A record of my efforts to live a more sustainable life.

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - Week 2 - December 20 - December 26, 2009



Recyclable Items (6):
  • 1 orange juice carton with plastic spout and lid
  • 1 So Nice Noel Nog carton (HDPE 2)
  • 1 package from tape measure -- Secret Santa gift
  • 1 soy milk carton with plastic spout and lid
  • 1 advent calendar -- cardboard and plastic stuck together, so I put the whole thing in the recycling. Hopefully it actually gets recycled.
  • 1 package from Wii classic controller -- I hate that everything to do with my beloved video games comes wrapped in its weight in plastic
Non-Recyclable Items (31):
  • 2 popcorn packages
  • 2 Booster Juice straws
  • 2 packages from dog treats -- Christmas presents for my boyfriend's dog
  • 1 Mini Eggs bag -- from my Christmas candy stash... this stuff is going to be hurting my tally for a while I'm afraid
  • 1 bag from licorice laces -- Christmas candy
  • 1 cheesecake wrapper -- dessert at Christmas dinner
  • 2 packages that I put in my pile and forgot what they were from before I got around to writing them down
  • 1 top of salad bag -- bag itself will show up later
  • 1 seal from soy milk carton -- at least I don't think that's recyclable...
  • 4 mini Laffy Taffy wrappers -- Christmas candy
  • 1 bag from frozen veggies
  • 1 bag and Styrofoam packaging from fountain I got for Christmas
  • 1 package from Wii Balance Board protector
  • 3 plastic envelopes -- I ordered 3 things from the same site, and they were shipping separately, each in its own pile of plastic, yet arrived together, wrapped in an elastic. Honestly.
  • 2 Styrofoam package protectors -- from above online order
  • 1 hook from clothing -- those things they hang stuff on in stores..
  • 1 size sticker from t-shirt
  • 2 pieces of scotch tape
  • 2 price tag attachers

Total Items: 37

Analysis:

Excuse of the week: Christmas presents. Good grief.

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
Still waiting on my glass straw to arrive. Salad could easily be replaced by just buying lettuce (though that sometimes comes in a plastic bag as well). I need to make an effort to move my candy consumption over to the unpackaged or less packaged varieties. Those individually wrapped Laffy Taffies are going to be plaguing my efforts in this challenge for a while yet.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
Perhaps in the future I could find a plastic-free alternative to my usual advent calendar.

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?
The salad bag and the frozen veggies bag.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Definitely orange juice and soy milk (at least the cartons are cardboard; just the spout and lid are plastic). I also could never give up my Wii games, and they come wrapped in plastic as do all accessories, unfortunately.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Still the candy issue... Also too much of my food comes in plastic packaging, but in order to change that I have to change how my mom shops, which is difficult to do if it goes against price and convenience.

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