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Show Your Plastic Challenge: Week 10

WEEK 10 SHOW YOUR PLASTIC CHALLENGE

TOTAL – 1 lb 1.8 oz, 55 Items

Show Your Plastic Challenge Week 10

What do you do when a plastic non-disposable item comes to the end of its useful life?

My husband recently purchased an iPhone 5 and was left behind with a partially broken Otterbox case from his previous unit. Any plastic that is recycled or disposed of in the garbage must be included in the weekly Show Your Plastic Challenge totals. I could toss it in the garbage with the thought, “I’ve no more use for this. Besides it can’t be reused, it’s broken.” That’s the easy route, right?

Remember to think outside the plastic box.

I decided to take it apart and part out its pieces on eBay. It was entirely made of plastic and silicone and would otherwise sit in a landfill unable to decompose. The outer clip/holster sold almost instantly and the silicone rubber case sold shortly after. While the entire unit was not useful it had several pieces that were still intact and could be reused. My husband thinks I’m crazy sometimes with my de-cluttering binges, but this time he was tickled. Afterward he informed me that he only paid $15.99 on Amazon for the entire case several years ago and I just resold the good parts for the same price! What a thrill!

Many times we discard items thinking that they can’t be reused due to being broken or out of date. However, there might just be another person out there wanting to avoid buying virgin plastic products that is looking for that exact piece of the unit you have to offer. eBay, Craigslist and freecycle.org are great resources to make a few bucks and keep plastic out of the landfill. The next time that you need to shop for a plastic item (like an iPhone case) think of buying secondhand to avoid buying new, virgin plastic.

Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle

Update on our toothpaste substitutes, last week plan A was to try using plain baking soda in lieu of a new minty fresh plastic tube. Okay, we did it…once. Very salty to taste. While I didn’t gag, I won’t be looking forward to doing it again real soon. Plan B = homemade toothpaste hasn’t been executed yet. Plan C = kids strawberry toothpaste saved the week. Push come to shove, I’ll do it. I’ve just got to talk myself into it.

Here’s a list of what we consumed this week: Week 10 Table

PLASTIC FREE PROGRESS

  • Azure delivery brought another 20 lbs crisp fuji apples, case of mangos, 25 lbs Bob’s Red Mill potato starch among other plastic free bulk items
  • Reusing pet food bags for garbage bags. We are still on the cat food bag that began its reuse on February 14th.
  • Sampled Baking Soda for toothpaste substitute.
  • Week 6 of obtaining milk in glass jars locally. Only store-bought dairy is butter & sour cream.

SUMMARY

Month 1 Summary – 273 items, 5 lbs 8.3 oz

Month 2 Summary – 221 items, 4 lbs 13 oz.

Week 9 – 55 items, 1 lb 3 oz

GOALS

  • Take kids on a Garbage walk to collect items to be recycled in the area around our home.
  • Work on refusing all disposables & convenience items this week.
  • Continue the next 10 items in the Personal Care Substitution worksheet from Beth Terry’s book Plastic Free – How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.
  • Make homemade toothpaste.

What is one thing you think your family could do to reduce your plastic waste?

18 thoughts on “Show Your Plastic Challenge: Week 10

    1. What are they, Angela? Don’t forget that your changes inspire too! Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back.

    1. Yes, and the return on the investment sometimes pays off in monetary ways too. Not always but sometimes it proves to be the icing on the cake.

  1. I’m impressed! I’ve been trying to reuse any plastic containers that we have, and use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. If I do have any plastic bags, I use them as trash bags.

    1. Im thrilled to hear that you are being a mindful plastic consumer, Elisebet. Keep up the good work!

    1. I’m enjoying the challenge. I must give the credit for the idea to Beth Terry. Shes been doing it for several years.

  2. I cannot tell you how many phone cases I have probably thrown out in the past thinking they were no good (my husband goes through them like crazy it seems)…will definitely have to consider that tip in the future! Thank you!!!

    1. Yes, think twice before disposing of any item. Remember one person’s trash is another persons treasure.

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