5A: Plastic Challenge, Calgary, Kelsey S.

Environment   Oct 23, 2018 by Kelsey Stephen

For this week's challenge I only collected my plastic for 4 days. Ultimately I was not surprised by my plastic use. there were lots of times where I felt super guilty having to save my plastic because i am definitely not proud of my current use. The contents of my jar include, 2 Ziploc bags, 2 pairs of daily disposable contact lenses, a wagon wheel wrapper, a pizza pops wrapper, my now used up deodorant and the soap dispenser from my bathroom that just became empty. I decided to keep all the plastics I used even though some of these can be recycled because I wanted to get a good understanding of just how much plastic I consume on a weekly basis.  Now reflecting upon this experience there are a few goals I want to set out for myself. I definitely think I could have avoided the Ziploc bags and the food wrappers by just eating alternative foods and using Tupperware containers. My goal continuing for the rest of the year is to not use another Ziploc bag ever, even though this item can be thrown in the recycling bin I still believe its better to reduce my consumption. Some less avoidable items were the deodorant, soap dispenser and disposable contacts. After some thought I think that I will also make an effort to avoid these products. the new deodorant I bought came in a glass jar and is made with all natural ingredients, so it is probably much better for me and the environment. Unfortunately, I did have to use another soap dispenser to hold me over in the bathroom for the week but next time that I go shopping my gaols is to purchase a bar of soap rather that soap in a dispenser. most likely it will last me longer and it will not include any plastic packaging which is also a win. The biggest obstacle I faced was my contacts. Currently the pair of glasses I have are not up to prescription at all and so I tend to rely more on my contacts for everyday use. At the end of this week I will get my new glasses and so another goal I have is to try to wear my glasses at least 5 days a week to cut back on the amount of contacts I am throwing out. I am also considering either getting longer use contacts (3-6 months).  My advice for anyone trying to go plastic free is to evaluate how much you use and focus on making a few simple changes. I didn't realize how much useless plastic I was wasting in the bathroom and now that I am aware I have come up with some really easy solutions to my problem. All it takes really is understanding and acknowledging where you need to improve and going from there! 

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