April 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Laura in Maine, Week 6

Laura's plastic waste

Name: Laura

Week: 6

Personal Info:
See full description in Laura’s Week 1 Plastic Challenge post.

Total items: 19

Total weight: 8.2 oz

Items: Recyclable
Magic Shell #1
2 tofu tubs #2

Items: Nonrecyclable
mushroom tub and wrap
Dobie sponge
soy milk box
bag for instant Indian food
lettuce wrap
frozen cranberry bag
fake chicken bag
pretzel bag
plastic bag from item bought online
seal from top of salad dressing bottle
seal from top of jar
tape from green onions
lid from spice jar
ripped produce bag
produce stickers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I finally made it to the co-op and I am pleased to report that I can get locally made tofu plastic-free. They also have loose mushrooms.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
the Magic Shell. Actually I don’t have to give it up, it turns out it’s easy to make at home and has far fewer ingredients when it’s homemade.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
The pretzels- I still can’t find them in bulk. We’ve cut back on how many we eat but so far I just can’t give them up.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I’ve been trying not to push the plastics thing on my partner but she is willing to make some changes of her own. One thing we keep buying (that doesn’t show up in my list because I don’t eat it) is deli meat. If I get a proper container I can try using it at the store. I’ve been shy about stuff like this but I’ve had no problems since switching to cloth produce bags (I used to just rinse and reuse but they don’t hold up very well) so I’m getting a little more confident.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
1. Magic Shell! Next time we have ice cream I’ll try making my own.
2. tofu
3. mushrooms

Now that I know I can get mushrooms and tofu at the co-op plastic-free I can just plan the menu to not eat those things until it’s time to go back to the co-op.

I’m trying out deodorant alternatives this week so we’ll see how it goes.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
A good week, my lowest item count so far! We also went to see the move Bag It in a nearby town and it was pretty good (much better than No Impact Man). Plus it had the added bonus of an interview with Beth Terry. :)

I was starting to feel like maybe I was going a little overboard in my quest to avoid plastic but between Beth’s latest post and seeing the movie and all the people who showed up to watch it, I’m feeling encouraged.

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