December 19, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 2

Wk 2

Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States

Name: Hanh Pham

Week: 2

Personal Info:

My husband and I live in a 3-flat in Chicago. We don’t have any pets.

My quest is to merge my love of art with my passion for the environment. I created a performance series, called Pretty Dirty, where we create dresses out of trash — on the spot — during neighborhood festivals/events to playfully inspire others to reduce and repurpose.

Hanh Pham’s personal blog:

Total items: 10

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
None of my items were recyclable (to my knowledge). Some of them are reusable though!

Items: Nonrecyclable
Container from spinach (lid, container, and packaging)
1 plastic tub-like container from frozen pierogies
1 plastic bag with a Ziploc that tortillas came in
1 plastic fork
1 compostable fork
1 plastic bag from the inside liner of cereal
2 plastic wrappers from wine bottles
2 plastic inner covers from Dr. Bonner’s liquid soap and dishwashing liquid

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could forgo buying spinach in a container and opt for another leafy green that doesn’t involve packaging (a bunch of kale!).
I could refrain from eating frozen food.
I could buy tortillas wrapped in wax paper.
I could bring my own utensils.
I could make my own cereal or granola or buy it in bulk.
I could make my own soap.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I could give up buying any more frozen food (just finish what I have left).

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Making time to prepare food. I could make my own granola or buy cereal in bulk instead.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Frozen food
Spinach in a plastic container

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
When I go to an event, I am going to come prepared with reusable utensils and a Tupperware container on hand (to use as a bowl/plate). This week, I went a bank opening and people were dressed up and such, so I didn’t bring my bag in (with my reusable utensils and plateware) in order to be unencumbered. Therefore, I didn’t have what I needed and ended up using a plastic fork. Boo. :(

I would usually keep my plastic fork to reuse, but to my dismay, the caterers cleared the table too quickly for my interception. Next time, I will make it a point to BMOU (Bring My Own Utensil) no matter what!

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