3 cup lids, one straw and 3 plastic spoons from ice cream stand; 4 plastic plates and some plastic utensils from cookout; 2 straws from restaurant

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Diet Pepsi cans — my sisters left these in my fridge when they visited once, and Paul drank two of them. We can get Coke in glass bottles — we don’t need Diet Coke, and can just leave them there until my sisters visit again!
Little plastic cup — this is from many moons ago, when I would get takeout from Passage to India. I saved these, and have quite a few that I use in my kids’ lunches. This one got crushed, so it’s getting thrown out.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Plastic package and bag from repair kit — Paul bought this to repair his plastic windshield-fluid reservoir in his truck (thereby preventing that from being thrown away). I hope that this can be used again, so that it can save more plastic from being thrown away prematurely!
Maple syrup lid — we use lots of maple syrup, but now we’re buying it in glass jars, so we just get this small amount of plastic.
Plastic from the ice cream stand — I have new glass straws, and I carry spoons in my purse. We went to this ice cream stand and I was very clear about the fact that I didn’t need straws or spoons, and I showed the straws and spoons as I requested this. Despite this, I still got plastic spoons and straws! I’m sure the ice cream stand workers are just so in the habit of sticking the spoons and straws in the ice cream and/or sodas, that it’s tough to stop themselves. They were teenage girls, rushing around on a busy night, so I didn’t say anything about it.
Plastic plates and utensils from a cookout with Paul’s extended family — I felt it was more important to cheerfully accept the delicious food they had made, than to avoid these items.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Get Diet Pepsi out of our house!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I still haven’t found bubble bath, so I need to do this!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’m feeling encouraged by our smaller amount of plastic this week!

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