June 2, 2009

Plastic Inventory from Citizen Green

I have a blog about my efforts to reduce my use of plastic called Citizen Green. I have been blogging for almost a year now. Doing this plastic inventory was much more useful than I thought it would be. It helped me see where plastic was sneaking into my house. As a result I plan to start gently bugging the 2 grocery stores where I shop for more bulk choices. I also plan to try to convince my pharmacy to do something about prescription bottles. I wish we could just refill them in the old bottles.

This was a worthwhile activity to do. It helped me evaluate the plastic that I am still using. I know I can eliminate some of it. I recommend you try it yourself!

Plastic Trash Results
1) Week #: 1
2) Name: Linda Anderson
List of Recyclable Items and the recycling # on the bottom 1 bag from cherries -?
4 plastic disposable shopping bags -#2
1 sandwich size Ziploc bag -?
1 bag from whole chicken -?
1 plastic bag for instruction booklets for new washer – #2
1 plastic bag from dry navy beans -?
1 plastic bag from cereal -?
1 plastic bag from carrots – ?
2 plastic bags from crackers that were in a box – ?
1 plastic bag from Salmon fillet -?
1 mushroom container -#6
3 scoops from laundry detergent – #1
1 lid from glass milk bottle
1 BBQ sauce bottle -#1
1 .3 oz bottle for dill weed -?
1 Centrum vitamins bottle and lid – #2
1 medium plastic bowl and lid that is worn out -#3
2 plastic lids to take-out coffee -?
1 prescription bottle #5
4 plastic pots form blueberry plants #5
1 packaging from fresh organic basil -?
2 hotel key cards -?
1 packaging from a new Norelco electric shaver for husband -#1
List of Non-recyclable Items

1 nylon tie that washing machine delivery men dropped

5) Total number of items – 33
Total weight of plastic stash – Did not do
Tally analysis
* What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
14 plastic bags – some easier to get rid of than others
1 BBQ sauce bottle
1 medium plastic bowl and lid that is worn out
2 plastic lids to take-out coffee
1 packaging from fresh organic basil

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
1 mushroom container -#6
2 plastic lids to take-out coffee -?

How many of these items are from “convenience” foods that could be made from scratch with less packaging but might take more time to prepare? 2

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

hotel keys, prescription bottle, lid on glass milk bottle

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

I may need to travel 1 1/2 hours to have access to more bulk buying options.

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

Pre-packaged chicken

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

I need to bug my grocery store to offer more bulk buying options.

8) Personal description – My husband and I live in Indiana. He works full time and I am retired. Our children have grown up and live on their own.

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