December 19, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 3

wk 3

I know there are pens with refillable ink cartridges, but it’s still a plastic shell. What’s a plastic-free alternative to a ball point pen?

Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States

Name: Hanh Pham

Week: 3

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 reuse and repurpose.

Hanh Pham’s personal blog:

Total items: 10

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 chip bag – no number
5 clear plastic bags (1 from brioche buns, 3 from a compost container, 1 from a magazine that came wrapped in plastic) – #4
1 plastic bag from celery – #4
1 ballpoint pen – no number
10 stickers from produce – no number
1 twisty tie – no number

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could buy chips in a paper bag. I’ll need to check if those paper chip bags (with the see though window) are recyclable in Chicago. Alternatively, I could forgo eating chips altogether. I could buy crackers in a waxy paper packaging. I am really liking multi-grain crackers from Wasa these days.

I could forgo buying pre-packaged celery.

I could buy produce from the farmer’s market to reduce the number of twisty ties I consume.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Pre-packaged celery

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 shop at places that don’t have packaging.

Making time to cook more food from scratch.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Preparing my own foods means I feel good and there’s less plastic waste. Yay!

I have been taking the time to make a fruit/protein shake in the morning (instead of eating cereal… which involves a plastic bag).

I have also made more soups (instead of buying the pre-made ones) and salads this week. It’s great. My new favorite salad: shredded red cabbage and kale with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, thyme, and salt & pepper to the taste. Super easy and yummy!

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