July 9, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 2



Any good suggestions on how to make your own mustard?

Any good suggestions on a cup/glass you bring with you to parties when you don’t want a plastic one? I suppose I could bring a travel coffee mug and drink beer/wine out of it at a BBQ, but I wonder if there’s something more classy.

Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States

Name: Hanh Pham

Week: 2

Personal Info:

This is my second go around with the Plastic Free Challenge. Last time, I made it to week 3. I hope I’ll be able to keep tabs on my plastic use for longer this time.

I am super passionate about reducing my waste. I bring reusable containers wherever I dine out so I don’t get non-recyclable plastic… or styrofoam. I bring stainless steel utensils and a water bottle with me too.

I am intrigued about how close I can get to zero waste. Hence, some of my pictures have other recyclables in there. Oops!

I live in a 3-flat with my husband, and we don’t have any pets.

Hanh Pham’s personal blog: http://prettydirtyperformances.blogspot.com

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
I don’t remember exactly…

Total items collected: 14

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
2 blueberry containers
1 mustard bottle
1 tofu container

Items: Nonrecyclable
Chip bag
Plastic wrapper around mustard
Plastic cup
Plastic to go container
Plastic sauce container and lid
Plastic fork
2 public transit cards

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could bring my own cup when I go to parties so I won’t be given one. I usually bring my own stainless steel water bottle, but I was at a bridal shower, and there was champagne… served in a plastic cup, and I couldn’t refuse.

The plastic to go container along with fork and plastic sauce container and lid came from a lunch that my boss offered to me. I thought the sandwich would be wrapped in foil or parchment paper. If I knew it would be packaged this way, I would have refused.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I am willing to give up chips. I could eat my hummus with veggies instead.

I could also make my own mustard.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Public transit cards! There are boxes at public transportation stations that have a sign on them that state “Place used transit cards here.” When I asked an employee what happens to the used cards once the box gets filled, she said they just throw it away. So sad.

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?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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8 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 2"

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Hi! There is a recipe on the Zero Waste Home Blog for mustard as well as other things that are helpful: http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/2010/03/zero-waste-recipes.html

Katie10 Thanks for the tip, Katie! Love Bea’s site!
Have you tried her recipe for making toothpaste? I read the forum thread on that and am unsure about brushing my teeth with baking soda and stevia…

I have not tried the toothpaste yet. It is one of the last personal care products I still buy with plastic. I do make my own deodorant and that works pretty well when I am not too nervous..

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator
Well done on week number two Hanh! I’ve made my own mustard a few times and it’s turned out really well. Was surprised how easy it is actually. I used a recipe I found via wikiHow the first time and now I use slight variations of the same recipe. Basically I use whatever sweetener I have on hand at the moment which is either honey or coconut sugar. Here is a link to the mustard recipe via wikiHow:http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Mustard-from-Scratch I’m able to find these ingredients thankfully in the bulk section at my grocery store.  As far as cups go, I love… Read more »

Plastic-Free Ericka ModeratorVery cool, Ericka! Thanks for sharing these tips and resources! I like
the pictures on how to make mustard and the Klean Kanteen cups look
snazzy. Thanks for reading my blog post too. :D

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

HanhDoPham Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator I actually had the chance to meet two representatives from Klean Kanteen while at an Earth Day event in San Francisco and was so happy to find out the changes the company made to lessen the amount of packaging for their products. They seem to really care about the environment AND make as you said, snazzy looking products to boot! I myself have only heard praises regarding my Klean Kanteen stainless steel cups during parties and picnics.

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator

HanhDoPham Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator Hey mason jars work just fine too! I’m happy with either as long as it’s not a throw away cup :)

Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator HanhDoPham  Sweet. Great to know that they are down for the cause! It makes me want to buy their product more instead of bringing a small mason jar to drink out of, which I could do. It’s just heavier…