Plastic Free Challenge Week #2 

Week 2 of my plastic free challenge came to an end Saturday night. So I’m going to share my experience doing this plastic free challenge for the last two weeks.

What plastic did I consume in week #2?

Clearly I still used plastic these last two weeks but it was a good challenge for me to discover how much plastic I actually do consume and how much can I reduce. The top picture is how much plastic I used in week two and the bottom picture is plastic that was in my cupboards. Last week I went through my cupboards and cleared out old things that have been there for months that needed to be dumped. But for transparency I added them also because it was still plastic I had to throw away during the week. Here is the list from the photo above of everything I actually purchased/used/received in the second week of my challenge:

  1. Baby wipes & diaper package
  2. Two mango containers from Costco
  3. Eraser toys of my daughter that broke (are erasers plastic? I would think yes nowadays although erasers originally were not plastic)
  4. Plastic lid
  5. Plastic lid wrap-around thing
  6. Candy someone gave my daughter
  7. Baby toothbrush container-part (toothbrush is in the shape of a banana)
  8. Packaging from the mail
  9. Two mints from Maggiano’s
  10. Plastic tag from asparagus bunch
  11. Produce stickers
  12. Bulk bin twisties
  13. Lactose package (I use to make my babies formula from scratch)
  14. Pasta bag
  15. Plastic bag that had bread in it my aunt gave me when I visited her

 

If you aren’t including the plastic coming from my pantry clean out, I only consumed a little less plastic than the week before.

Overall how hard is it to go plastic free?

It’s hard. Anytime you are changing your habits and lifestyle it’s going to take learning. It took me extra time to meal plan for the week. Since we eat a plant-based diet in our home with very little animal products in the month, many alternative vegan products come in packages so I had to make more things from scratch. This is good because although I think we eat pretty healthy with lot of produce, making just about everything from scratch took it to another level. It certainly is a new system that I would have to develop over the next few months. Another hard thing was that there are somethings (like mangos) that I can’t find better quality of without plastic packaging.

Do I plan on keeping up the plastic free challenge?

Absolutely. I bought Bea Johnson’s book “Zero Waste Home” which is chalk full of really great information on how to reduce your waste consumption. It was incredibly rewarding for me to be a more conscious consumer and I plan to continue to work towards reducing our waste more and more as time goes on. Some people I think can do it ‘cold turkey’ if you want to say, but with our family, I think it will take time. It starts with us and then letting others around us know of our changed lifestyle which for me -is the hardest part.

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Decluttering Toys

The first step in simplifying your life is to declutter. And a few weeks ago I had had it with how much my daughter’s toys were consuming our apartment! Not only was it scattered in her bedroom but our couches were lined with toys, our dining area had piles, and toys would even end up on our bed throughout the day. I have seen on Pinterest a lot of people who divide up the toys and put half away and rotate them out and I’ve always thought, “that’s not going to be my house, she won’t ever have that many toys.” Well guess what….it is my house! So that’s exactly what I ended up doing. I know some of you may laugh because the above picture is literally all the toys she has and for a lot of western world kids it’s not a lot, but it’s too much for me.

I few months earlier I had already gone through her toys and gotten rid of little silly items. To describe what I mean: like the equivalent of cheap toys from fast food restaurants, except not because we don’t get happy meals and things of that nature, but you get what I mean, right? So I didn’t have toys that I felt like I could get rid of at the time. My main piles were anything play-food related, stuffed animals and baby items, small toys/figurines, and crafts/puzzles. Once I made piles I divided into half within the piles. This I actually had my daughter help me with. If there were 4 in a pile I’d ask which 2 she’d want at the time and etc. I didn’t hide that I was putting the toys away. I did it right in front of her and had her be apart of it. I told her that anything going in the tub that she wants to play with later, we would have to swap all the toys. So far it’s been going really great! It’s been a lot easier for her to pick up her toys at the end of the day (because they all fit into 3 boxes that go on her shelf and a basket on the side of the shelf). And for the most part, the toys are staying in her bedroom which helps me to keep the rest of the house clutter free! No, let’s be honest…less cluttered!

Please share your tips on how you corral the toys at your house, I’d love more tips.