Show Your Plastic Challenge: Week 3

WEEK 3 SHOW YOUR PLASTIC CHALLENGE

 TOTAL – 73 PIECES, 1 LB 10 OZ

Okay, so I thought that I was making some progress this week. My collection bag wasn’t overflowing on Friday and I was starting to feel some accomplishment. Then all at once – POOF! – it filled up and was spilling out. We made some accomplishments this week by choosing to be more mindful grocery shoppers. While we didn’t refuse all plastic free items yet, we did refuse to buy some of the gluten free grocery items that have been our regular purchases. We did limit our plastic purchases this week.

Without further ado, here are our pictures for this week…

   verses   

                             Non-Recyclables                                                                                 Recyclables

Here’s a list of what we consumed this week:  Week 3 Table

Before I talk about our conclusions and goals for this week (i.e. problems) let’s talk about the progress that we were able to make this week (i.e. success). Accentuate the positive first, right?

PLASTIC FREE PROGRESS:

  • Disposable Shavers are a thing of the past! This week includes my last one (that I’m aware of in the house)
  • Completed one week without buying store bought dog food in a plastic bag.
  • Made 17 choices on Catalogchoice.org to refuse catalogs and choose to shop online if needed. Saved 1 tree, 201 lbs greenhouse gases, 72 lbs solid waste, and 484 gallons of water. WOW!
  • 1st Plastic Free Mindful Grocery Shopping Trip (It was depressing! All I could see was plastic on every shelf, even at my favorite Whole Foods) I’ll blog this experience later.
  • Researched new sources for recycling our waste: aseptic milk containers, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tubes, Plastic Bottle Caps
  • Dropped of all #5 Plastic Containers at Whole Foods for Gimme 5 Preserve Recycling Program

SUMMARY:

Week 1 Totals – 64 items, 10.7 oz

Week 2 Totals – 76 items, 1 lb 10 oz

Week 3 Totals – 73 items, 1 lb 10 oz

At this rate our family will produce over 67 pounds of plastic garbage this year. 67 pounds of non-biodegradable refuse that will be on our planet FOREVER….

GOALS:

  •  Complete a Grocery Substitution Worksheet from Beth Terry’s book Plastic Free – How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too with ideas for plastic free substitutes of my top 20 grocery items. From the pictures you can obviously see that the majority of our plastic waste is from food.
  • Implement one or two plastic free changes from the Grocery Substitution Worksheet. I’m leaning toward bread and cereal this week.
  • Focus on refusing convenience items. This week I slipped up several times. I neglected to refuse a stir stick, water bottle, 2 plastic grocery bags (from a friend), etc. These were things that I forgot or was too embarrassed or just flat out too lazy to refuse. They shouldn’t have happened.
We must remind ourselves that it’s not possible to change everything at once. Inch by Inch = Cinch. Mile by Mile = Trial.

 

Comments

    • Jen says

      So true! I’m in search of a GF pasta box without plastic. The brands we currently use have a small plastic screen on the front of the box. This is one of my plastic purchases this week.

  1. says

    So encouraging to see your journey. Following “Plastic Free”, I culled all the low-hanging fruit and immediately ended up with 30% less garbage (as well as a lot less recycling). I got us off the catalog mailing lists and a month’s worth of our physical mail now fits in one paper grocery bag. Now I have to tackle the harder bits.

    • Jen says

      Awesome! What is your next goal to tackle in your plastic free journey? I’m keeping list of my plastic free action items. You might have something that I’ve not listed yet. Brainstorming as a team is a great way to spread the word.

      • says

        Oh dear! I’m much less organised about it than you are. I try to be mindful at all times (plastic lurks absolutely everywhere). And I’ve found that in general, when I work at reducing our household trash, I also end up with less plastic. We do very little take-out food, but the nice guys at the local Indian restaurant are more than happy to put their food in my tiffins and bowls. And the local café loves it if you byo coffee cups. One of these days I’m going to write to Trader Joe’s and beg them for a bulk section.

        • Jen says

          Love the idea of writing to Trader Joes for a plastic free alternative: bulk foods. I’m starting to tally a few companies to write to. That’s on my to do list. We are a GF, Soy Free family & bulk foods are no longer an option for us. I’m going to start working with Bob’s Red Mill soon for larger quantities of basic items. I hope they package 25 lbs. in paper bags….I’m hopeful.

    • Jen says

      Great question. In week 2, we shopped on eBay and local antique stores for safety razors. My husband found a double edge razor which I posted about in week 2. See the shortcut link to week 2 in this weeks post above. I found a Gem Jr Razor on eBay for $4.00. It is a pretty bronze razor with a patent date of 1912 made in Brooklyn, NY. I found single edge razor blades at a local drug store all packaged in cardboard & paper. I got a thrill – no plastic! I was a little apprehensive about using it. However, it’s been great – no cuts & easy to use. It was an easy change for us.

  2. says

    What a great way to try to be greener in 2013! I look forward to seeing your progress next week and thanks for the tip on the place to opt out of catalogs.

    • Jen says

      When you start using the catalogchoice.org service, it will give you a total of the resources that you’ve saved by your CHOICES to refuse extra mail. By the way it’s a free service. Even better, right?

    • Jen says

      I felt the same way, this seems like an huge mountain to climb. That’s why I am taking it slow. My goal is to change a few small things each week. If in the end I’ve been more mindful plastic consumer then I’ve made progress. If we each do a little it creates synergy. Synergy = whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Never underestimate the effect of your actions, right?

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