April 24, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 43


How to reduce waste when you’re super super busy.

Do you know any charities that by default don’t put you on a mailing list when you donate? I’d like to support such organizations if they exist.

Something comparable to emergen-c or airborne to boost immune system. My understanding is that the liquid form is absorbed better? which is why I buy these sometimes instead of just a multi-vitamin.

Location:Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Name: Margaret

Week: 43

Personal Info:

I’m back from the dead, AKA tax season. February = 50 – 55 hours/week. March = 65 hours/week. First two weeks of April = 70 hours/week. When you have weeks when you literally just go home to sleep and shower, minimizing plastic is the furthest thing from one’s mind.

Weeks 31 – 42 are posted on my blog, but I won’t bother adding them here – suffice it to say they’re all fairly comparable to this week.

I hope over the next several months I’ll continue to develop habits and make plans that will allow me to do better in tax season next year.

Margaret’s personal blog:

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

Total items collected: 55

Total weight: 11.1 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Curbside recyclable
*Ice cream container (#1)

Other recyclable
*2 bakery clamshells
*2 Subway bags
*Bread bag
*Lid to ice cream container (#2)
*Another lid to ice cream container (unnumbered)
*Film wrapping from magazine
*DVD (in film wrapping) from PCRM – I need to figure out how to avoid getting on mailing lists when I donate to organizations
*2 prescription bottles
*Lid to supplement bottle (glass bottle)

Items: Nonrecyclable
*2 cracker box liners
*2 frozen pizza wrappers
*Film wrapping from a board game
*Jamba Juice styrofoam cup (#6) and lid – a treat provided by my firm
*Burgerville drink lid
*2 straws
*Coffee cup lid (#6)
*7 cheese wrappers
*4 snack wrappers
*Pyrex container lid – I may have left a container sitting out for, umm, a while, and it molded. The container washed just fine, but there’s some stains on the lid. I hate saying that “stains” mean something is “dirty” – a stain is merely a permanent change in color. But even sterilized mold stain isn’t something I want near my food.
*Tissue box opening film
*3 cough drop wrappers
*4 candy wrappers
*Salad dressing seal (glass bottle)
*Supplement bottle underlid seal and ring seal
*Used up mascara bottle
*Wrapping from new mascara bottle
*2 emergen-c packets
*Blister pack from homeopathic cold medicine
*Bread bag tab
*Tyvek silica gel packet
*Wrapper from cleaning wipes – bought a couple years ago

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Crackers, bakery clamshells, and other snack wrappers – make my own crackers, granola bars, etc.

I know the paper-ish container has plastic or similar chemicals, but to minimize the plastic there are a couple brands that don’t have any plastic seal on them at all I could choose.

Cleaning wipes – not something I’d even consider buying anymore, this was a purchase from a few years ago.

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

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

Supplement bottle lids – I’m gradually seeking and switching to items in glass bottles, but the lids are always plastic and have plastic seals

Mascara (this seriously is a necessity)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Going from 70-hour weeks to 32 hour weeks will automatically allow me to focus back on my efforts.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Bakery items.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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