February 25, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Pat Hohstadt, Week 1


Have been using plastic bags to collect my dog poop from the beach. Alternative?
What can one do about things shipped to you in plastic? Can you request shipment in cardboard?


Location:Corralitos (near Santa Cruz), California, United States

Name: Pat Hohstadt

Week: 1

Personal Info:

Female, married, retired, training to become a docent at the Seymour Center in Santa Cruz. I was alone during the week of the challenge. Give or take a bit, this was a normal amount of plastic for me.

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

Plastic bags for veggies at the store.
Plastic lid for a cup.

Total items collected: 29

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
6 yoghurt cups (#6)
1 cup top (#3)
2 pill bottles (#2)

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 straws
2 pc candy box (Valentine’s day)
1 flower wrapper
2 dog poop bags
1 ID holder from conference
1 bag from raw chicken
2 tea bag covers
1 bag candy
2 shipping bags
6 tops from yoghurt cups

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Chicken could be bought from butcher rather than pre-packaged
Vitamins sometimes come in glass bottles rather than plastic, but not often
Buy larger yoghurt containers rather than many smaller ones (not sure if actually less plastic)
Boxes of tea bags w/out covers, or tins of loose tea
Flowers loose without plastic bouquet wrapper

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Yoghurt containers
Id holders mandated
Shipping bags from on-line vendors
Dog poop bag (I don’t get paper bags, so don’t have used ones)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
To look for non-pre-packaged alternatives, eg. meat, tea, flowers. Find different sources for my vitamins to get glass bottles. I haven’t looked to see what’s available. Avoid buying on-line whenever possible because of the packaging for shipping

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
No pre-packaged meat/flowers

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It is expensive to choose some of the plastic alternatives, and they’re not easy to find. But in some cases it just means trying to simplify and do without the wrapping and trappings — like wrappers, lids, straws, etc.

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