Have you ever wondered how much plastic you use in a day? A week? A month? I have always been pretty conscious of how much plastic I use and buy on a daily basis, but I was curious to see if there was a way that I could further reduce my plastic consumption.
This is when I decided to take on the plastic-free challenge over at My Plastic-free Life– oh and checkout my previous post prior to starting the challenge. During the plastic free challenge, you collect all the plastic you use in one week and at the end of that week, you consider what changes you can make to reduce your plastic consumption. Easy peasy, no?
After seven days, we collected 31 pieces of plastic. Here is what we accumulated:
- 1 deodorant (husband)
- 1 cling wrap from cheese (husband)
- 2 plastic things from milk (husband)
- 3 mystery pieces of plastic
- 4 plastic things from a shirt my husband bought (husband)
- 1 bags from lemons (me)
- 1 bunch of plastic wrap from bananas-I do not put my bananas in a plastic bag-does that seem like something Good Girl Gone Green would do? They come already wrapped in plastic to identify they are organic. (me/husband)
- 1 Coke bottle (husband)
- 2 milk bottles (husband)
- 2 Milk caps-I send them to a company that makes caps into door mats…cool, eh? (husband)
- 2 meats bags (husband)
- 1 packaging bag (husband)
- 3 mystery caps (me/husband)
- 1 Dr.Bronners soap bottle (me/husband)
- 1 Dr.Bronners cap (me./husband)
- 1 cashew bag (me/husband)
- 1 raison bag (me/husband)
- 1 cacao bag (me)
- 1 baggie (me)
- 1 bag flax seeds (me)
What items could we easily replace with plastic-free alternatives?
- Lemons- do not purchase prepackaged, which is not always easy
- Cashew, raison, and flax seed bags can all be replaced with purchasing in bulk and bringing my own organic produce bags.
- Dr.Bronner soap (cap) can be purchased in bulk. Therefore, I can refill my preexisting containers or buy a glass one.
- 3 mystery caps and 3 mystery plastic pieces– seeing as we don't know what they are, should be easy to reduce, no?
What items would we be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn't exist?
- Lemon bag– who needs lemons, right?
- Cacao– I will try *sad face* But you know the bag can be recycled; it’s a #4 plastic.
- Coke– we seriously do not need that junk.
- Baggie– I bought a snack at the farmers market in a little bag. I will not being doing that again unless I have a small container to put it in myself.
What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
- Milk– my husband loves his milk and milk only comes packaged two ways: plastic container, or cardboard container that is sealed in plastic on the inside. I am looking for a glass option, but it is not looking too promising. So, the way we look at it, it is better to buy milk in the plastic container because at least it can be recycled, where the other container can not be recycled at most recycling facilities.
- Plastic caps– comes with the milk unfortunately.
- Deodorant– have you ever seen a plastic-free alternative? I haven't, but it won't stop me from looking! I have thought of making our own deodorant though my husband is not a fan of the idea.
- Banana– I go bananas for bananas! I just love them so. It is one of the only fruit and veggies we don’t buy local! Can’t a girl live a little on the edge sometimes? I am going to look for bananas without the plastic and reduce how many bananas we buy a week.
- Meat bags– My husband buys his meat from the local farmer’s market and right now the only option for meat packaging is small plastic bags. I am not sure if there are any farmers that do not use plastic bags. Hopefully, when we move to Texas in October, we will find an alternative….I am not too optimistic though.
- Cheese– My husband does not eat much cheese, but when he does the cheese is usually wrapped in plastic. I have heard that some famers will cut the cheese and put it in a reusable bag. I am going to look into that.
What one plastic item are we willing to give up or replace with a plastic-free alternative this week?
- Nuts, raisons and flax seeds
What lifestyle changes might be necessary to reduce our plastic consumption?
Ummm, might want to ask my husband. He loves his dairy and that seems to be the biggest culprit!
I think we have to focus on buying in bulk, so we can use our reusable produce bags, and we need to look for plastic alternatives as much as possible.
Whoever participated in the plastic-free challenge last week, let me know your results. If you are interested in the challenge checkout my plastic-free life. When you have completed the challenge, please share your results with me.
We should all try and minimize our plastic footprint! Remember last week when I wrote about the 5 gyres– the plastic garbage patches? Well, to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean, we should reevaluate our plastic consumption as a society!