July 9, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Sabra, Week 1


Ok, I have a small condition that forces me no not be able to drink chlorinated water at all. The tab water in Nashville contains chlorine, along with most bottled water. I have searched high and low to find one brand that doesn’t contain chlorine, and that is Deer Park. However, Deer Park water only comes in plastic containers. Does anyone know of any water that is chlorine- and possibly fluoride-free that comes in glass containers? Hopefully refillable? Or any ways to get rid of chlorine from water.

Location:Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Name: Sabra

Week: 1

Personal Info:

Hi! My name is Sabra. I live in an apartment in Nashville with 2 roommates and my boyfriend. I have been trying to be more Eco conscious for a few years now, but since I moved here, I had stopped recycling because no one else did here and I didn’t have a car to take it to the pick up place. Well, I decided to start again, and also take it one step further. :) Another reason I want to give up plastics is because of the toxins that can leech into my food. I am the only one here doing this, however my boyfriend is cutting down his use because of me! :)

Also, at work, since I cannot tell the giant corporation that it needs to find plastic-free alternative for its suppliers (though I am working on a letter to the CEO) I am recycling any plastic I touch or see in the trash, so less of it ends up in a landfill. You would not believe how many plastic bags a loaf of bread goes through before it ever hits the shelf. (I work in a bakery department) However, since I don’t eat bread, I don’t buy it, regardless of how many bags it used up. When I did eat bread, I made it at home! :)

Sabra’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
I didn’t refuse any because this was my first week and I wanted to be able to gauge my usage.

Total items collected: 69

Total weight: 1 lb 12 oz

Items: Recyclable
10 grocery bags
4 vegetable bags
1 yogurt container
1 yogurt container lid
1 bag from frozen salmon (and 6 shrink-wraps for the fillets. I didn’t save them cuz they smelled)
1 egg carton that held 24 eggs
1 light bulb blister container (held 3 led bulbs)
1 one gallon water jug
1 cap
1 two and a half gallon water dispenser
3 twenty ounce water bottles
3 caps
1 plastic fork
1 plastic spoon
I container for soap
1 spinach container
1 lettuce container

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 fruit stickers
1 plug earring gauge package
6 ziplock bags
2 chocolate wrappers
1 plastic coated box from soap
3 microwave popcorn wrappers
1 plastic wrap from box of mushrooms
1 plastic net bag from alvacadoes
1 tamper band from spice jar
1 plastic wipe bag from face cleansing wipes
1 medium take-out container
1 small take-out container
3 ramicans
3 ramican lids
1 plastic wrapping from case of mason jars

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Yogurt container could be avoided by making yogurt at home (which I have done in the past)
The take-out containers and ramicans could be avoided by bringing my own containers
The plastic bags could be avoided by bringing reusable grocery bags and produce bags
Buying eggs with a bio-degradable container.
Buying loose alvacadoes instead of ones in a plastic sac
I can avoid buying the giant lettuce container by not buying lettuce from Costco. (Most of it became compost anyway. :( )
I could buy chocolate that is not individually wrapped
I could pack my lunch in re-usable containers instead of ziplock bags.
I bought To-go ware flatwear sets for my boyfriend and myself, so we won’t need plastic utensils anymore.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
None right now.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Mostly just the water. I cannot have chlorine, and I’m not sure what to do about it.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I may need to buy more fresh food and not in bulk at Costco, because of the unavoidable plastic packaging.
I can also start making some food from scratch, like yogurt.
I really wish I could buy some chickens for eggs, but in the appartment complex I live in, that is impossible…..
I need to carry around reusable grocery bags in my boyfriend’s car for when we go shopping.
I could also shop around for items with less plastic packaging, like for the mason jars, I may be able to find some that come in just a box.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Plastic grocery bags.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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