November 9, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Mary Katherine, Week 3


Where can I find spaghetti that isn’t in plastic? They don’t have it in bulk at Whole Foods.

Location:Mountain View, California, United States

Name: Mary Katherine

Week: 3

Personal Info:

My name is Mary Katherine and I’m 16. I live in Silicon Valley, California. My mum is pretty environmentally conscious and she raised me to be like that too. My mum taught me that I don’t need tons of stuff to be happy. Except books…

Mary Katherine’s personal blog:

Total items: 21

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Ranch dressing cup (#5)
Deli container (#1)

I put the ranch dressing cup in the preserve bin at Whole Foods and the deli container in the recycling bin.

Items: Nonrecyclable
3 Plastic seals from kombucha bottles
Plastic seal from canola oil bottle
Old nasty sponge
Packaging from soap that my mum bought (I don’t think she’ll buy that anymore though)
Ruffles bag… A bad moment
Spaghetti bag
2 wrappers from energy bars
2 candy wrappers (hey, it was Halloween)
Plastic seal from coconut oil
Plastic tape from green onions (Explain to me why that’s necessary.)
Lid from ranch dressing cup
2 band-aids (yes, they are pickle band-aids.)
Plastic wrap from cheddar cheese
Little plastic table from pizza box
Bag of powdered sugar

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Sponges. I think you can get ones that aren’t made from synthetic materials. Also, I think they probably have powdered sugar in the bulk section at Whole Foods. I hardly ever use it though, so its not a big deal.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Ruffles, candy, energy bars (my homemade granola bars are way better anyway), and cheddar cheese. I think my mum is going to start buying a different kind of cheddar cheese. I found cheese wrapped in paper at the farmer’s market so I think we’ll eat that now. Also, we realized that the cheese my mum usually gets probably has rBGH. It isn’t labeled as rBGH free, and usually that means it has it. rBGH is terrible. Its so cruel!!! Cows who are given it have higher instances of mastitis and lameness, and they don’t live as long. And its banned in the EU and Canada because the milk from the cows has higher levels of IGF-1, which can cause cancer. There are lots of rBGH free options around here though, so that’s good. Imported cheese from Canada and Europe doesn’t have it either.

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

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Packing lunches for school. I did that this week and I haven’t bought any bad packaged food from school yet.

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I think I need to step it up.

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