Eco-Challenge: No Plastic vs. No Garbage

armwrestlingAfter much deliberation, we decided to rise to the challenge of Crunchy Chicken’s Extreme Eco-Challenge. To make it even more interesting, we have each chosen to champion one of the challenges. It will be a cooperative effort but we’re each spearheading the idea that sounded most feasible.

I am going to shoot for no garbage output in May, encouraging us to beef up our recycling (I’ve been meaning to call city recycling department and get some clarifications on items like shrink wrap and unnumbered plastics) and our composting efforts, as well as paying even closer attention to packaging at the grocery store.

Will is going to shoot for no plastic consumption in May and so we will be shopping for non-plastic alternatives for our groceries and other consumables. He is a little concerned about having lost already since he ordered Wii Fit last week and it will arrive sometime in May, no doubt entombed in plastic.

Actually, we both anticipate failing. We’re viewing this challenge as an unachievable goal like perfection. Nobody will every be perfect but it’s still worth striving towards. Hopefully this will give us some insight on how we can make a few more changes at home to keep moving down the green path. Wish us luck!

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    arduous said,

    May 1, 2008 @ 1:21 am

    So have you figured out anything about the floss?

  2. 2

    Andy said,

    May 1, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    Good luck on your no plastic / no trash adventure! Keep in mind that while recycling is better than throwing things out, reduce and reuse are even better options when they are possible. I would be interested in knowing what your findings with unlabeled recycling is. I always assumed that if it didn’t have a label I couldn’t recycle it, but I never looked into it. Unfortunately here we can only recycle #1 and #2 plastics.

    I think with May coming and the start of being able to buy unpackaged foods it will help a lot with making less trash.
    -Andy

  3. 3

    Jessica said,

    May 1, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    So is it okay for you to buy plastic but not Will? Seems like there could be some big loop holes there, such as Will asking you to buy that sack of bread because he can’t. I don’t know. In any case, good luck! I’m eager to hear how it turns out. Be sure to post what you learn while striving towards your goal. I’m sure I could make good use of your gained knowledge.

  4. 4

    Will said,

    May 1, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

    Jessica: no, we’re both working to avoid plastic and trash. We just differ on which we think will be harder. :)

    I’ve already run into one tension there. I thought I’d empty out the trash cans today so that we can esaily see how much trash we produce this month. Unfortunately, the replacement trash bag is plastic…

    For now, anyway, I’ve replace the plastic with a paper grocery bag, but it’s not something I’d thought about before we started!

  5. 5

    Maggie said,

    May 2, 2008 @ 12:34 am

    Arduous –
    I have some ideas for used dental floss but they’re all, well, kinda gross. As I already have a reputation for being a gross greenie, at least per the standards of Student Doctor Green, I will continue to throw away my used dental floss. I am striving to produce zero trash but my more realistic goal is to produce less than a pint jar of trash in a month. We’re planning to collect it all in a glass jar to get the full visual impact of how all those produce stickers and plastic bottle rings add up.

  6. 6

    Eco-Challenge: Week 1/2 | GreenCouple.com said,

    May 3, 2008 @ 1:05 am

    [...] only had two days of our eco-challenge and already we’ve fallen [...]

  7. 7

    Help! I'm a Driving Junkie! | GreenCouple.com said,

    May 13, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

    [...] driving a lot just by looking at my budget and seeing how much money I spend on fuel but during our Eco-Challenge month I thought I’d track my daily mileage and find out specifically how it all adds up. [...]

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