June 13, 2014

Plastic Challenge: Jennifer, Week 2



Location:Lexington, South Carolina, United States

Name: Jennifer

Week: 2

Personal Info:

Personal Description: I am a 28 year old, SAHM of an eight month old. We make under $25k, and are on WIC. Everything went great Monday through Friday. Saturday it all went to pot. For this challenge, I am only counting things that I used. I know our household numbers would be appalling, as my husband couldn’t care less about cutting back on plastic. At least we cloth diaper the baby, and she’s mostly breastfed so she makes minimal plastic waste. We do a lot of babyled weaning, so a lot of her solids are just our food, and we just got her reusable squeeze pouches for the WIC purees she gets.

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

Ten shopping bags, three cups & lids

Total items collected: 61

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Recycleable: kitty litter jug, vinegar jug, milk jug, PB jar, garlic powder jar, cup, sample cup
6 plastic grocery bags, from previous grocery trips, reused for disposing of cat litter (I used a paper bag one day)
To be reused/repurposed: restaurant take-out bag: will use for cat litter or other wet garbage

Items: Nonrecyclable
Twelve food packages, soda ring, wine cap, seven restaurant cups, eight drinking straws, five drink lids, half-and-half lid, two restaurant take-out containers, two clothing tags, corner of kitty litter bag, three envelope windows, a bit of elastic, a stray earring, two membership cards (you know how places give you two key chains and one card), twist tie, packaging tape

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Cups & lids->bring a cup with me, wine cap->buy full-sized bottle! With cork instead of small bottle with plastic lid, drinking straws-> bring a glass straw with me, elastic->measure twice, cut once

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I would be willing to cut back on meat, but even some fresh, local produce comes in packages, and my garden is still in the seedling stage.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Some food packaging, kitty litter packaging

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
My weakness is poor planning. (bringing a drinking straw, cup, etc.). Changes could include eating from home or sit-down restaurants instead of delivery or fast food, learning to sew my own clothes (even thrift stores use plastic tags). I need to get a new glassdharma straw, as mine broke.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I will keep a cup with me if I go out, and avoid drive-throughs to make that cup easier to use.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
We are so used to everything being at our fingertips, available at a moment’s notice, that we seldom plan for what we’ll need.

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