Plastic Free July Challenge Post #3 - Hibak Warsame

After seeing the improvements my family made on the second week of our waste reduction challenge, I was hoping that this week we would have even better results, or that the amount of waste we created would be similar to last weeks. Now, I still think the amount of trash we're creating is a lot better than before, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed that we didn’t make much improvement this week. Here are the results:

Pieces: Week 1: 178 — Week 2: 35 — Week 3: 52

Pieces: Week 1: 178 — Week 2: 35 — Week 3: 52

Our haul from Costco.

Our haul from Costco.

Ever feel like your family has been ignoring you? Since the beginning of July, I’ve been asking my siblings to eat the stuff we bought at the grocery store or things that we made at home instead of going out, to compost tissues and more. But I just saw my sister use a paper towel has a plate then throw it in the trash! And yesterday I saw my brother come home with two bags of Dorito chips and a soda can! I know that my mom supports me, when we go shopping we buy products like a bunch of tomatoes in a recyclable cardboard box, but it’s tiring to continuously remind my siblings to throw their trash in the right bin. I get that they’re young, that they probably don't understand why I want to do this so much, and don't care about this whole plastic-free July thing has much has I do, but it's frustrating.

Last week I mentioned that we bought one big tub of ice cream since it would be less waste than buying a bunch of plastic wrapped popsicles. Which worked for a while, until some of my family members came to visit and we ended up buying a box of freezies, this is why I ended up counting 21 plastic food wrappers instead of what would have been about 7.

Like I mentioned before, my mom does support the idea of us reducing the amount of waste we produce, so when we went grocery shopping at Costco for a few things our goals were to try our best to choose products that could be recycled in our region, that don't produce waste at all, or that we could find without plastic. We brought a Costco tote bag and got a box of tomatoes, plastic-covered bananas and toilet paper, two plastic jugs (one of soap and maple syrup that we buy in bulk), and a box of oatmeal.

After a bit of research and going through the Durham region waste app I was reassured that most of the stuff we bought was recyclable, it was hard to find toilet paper or bananas without plastic wrapping at Costco though. I didn’t want to ask my mom to go to a completely different store for plastic-free bananas and toilet paper, so we ended up getting them anyway.

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Personally, I don't think we're doing a bad job reducing our waste for plastic-free July, but I also don't think we're doing that much better either. Some changes I could make: hiding our paper towel and only giving them out when needed. That way my family could get used to using the cloth we bought instead of waiting for them to break the habit of using the Bounty. I got the idea not too long ago to tape a list of what goes in the garbage, recycling, compost and all of the garbage cans in the house so people can tell if their trash is going in the right can or not, plus that could also be useful for guests.


"Hello! My name is Hibak and I’m a high school student who’s recently become pretty interested in our environment, especially after I found out from the Love your Lake program how much plastic and waste goes into Lake Ontario each year. I’m still pretty young but I would like to make a difference and help where I can!"