December 14, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kay Pere, Week 0


How do you stay motivated to reduce waste when cultural environmental change seems to be happening so slowly?

Location:Mystic, Connecticut, United States

Name: Kay Pere

Week: 0

Personal Info:

I am a multidimensional performing songwriter, visual artist, activist, writer, and educator whose work embodies a message of hope, healing, humor & humanity. Along with my husband, we live a quiet little life in our Mystical corner of New England.

I have been working for several years to reduce my use of plastics and have decided to challenge myself to do more. I’m jumping into the “Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash Challenge” now in the hope that the New Year (2012) will bring many heartfelt projects fruition, including a more sustainable lifestyle.

My PHOTO COLLAGE this week shows a few of the changes I’ve already made in order to reduce plastic use and waste. These were not so difficult. My challenge will be to find new ways and to make additional new habits.

While watching DVDs of Julia Child’s French Cooking TV show recently, I noticed that Julia doesn’t concern herself with being perfect, with the little spills she makes on camera, or even that she’s sniffing because her nose is running as the cameras continue to roll. We don’t have to be perfect to do something beautiful. We don’t have to be perfect to make a difference!

Kay Pere’s personal blog:

Total items: 0

Total weight: 0

Items: Recyclable
This is an introductory post. I plan to begin collecting my plastic trash starting this week.

Items: Nonrecyclable
This is an introductory post. I plan to begin collecting my plastic trash starting this week.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I’m gradually replacing non-disposable plastic items that I use regularly with more durable materials. If I have something made of plastic that’s still usable I plan to continue use it for as long as it’s practical and safe to do so. To do otherwise would only add to the waste stream while increasing the manufacture of unnecessary new goods.

I will continue to challenge myself to find ways to reduce my use of new plastic.

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

-refuse plastic straws when dining out

-carry my own reusable take-out container when dining out

-reusable bags

-reusable water bottle

-take reusable dishes, cups, and cutlery for potluck dinners at church

-few processed foods, cooking more whole foods from scratch

-make some cleaning products at home reusing containers

-save glass jars for storage

-make own salad dressings, syrups, stored in repurposed glass jars . . .

-learned to can and freeze produce from garden

Realizing that there are too many things to list here.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-contact lenses, solution bottles, cases (worn mostly for performances, I made the choice to wear glasses most of the time)

-milk jugs: no glass bottles available without 10-15 mile each way drive

-plastic prescription bottles: our pharmacy won’t reuse

-vitamin & OTC med bottles

-plastic associated with medical appointments and procedures

Will think more about this.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
To reduce my plastic consumption beyond what I already have I will need to make regular trips to the food coop that has bulk bins about 10-15 miles from home. This will require advance planning so I can stock up and combine errands to other places in the same area. Increasing gas consumption to reduce plastic waste is not an option for me.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Will keep my eyes open for possible changes.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Have been watching others efforts in the “Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash Challenge” for a while. Sometimes when I see so many pictures of piles of plastic I feel discouraged, even knowing that each person who posted the pictures has probably worked hard to improve.

Instead of just giving advice or moping around, I decided that I’d better start doing this myself, too. Better learn to walk a mile with another’s recycling bag, so to speak.

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