July 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Ellen Simpson, Week 7


Location:Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Name: Ellen Simpson

Week: 7

Personal Info:

I live with my boyfriend Paul and my two children, ages 10 and 11, in Salem, MA. Paul and I both work during the day, and my two boys are in school. We have a dog and a cat. This plastic tally is for all four of us. If we had plastic waste from snacks/lunches outside of the house, we brought it home.

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

Total items: 44

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Bubble bath container
5 cat food cans and lids
Bleach container
Laundry detergent container and lid
Coke can
Styrofoam takeout container

I took the picture and then put the items in the recycling without taking note of the recycling number. Our city takes any plastic with a number inside the chasing arrows.

Items: Nonrecyclable
Milk carton
Lid to bubble bath container
Sugar container
Lid to bleach container
Bag of potting soil
Bag of Nestle chocolate chips
2 plant tags
2 plastic corks
Brown sugar bag
Deodorant container
3 bottle caps
3 plastic fruit stickers
3 pieces miscellaneous plastic
4 plastic clothing tags
8 (approximately) plastic food-related items from trip to amusement park

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Bubble bath — I believe Lush sells plastic-free bubble bath. My kids like lots of bubbles, which the Sesame Street kind provides, but I could give the Lush kind a try. I have another bottle of the Sesame Street kind to use up first, though.
Laundry detergent container and lid — I think we have one more of these to use, and then I will start using powdered detergent in a box. It still comes with a plastic scoop, but it’s a lot less plastic than the bottle.
Sugar container — this is something I normally buy in a paper bag.
Nestle chocolate chips bag — I bought them in bulk at the co-op with my own containers!
Brown sugar bag — I have been making my own!
Plastic from food at Canobie Lake Park (an amusement park) — ugh, I was so unprepared. Next time I could eliminate all of this plastic!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Plastic corks — it’s just hard to tell which wine has plastic and which has cork.
Bleach — I can live without this easily.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Plastic clothing tag — these are used even at second-hand shops.
Bottle caps — we’re buying soda and beer in glass bottles, and so we’re left with this small amount of plastic.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Again, simply being more prepared.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Bubble bath — like I said, I do have to use up another bottle, but I will make my way to a Lush store and find some alternatives to have in the bathroom for when the bottle runs out!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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