June 21, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Jessica Sharp, Week 3


Location:Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Name: Jessica Sharp

Week: 3

Personal Info:

I am female, married, mostly stay at home at the moment, sometimes substitute teach, with no children yet. My husband is a computer programmer. Both my husband and I are included in this challenge.

Jessica Sharp’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
We decided to try to get some loaves of bread from a local bakery. This sounds great in theory, but they refused to put bread in our bread bags even though their bread was loose. Guess we will not get bread there. I have to say I was kind of surprised by this one actually. Since Panera and Whole Foods do it, you’d think a small place like this would. Oh well. I guess this is just one example of how we refused (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot) so I thought I’d add it here since it meant that those plastic sacks did not end up in our tally.

Total items collected: 39

Total weight: 344 g

Items: Recyclable
Fish oil bottle
Shampoo bottles
Hand sanitizer bottle
Medicine bottle
Two Parmesan cups
Two plastic cups

Items: Nonrecyclable
Cat food bag
Charmin wet wipes package
More milk rings and lids than I would have thought
Nasacort nasal spray bottle
Wrapper from a bar of chocolate (that was fair-trade, dark, and something we shared and made last for over a month)
Lid, ring, and agitator thing from a bottle of pre-made Margarita
Wrapper from a block of local cheese
Wrapper from a box of gum
Two plastic bits from mints
4 fruit stickers
A band-aid
Some plastic windows from mail
4 straws

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Herbal Essence shampoo bottle (recycled and the last one, Rob is now using the bulk shampoo I’ve been using)
Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo bottle (recycled and the last one, this was a special shampoo I used once a week, but now that it is gone I’m going to try to not get any more. Perhaps if I have build up issues I can try a more natural homemade remedy)
A band-aid (when this box is gone, our next box is fabric band-aids. I’m sure we could go a step further and just get gauze and paper tape or something, but this is the step we are taking for now)
Shake cups/lids (recycled the cups. We went inside Winstead’s for shakes and discovered they had betrayed us. We had no idea they stopped serving them in glass until they brought them out to us in plastic. Sad. Can we not get shakes without plastic or Styrofoam anywhere?)
4 straws (two from the shakes, two red ones from…well honestly neither of us can remember….we never really use straws now, but for shakes it seemed necessary. So, maybe we should look into getting glass ones just for when we have shakes….if we can find a place that does the shakes in glass!)
Two plastic bits from mints (I still have several peppermints to use up, individually wrapped, that I keep in my nightstand for when I have an upset tummy. I am on the lookout for peppermints in tin and will switch to that when I’m out of these.)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Hand sanitizer bottle (recycled, I still have several of these. Once I use them up I may make my own or do without)
Wrapper from a box of gum (last one. I found out gum itself is plastic. I may just try to find mints in glass or tin containers.)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Milk rings and lids
Nasacort nasal spray bottle
Wrapper from a block of local cheese (because even when you get it from the store and ask for it to be put it in your container they just unwrap a block they already have in plastic and give it to you so you can’t avoid the plastic)
4 fruit stickers

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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