February 6, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Nan, Week 5


Is it possible to avoid plastic when shipping?

Location:Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Name: Nan

Week: 5

Personal Info:

Nan’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Remembered to refuse a straw this week.
finally signed up for the junk mail reduction list

Total items collected: 31

Total weight: 7.5 oz

Items: Recyclable
2 (yes 2) vegan creamer cartons
1 newspaper bag (still coming in plastic despite my request)
1 small bag that was in a file cabinet from a previous appliance purchase
1 vitamin bottle

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 lemon skewer (from outing at work)
3 pieces of bubble wrap and a little tape(ordered vitamins on internet and despite my friend’s past experience with the company, it came heavily packaged)
1 granola bar wrapper (mandatory double at work so was rather desperate for food)
1 bandaid
1 tea wrapper
7 window envelopes
2 tamper seals
1 cat toy package (my kitty acts like his life depends on this particular toys)
1 membership card
1 cereal bag (only one left now)
1 rice bag
1 zinc lozenge wrapper
1 old acne cream tube
1 closure for bulk chocolate order
2 tags from new gloves


What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
lemon skewer (unnecessary and was not expecting it)
tea wrapper
creamers – think I found a solution to this (homemade soy milk, BFA-free canned coconut milk for special baking, cashew cream)
cereal bag
newspaper bag (will probably need to just buy the newspaper from a store or box)
rice bag (just brought new in bulk this week)
vitamin bottle (bought in glass)
zinc lozenge

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
acne cream (don’t really need anymore since I gave up shampoo and cheese my skin cleared up?!)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Cat thinks that his toys are essential. He really really likes these toys that all come in plastic. He mildly likes one other natural non-plastic toy, but this ones really get him moving. He is obsessed with plastic, and it’s getting worse as there is less of it around the house (the reason he is in every photo- he comes running when the plastic comes out).

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
continue to buy more in bulk
ask more questions before ordering items on-line
buy newspaper at the store (only get one paper a week so this seems pretty easy)

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Plastic really adds up quick, which is rather frustrating. I’m eating better now though as a side effect.

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