May 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Laura A., Week 11


I have a vacation coming up that involves traveling and staying with relatives. I can handle the traveling but I will be staying in the house of plastic/disposable/processed food and I am having trouble figuring out how to reduce some of the waste while I’m there (other than training my young nephew to reduce, reuse, and recycle). My sister already thinks I’m an eco-freak.

Name: Laura A.

Week: 11

Location: Maine, United States

Personal Info:

Total items: 21

Total weight: 7.9 ounces

Items: Recyclable
vegetable oil bottle, #1

Items: Nonrecyclable

3 tuna pouches
lotion bottle from gift set
top to glass salt grinder
2 windows from tissue box
bag from rice noodles


soy milk carton
deli cheese bag
toothpaste tube
lettuce wrap
barley bag
tag from new pants
twist tie from organic green onions with branded plastic label attached!
seal ring from glass jar of buillon
part of zip tie from attaching bike computer to bike
seal from top of feta cheese tub
plastic liner from cat food bag (not pictured)
plastic liner from dog food bag (not pictured)
Oreo package

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The vegetable oil bottle has already been replaced with glass. The barley can (and already has been) purchased in bulk.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
we have stopped buying tissues but I think there is still another box floating around the house

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I talked to one of the farmers at the farmer’s market that has a lot of great dairy (Brie, parmesan, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.) and he is willing to put it in glass for me if I ask a week ahead.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Oreos! I made cookies and we got some fudge (packaged in paper) so I should be all set to deal with sugar cravings this week.
I used up a container of dish soap but I saved the container because I can take it back to the co-op to refill. Also I bought new bath soap (wrapped in paper) made right down the road and I like driving by the place knowing that my soap came from right here on the island.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I’m getting more into the swing of things and becoming accustomed to asking for no plastic. Even though I get some blank stares (What is so confusing about not wanting a straw in my drink? Surely people have weirder requests.) I also get some people who are into it or are willing to have conversations about it.

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