February 2, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Sabrina L, Week 3

Just this week’s new garbage:
Sabrina's plastic waste

This is plastic already in use in our home, after the big clean out of the house and refrigerator:
Sabrina's plastic waste

Name: Sabrina Lutes and family, 2 adults and 1 2-year old

Week: 3

Personal Info:

See full description in all of Sabrina’s posts.

Total items: 48

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1- milk bottle (2)
1- mouthwash (2)
1 – shampoo bottle (2) ancient, haven’t used shampoo for so long now
2- mustard bottles (1)(4)
1- food package
2- produce bags (brought into our home, but we enjoyed the food, so they are included)

Items: Nonrecyclable
1- flour bag, arrowhead mills
1- frozen veggie
1- ziploc
1- hanger wrapper
1- plastic packaging for a shelf
3- chocolate chip bags
2- cheese wrappers
2- wrappers from hardware
4- meat wrappers
3- small ziploc from hardware
5- lids
1- tape shipping
1- wrapper from pie shells
2- yeast wrappers
1- dressing top wrapper
4 – plastic things from plumbing repairs
1- plastic toy wrapper
1- lid from yogurt top

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
There are two pictures here, one from old plastic after the great housecleaning, refrigerator clean out….most of these items I have already thought about. I’ll focus on my much smaller pile of trash that was brought into the home this week.

Yeast: already scoped it out at the market in bulk, will bring container
Dressing top wrapper: will begin making my own, tastes better anyway!
I will talk more diligently to my friends about their plastic usage and how to decrease it. Since I ended up with plastic bags because of it….:)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Tried giving up plumbing, but it just isn’t safe with a toddler, we were planning on letting our sink water fill buckets and use those in gardening! ( made me start thinking of our water usage! I digress! Okay hot dogs we could give up, not that we normally even buy them, but had a momentary lapse of reason!

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Okay, so the plumbing. Although I think there could have been, maybe metal? Not sure though.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
So far, I’ve made a fool of myself in the meat department, but that only fueled me on! Need to be more vocal about plastic usage. Come out of my shell a bit. I would like to figure out how to make it a plus for people to go without the plastic and try things differently. Everyone tells me how hard it is and that’s why they don’t forgo it.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I honestly feel like we have purged or found replacements for most of the plastic we would have normally not blinked an eye at. I think I’ll try 1 cheese instead of two. I am being very pesky though and hoping to work a solution out with the cheese people.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
That this isn’t a little bit is okay sort of thing. There are just too many of us doing the same things and that it adds up to catastrophic amounts of plastic. There needs to be a paradigm shift in what we do. I am also seeing my waste in everything and slowly decreasing all of it as these weeks move on. I know, my pictures and plastic count still look so high, it makes me want to cry. That’s why I had to divide it up, it was overwhelming living with the past plastic usage.

My Question:
How do you get past the “regulations” or whatever they like to throw at you at the meat counter to get it into your own container!
I was seriously freaked after my experience at fresh market, you can read about that in week two comments.

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