Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Plastic Free July Wrap Up - My Waste Audit

Hey muffins! Today is the last day of July, which means the Plastic Free July challenge officially ends tomorrow. 🎉 While the month long endeavor might be coming to a close, I will (obviously) continue to avoid plastic as part of my journey towards living a sustainable low-waste lifestyle. As a wrap up for this month, I wanted to share with you all today the plastic waste that I created. 😊 Let's dive right into it!

All of the plastic used in July:

Along with these plastic items, there were a few other things that I was unable to collect:
-Hot dog container from work event
-Approx. 12 pads and their wrappers from my period
-Two trash bags

Overall, I think that I did a nice job... But there are definitely areas I need to improve on! First, I really want to strive towards making my period zero waste. As I knew it was going to start the second week of July, I wanted to try out a menstrual cup. I bought the Lena cup off of Amazon and instead of a cardboard box they shipped it in a bubble mailer. 😑 That was a fail and then I also just could not get the menstrual cup to work for me (hence why there are 12ish pads in my total plastic haul). As I mentioned in my Should I Get a Menstrual Cup? post, cups are "easy to use" in theory... But it was just a huge struggle for me. While I haven't given up on the Lena cup yet, it just didn't pan out for Plastic Free July.

I think the second area of improvement would be making my work office more sustainable. Not only did I attend a baseball game event where it was expected of us to eat the food that was provided by the firm (resulting in the hot dog container and Gatorade bottle), but they also only have individually packaged snacks and candy in the office building (which resulted in me indulging in some Hershey Nuggets without thinking about the challenge). 🤷‍♀️ As an intern, I felt uncomfortable going against the norm especially at the baseball event... But when I start full-time with the company next year, I will definitely be having a sustainability chat with my supervisors!

What can be recycled or reused:

Not all of the plastic that I collected will be going to the landfill however. 🥳 My local recycling pick up will be able to recycle all of these things, and I will be re-using the Amazon bubble mailer when I move out of this apartment and into my school apartment in August.

What is going to landfill

Even though I grocery shop locally and use my own bags, it seems like a majority of the waste I created was related to food. For the whole month of July I collected 17 stickers from various fruits and vegetables as well as a rubber band holding broccoli stems together at the farmer's market. I was able to find a local health food store that sells milk in glass bottles, but the lid was still plastic. However, I am proud to say that I avoided a lot of plastic packaging by not purchasing any meat, getting bread from a local bakery (and having them put the bread in my own bag), and shopping from the bulk bins. 😃

Overall, I definitely learned a lot of the same lessons as last summer from participating in Plastic Free July. However, I avoided a lot more plastic this year because I held myself accountable to the goals I created at the end of June. 💚 I look forward to this challenge again next summer!!!

How did your Plastic Free July go?? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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1 comment:

  1. My goodness, you did SO well. I'm ridiculously impressed! It's okay that the Lena cup didn't work. You can keep trying or look into another alternative that works better for you <3


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