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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1 Comment on "Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 43"

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Welcome back, Margaret.  I do understand the pressures of tax season!  As for organizations putting you on mailing lists, one strategy I use is not to give them my home address so they can’t send me anything through the mail.  If they won’t take my donation without my home address, then they really don’t want my money.  I’m sad to say I actually stopped giving to Planned Parenthood, which is an organization I believe in, because it felt like they spent all the money I gave them sending me mailings asking for more money, and it took over a year… Read more »