July 24, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 10


Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 10

Personal Info:

See week seven.

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

Total items: 31

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Coke can
3 cat food cans and lids

Items: Nonrecyclable
Cat food bag
Milk carton
Shampoo bottle
4 ice cream lids
3 ice cream seals
Covers and spiral binders from 2 notebooks
Toothbrush and toothbrush wrapping
Spoon, straw, 1/2 lid
Cracker wrapper
Package from stud sensor
Red ribbon
Life Saver Gummies package
Parsley tag
Toothpaste lid
Floss package
Band-aid wrapper
2 bottle caps

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Cracker wrapper — okay, maybe I can make crackers.
Floss package — I’ll try Eco-Dent when our floss is gone

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Spoon, straw, 1/2 lid — I was taken by surprise by this, but shouldn’t have been.
Red ribbon — this was in the pile of school stuff the kids brought home on the last day
Life Saver Gummies package — I didn’t buy this for my kids, it was a gift

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Shampoo bottle — although I am able to refill our shampoo and conditioner at my co-op, my younger son still needs the no-tears shampoo.
Ice cream lids and seals — this discussion is off the table
Covers and spiral binders from two notebooks — the kids’ school gives each child a weekly planner at the beginning of the school year, and they use it all year
Toothbrush and toothbrush wrapper — I have switched to Nimbus toothbrushes. They are super-soft, and my dental hygenist wants me to use them.
Package from stud sensor — I needed it to hang a shelf, and didn’t have one!
Parsley tag – I can get parsley at the farmers’ market, but not year round
Toothpaste lid — this is from Tom’s of Maine toothpaste…now that they’ve switched to plastic I’ll have a whole tube
Bottle caps
Coke can — Paul still sometimes has a Coke at work, so that’s kind of out of my hands. We have glass-bottle Cokes at home.

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?
I’ll look for the Eco-Dent floss.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I feel like I’ve reached a point where the reductions are getting a lot harder to make, and I’m afraid my tallies aren’t going to get a lot lower. I’ll keep going and hope for gradual reductions, though.

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