Show Your Plastic Challenge: Week 5

WEEK 5 SHOW YOUR PLASTIC CHALLENGE

 TOTAL –  54 PIECES, 1 LB 6.5 OZ

Finally…a reduction in volume of our plastic waste, small but good.

Since we didn’t ‘clean house’ at the beginning of the year of our accumulated plastic but continue to use what was on hand, plastic is going to continue to filter in as the year progresses. My prior, consumeristic mentality had stockpiled my organic favorite ingredients when coupons and sales arose (packaged in plastic). So I currently have in my possession a year or more supply of organic sugar and other basics that will continue to rear their plastic packages from week to week.

Entering the second month, I’ve now discovered the ugly truth that trying to change too many things too quickly can lead to burnout. I want to make sustainable changes in our family that we can make part of our lifestyle rather than create fads that will quickly fade. Making homemade dog food from week 2 has been a challenge. After making all of our own gluten/soy free foods from scratch, making dog food at 9:00 pm is not exactly an enjoyable task. After looking at my plastic free priorities I’ve decided to investigate other alternatives for pet food.

Sometimes we have to take a step back, take deep breath, and decide what should come first.

My daughter was ill during our scheduled farmers market pickup. It didn’t go as planned. I had notified the growers & market managers that I would be bringing my own containers. While I kindly requested that some of my items not be packaged in plastic, my plans were thwarted. I sent my husband to pickup the order (it’s an online farmers market) with reusable bags in tow, he was made to feel very uncomfortable.

“Are you going to cut those sausages out of the plastic package and put them in your pockets?”

he was asked by the market manager. The majority of the items were prepackaged in plastic bags (bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos). After being taunted he didn’t want to make a scene and quietly departed.

My next visit to the market, I will be prepared to do just what the manager suggested, with container in hand. “What a great idea,” I’ll say. “Thanks for thinking of it.” He will be holding the plastic bag. (Smile.) This from a group that encourages reusable bags for order pickups and encourages you to reuse your containers.

Here’s a list of what we consumed this week: Week 5 Table

PLASTIC FREE PROGRESS:

  • Homemade Gluten Free Brown Bread has become a highly requested staple in our home. I found a GF blog that I love and have tried several of Gluten Free on a Shoestring recipes.
  • Completed one month without buying store bought dog food in a plastic bag. Saved 1 20 lb bag from landfill.
  • Located a local dairy for milk by asking at our local health food store. Delivered glass jars to be filled. I found my 1/2 & 1 gallon jars at yard sales & 2nd hand stores. You could repurpose a large glass pickle or juice jar too.
  • Sourced a cheese from local provider. Blog post soon to come.
  • Researched new sources for recycling our waste: Terracycle
  • Contacted two companies about plastic packaging: Frontier Coop & Dr. Bronners. Currently, I’m waiting to hear a response.
  • Discovered a way to keep produce stickers out of landfill, and my compost. See Produce Sticker post earlier this week.

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

Week 4 Totals – 60 items, 1 lb 9.6 oz

Week 5 Totals – 54 items, 1 lb 6.5 oz

GOALS:

  •  Pickup bulk grocery order from Azure Standard apples  (20 lbs) and onions (20 lbs) are coming, I hope, plastic free along with other great items.
  • Pickup locally made cheese without plastic packaging.
  • Continue to implement one plastic free change from the Grocery Substitution worksheet: homemade yogurt.
  • Research any alternatives for pet food in recyclable packaging or find a way to reuse our pet food bags.
  • Make batch of homemade laundry soap. Recipe will posted this week.

Comments

  1. says

    You’re making great progress!!! This is on my to-do list. I try to purchase as little plastic as possible, but ridding my home of plastic that is already here is an entirely different battle.

    • Jen says

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one. These days I’m feeling a little alone in my battle. Plastic vs. ME.

  2. says

    Getting away from plastic is hard and not a simple step. Take it easy and pace yourself. Every piece avoided is progress and eventually you’ll get there. You trying and sharing your success and struggles inspire us.

    Good Luck!
    Jon

    • says

      Thanks, Becky. I’m looking forward to going back to the market in the next few weeks. I’ve lined up a Freecycle delivery of some wine bottles for home brewing while I’m there. Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!

      The cheese source has been delayed a little bit. Hopefully, I be reporting on that soon.

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