January 3, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Kendel , Week 1


I don’t really have much questions at this time. I’ve been trying to rid myself of plastic for awhile now but living where I live and not driving, so shopping when I can where I can (usually Krogers or Wal-Mart) makes it a little hard.

After making my list of not recyclables and recyclables, any suggestions on if I was wrong with what’s recyclable and not? I didn’t realize so much of my stuff wasn’t recylcable.

Location:Bloomfield, Indiana, United States

Name: Kendel

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I am an engaged mother of a 16 month old boy currently living in the nowhere of Bloomfield, Indiana. I don’t really consider myself from anywhere because I’ve moved around so much but I’ve lived primarily in Seattle, WA and the more recent Beaverton/Portland, OR area. The three of us are currently living with inlaws and their other son, so it’s a full house. I am the stay at home mother who doesn’t drive at the moment because I’ve always lived in big cities where I don’t need to drive because of all the public transportation. That is not the case here and can’t wait until we move back to Oregon in February to have some civilization once again.

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

It has been holiday weekend so it was hard to refuse a lot of plastic because a lot of them were given to me as gifts! We did have a big get together with family and everyone ate off paper plates with plastic forks and plastic cups. I instead got out the real plates and forks to eat and just cleaned them myself afterwards. Also, not this week but the week before or maybe two weeks before, I chose to get back out the cloth diapers (G-Diapers) that didn’t work too well on my son when he was younger but have found they work much better now. So, I’ve refused to buy a lot of diapers. I did have to use some left over from before I brought them out because we have so few of the cloth diapers that we couldn’t keep up a few times but I just purchased some more with XMas money so it should help!

Total items collected: 28

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 Bread Bag

1 Water Bottle

1 G-Diaper Packaging

2 Small Deli Containers

6 Plastic Bags (Though we used them for soiled diapers, so they’re not recylced. However, since we’ve gotten rid of diapers recently this should hopefully go down as well.)

2 Plastic Cups

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 Pizza Crust Packaging

6 Diapers

1 Diaper Packaging

1 Cereal Package Liner

2 Plastic Forks

1 Straw

2 Subway Plastic Bags

1 Chip Bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The diapers but we’ve recently brought back out the cloth diapers. I’ve read of people going to actual bakery’s to get bread out of plastic packaging. When we move back to Oregon I know everything’s going to be much easier to elimenate. I can’t get to any bread stores at the moment. I could easily ask for subway without the bags, I do rarely eat out as well so this was unusual for me.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I would pretty much be willing to get rid of everything. We’ve gotten rid of plastic water bottles even though, I am always dehydrated now because our house is supplied with well water and I don’t like the taste of it at all. When we move I would like to get a filter on the faucet or a jug that we can refill and put on a stand.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I wouldn’t consider this essential but I need them for my G-Diapers is that the inserts that are flushable and 100% Plastic free come in plastic bags!

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
My move in February. This will help everything because we will live right next to our Co-Op in Ashland so it will be easier to make everything from scratch without needing anything in plastic and they don’t even offer bags. They give out free boxes that they’ve recieved their produce in and you can pay 10 cents for a paper bag. I love it done this way, I am excited to return to it.

Also, make more money. It seems many alternatives cost more. I am willing to pay more for everything but sometimes it just isn’t realistic in our budget. Though this also goes for our organic lifestyle.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I am willing to give them all up. I don’t feel what I use I really need, it’s more a matter of accessability at the moment. Though I do get medicine in plastic containers, so this may be hard.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I don’t feel that hardly any of the plastic I use and throw out is needed but I know it’s easier said than done to get rid of plastic. I am hopeing that when we move in February my useage goes down because even though I didn’t throw away a truck load of plastic this week it doesn’t mean we don’t still have a lot of plastic in our house that hasn’t been thrown out yet. So, I still have a far ways to go.

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