May Challenge: All Results

Part 1: The Plastic

Week 1 we used/collected 26 items equaling 229 grams / 8.07 ounces total.
Week 2 we used/collected 12 items equaling 138 grams / 4.8 ounces total.
Week 3 we used/collected 11 items equaling 109 grams / 3.8 ounces total.
Week 4 we used/collected 6 items equaling 103 grams / 3.6 ounces total.

Month of May Total: 55 Items equaling 579 grams / 20.4 ounces.

I am rather proud of our efforts, and I think it is good to have a new goal. It was interesting to see out plastic count fall every week 🙂 My hope is that at the end of June we have went from totaling 20 ounces to 15 – at least.

The things that we continue to buy in plastic will be candy, ice cream and chips. I do plan to make our own ice cream sometime in the future, but need to wait till I get a full fridge and out of my dorm sized fridge. We will have some beer wrappers too.

In this have learned to make some of my own things to avoid plastic. They are:

  • Tortillas
  • Sour Cream / Crème fraiche
  • Yogurt – regular
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Pasta (this is on hold until I buy a proper roller)
  • Cooking Syrup
  • Deodorants

I am also learning to make some things, that will take some time to master 🙂

  • Cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Parmesan)
  • Ice Cream

I have learned to really watch if I am buying something packaged. When buying fresh fish for example, they always try to slip in a plastic bag inside the paper – now I know to watch them like a hawk the whole time. Or even if I buy something in a paper box to shake it around to see if I can hear plastic. Ole and I are always laughing at ourselves, we know we must look crazy while at the grocery store. I have also come to realize, that if I can get a good quality used product I should – but when that is not an option to not beat myself up over buying new and gaining tons of plastic wrapping.

I have now also stopped buying the oil I was before. I just read ‘Real Food: What to eat and Why” by Nina Planck – I highly recommend it! Ok well not all oil.. but I am buying only cold pressed organic Olive Oil in glass, Coconut Oil in glass and then we have butter and lard. The Olive Oil is easy to get with a metal lid and no plastic spout, so I am excited about that. But I guess that is a whole other post. 🙂

You too can join the Show you Plastic Challenge here! I challenge you to do it for at least one week, week all the plastic that you use – you will be amazed at how plastic is everywhere! If you need motivation, read this to learn about the health dangers of plastic – Plastics: The Sixth Basic Food Group – and watch this.

Part 2: The Cost

If you recall from the May Challenge post:

We will be keeping tack of all the money spent on goods. Not just a general we spent this amount, but a we spent XX on bread, XX on fruit, XX on toilet paper, ect. … We have looked back into our bills from October to see how much we used on these items then, when we were only shopping at the regular grocery store and the liquor store. We have been working to put our money to better places then big business, and now we are buying I think 80% of our goods not at the regular grocery store.

Now I am not sure if that 80% organic is correct, I am not sure of the exact percentage but I know we try to always get the ‘good stuff’ over the commercial stuff. When I compare the numbers of October food bills, our food spending has only went up 6%. Which is not bad, as in the summer months we eat lots of ice cream and Popsicles (no A/C). Personally for me it is really nice to see exactly where this money has went too. I kept a detailed list, but in the end simplified it. For me it broke down into 11 categories: Meat & Fish, Fat & Oil, Fruit & Vegg, Grains, Milk & Eggs, Spices & Sauces, Juice & Drinks, Desserts, Alcohol, Toiletries, then a few Odds & Ends.

It is nice to know that I am trying to send my money to smaller more local business’. We are shopping at Idsøe – local butchers, Økologiske Dagligvarer – local organic store, Stavanger Torget – farmers market, and a commercial regular grocery store. Now that summer is coming the Torget will be open more, I am very excited about that. Also, I am still working to try to get out of the regular grocer but I think that we will still have to go until I can have a small plot to grow.

I am challenging myself to buy my fish from the local fish market sometime in June, I have been avoiding it because I am worried it will cost to much. We have just bought a house that is in the Sentrum of Stavanger (downtown) and move in September, and the fish market and torget/farmers market will be just a 5 minute walk from my house – so I will have no excuses.

Have you been more aware of your plastic intake/use since hearing about this? I would love to hear if knowing about the plastic dangers has got you to thinking!

2 Responses

  1. Erin November 19, 2011 / 17:38

    Fonda, loving this blog! The plastic issue is one dear to me. I am a huge fan of Skyr but repulsed by the packaging. For each container you get two lids and a spoon. There are no other options (other than NOT buying Skyr). So I’ve been keeping the lids to send back to the company. I was thinking I was pretty silly being so worked up about it, but your post on actually willingly cutting down the plastic consumption (making your own tortillas, cottage cheese… would love to see your recipes!) is an even better step!

  2. Fonda LaShay November 20, 2011 / 20:59

    I am glad you found the blog! It is actually really easy to make your own yogurt. Obviously you loose some of the convenience of being able to just pick it up and have it in a small single serve container – but you can always have it in your own little containers.

    I would love to share my recipes with you! I thought I had an email from you, but I can not for the life of me find it. Ill put a list together for you and send it your way. Someday Ill make a post of here about that too 🙂 Would love to get a coffee sometime and have a chat about it all!

What do you think?