July 3, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Genevieve, Week 5


Location:Shepherdsville, Kentucky, United States

Name: Genevieve

Week: 5

Personal Info:

I’m a 37-year-old woman. I live with my mother, 2 cats and an aquarium. We both work in Louisville, which is about a thirty minute drive if traffic is good.

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

plastic bags, 2 straws

Total items collected: 46

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 #5 shelled edamame container
with #4 top
1 #1 shredded parmesan container
with #1 top
1 #5 crumbled goat cheese container
with #2 top
1 #1 almonds container
1 #1 coconut water bottle
1 #1 mayo jar
1 #1 dish wash bottle
1 #4 powdered hot chocolate lid
1 #4 toilet paper wrapper
3 #4 wrapping pieces from fan

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 wrapper from case of canning jars
1 medicinal cream tube
1 unused medicinal cream applicator
1 pro bar wrapper
1 cat treats bag
1 cat treats bag top
2 jug seals
1 whole grains & beans soup mix
1 frozen veggie bag
2 nuts bags
1 nut snack bag
2 just veggies bags
1 meat tray
1 cling wrap meat
1 bacon wrapper
1 barrel of fudge container
1 tiny fudge utensil
1 seal fudge
2 tape from top of DVD
1 DVD wrapper
1 cling wrap from loaf bought at Farmer’s Market
1 clear bag from mixed greens from CSA
1 Stellar Sweets bag from CSA
1 seal from salad dressing bottle
1 seal from bottle
1 seal from sour cream
1 handle from cat litter box
NOT PICTURED: 2 popsicle wrappers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I caved at Cracker Barrel this week and bought a tiny tub of fudge (plastic seal, plastic tub, plastic utensil included inside. Gah!). I love fudge and have clue how to fix it. My boss’s wife makes delicious fudge – maybe I could convince her to teach me?

I could get a popsicle mold and try to make my own posicles. (This is somewhat scary)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Don’t know yet. Still working on it.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I can’t buy that cream without the applicator. It’s over-the-counter and I don’t think it comes in anything but a plastic tube.

My fan died and I had to have a new fan. The fan itself is metal but inside it’s cardboard box the three pieces (fan, 2 part stand) were wrapped in plastic. I have no way of telling if there’s wrapping inside and given how hot it is, I have to have that fan.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I only have one more meat tray in the freezer, after that it’s getting everything from the butcher and the counter wrapped in paper.

The bags that previously held the nuts and Just Veggies and soup mix were here in the house. I bought a case of Ball Canning Jars and transferred them into the glass jars for storage. Next time I buy nuts I’ll get them out of the bulk bins instead of grabbing the bag with the ziploc seal.

Apparently mom still had one more plastic coconut water bottle, but that’s definitely the end of those.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
This week I bought cat litter in a cardboard box instead of a cheaper plastic container, so the only plastic involved was a plastic handle. I’d like to find one that doesn’t have the handle, but that might take some searching.

I bought mayo in a glass jar, instead of the cheaper plastic jar.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
This week is definitely looking up, though there is still quite a bit of plastic here in the house.

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