December 19, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 2


Wk 2Location: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!

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 2"

Notify of

Are you sure the spinach container is not recyclable? Look for a #1. They do have a lot of uses when the spinach is used up, such as if you are into starting seeds or raising butterflies from caterpillars! Spinach is also available in loose bunches at some stores, just takes a lot of rinsing to get the grit off.