February 4, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Sandy, Week 4


Location:Mountain View, CA, California, United States

Name: Sandy

Week: 4

Personal Info:

Two of us.

Sandy’s personal blog: http://spiraljetty.livejournal.com

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Really nice that the hospital didn’t give us a plastic bag to bring stuff home. They offered paper. Took things out of plastic bags when the clerks just put them in.

Total items collected: 38

Total weight: 1.4lb

Items: Recyclable
4 Soda bottles – I’m making some window hangers with them.
Plastic bin from the hospital
Deep square nut container
Yogert cup
2 plastic food containers for planting

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 zip lock bags that I’ve reused a bunch and they’re yucky
Just noticed that I threw out 2 bread bags that I normally would have and could have saved for farmers market.

There was tons of plastic waste at the hospital that we didn’t deal with. Couldn’t and wouldn’t bring it home. JUst overwhelming.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Will look for bread in paper.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
We decided to stop letting them give us little plastic dressing containers. We have dressing at home. We also got them to stop packing the plastic fork.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Good lord what a shock it is to have someone in the hospital after you’ve been saving all of your plastic. There was more plastic generated by each meds, IV, and vital signs check than we usually generate in a whole day. PLUS you’re captive in the hospital and iate from the cafeteria. Tried to reduce and at least they had recycleable food containers. We did talk to the nurse about the little pill cup that she gave us to take a pill that was wrapped in a package and a plastic dispenser bag. Was the cup really necessary? I wonder about all that hospital plastic waste. Germs yes, but lots of waste.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I just felt like we weren’t trying hard enough this week. We also discovered that we weren’t taking bags to other types of shopping expeditions so we were mindful of that. I put all of the plastic bags in with our shopping bags so we can reuse them in the stores.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I’m going to try to give up the packaged snacks. Even if they are tasty and healthy.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Some places generate lots of plastic. We are starting to notice that take out food is packaged in paper bags and chinese food wax boxes. Also some restraunts are using less. Its encouraging.
We’ve received things in the mail that had plastic that surprized us. A plastic bag for mailing a book and two items of mail from a drug company. We’ll be aware with our own company about how much waste we produce for marketing. Looking for recycled material types of swag has been fun and interesting.

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