February 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin in BC, Week 1

Kristin's plastic waste

Name: Kristin

Week: 1

Personal Info:
Couple in Prince George, BC working & attending university plus bunny.

Blog: http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com

Total items: 47

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Plastic recycling is not available in our area, it sadly all goes in the trash.

Items: Nonrecyclable
*plastic lined meat wrapping paper (from chicken sausages)
*noodle tray & plastic wrapping
*spinach tub
*2 foam asian pear “life jackets”
*numerous stickers off fruit + 1 from seafood (brought home in own container from store) + 1 from the pharmacy
*plastic wrapping & foam from new pot
*the old pot w/plastic handle
*7 pieces dental floss
*plastic sleeve from breton crackers
*plastic seal from ice cream tub
*tray & wrap from gf shortbread cookies
*wrap band from 3 pack of glass food storage containers
*packaging from wire stripper for light fixture project
*packaging from plug-in for light fixture project
*packaging from nailing straps for light fixture project
*packaging from light bulb for light fixture project
*plastic nut leftover from reused light fixture
*instant noodles package (noodles, soup base & freeze dried veggies packets)
*seal from carton of almond milk
*unsolicited sticker from the body shop from purchase made in November, found in wallet
*unsolicited stickers from Disney “movie order by mail” packet
*adhesive strip from mailer packet used to send birthday gift
*bag of organic apples
*bag of kiwis
*starbucks lid
*3 chip bags
*2 small plastic cups (we were handed samples of tea at the farmers market, then realized the cups were plastic :( )
*2 juice box straws & wrappers
*corner off of pasta bag
*packaging from candy thermometer
*cornmeal bag
*lid to container of sunflower seeds
*bag of buffalo bones used to make stock
*Bob’s almond flour bag
*tray & plastic wrap from mincemeat tarts- Christmas gift
*plastic garbage bag that weeks worth of garbage went out in (not shown)
*post it “tape flags” dispenser
*meat tray & plastic wrap from steak (not pictured)
*lid from container of macadamia nuts
*expired roadside assistance plan card found in wallet
*seal from refillable container of corn starch (probably plastic)
*plastic bag surrounding paper bag of tapioca starch

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
*spinach tub- could have bought a bunch of spinach, not sure if it was available in the store at the time
*2 foam asian pear “life jackets”- can buy different fruit
*the old pot w/plastic handle- can buy cookware that does not have plastic components
*7 pieces dental floss- using up the last of existing floss, will switch to silk
*plastic sleeve from breton crackers- will make at home rather than buying
*plastic seal from ice cream tub- in the process of researching ice cream recipes that do not require an ice cream maker
*tray & wrap from gf shortbread cookies- I usually bake my own; this was an impulse buy
*packaging from light bulb for light fixture project- many bulbs come in cardboard boxes, these ones were purchased a few years ago
*instant noodles package (noodles, soup base & freeze dried veggies packets)- don’t need to be purchased (are consumed by the other half of the household)
*unsolicited sticker from the body shop from purchase made in November, found in wallet- be more aware of what is being handed to me instore
*adhesive strip from mailer packet used to send birthday gift- generally we just send cheques, and will continue to do so
*bag of organic apples -will purchase bulk in future
*bag of kiwis- ditto
*starbucks lid- will bring my travel mug for future indulgences
*3 chip bags- aiming to consume less processed foods such as these
*2 small plastic cups -we were handed samples of tea at the farmers market, then realized the cups were plastic :(- could have refused samples
*post it “tape flags” dispenser -could use paper flags, but adhesive would still be petroleum based I assume. These came free with something else purchased ages ago.
*meat tray & plastic wrap from steak (not pictured)- we are reducing our meat intake to three meals per week
*lid from container of macadamia nuts- vacation in a can, comfort food
*expired roadside assistance plan card found in wallet- discontinued plan

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
*2 foam asian pear “life jackets”
*spinach tub
*7 pieces dental floss (when I run out of existing floss)
*unsolicited sticker from the body shop from purchase made in November, found in wallet
*unsolicited stickers from Disney “movie order by mail” packet
*adhesive strip from mailer packet used to send birthday gift
*starbucks lid
*3 chip bags
*2 small plastic cups -we were handed samples of tea at the farmers market, then realized the cups were plastic :(
*lid to container of sunflower seeds- reused many times, no longer purchase these containers
*tray & plastic wrap from mincemeat tarts- Christmas gift
*post it “tape flags” dispenser
*lid from container of macadamia nuts- vacation in a can, comfort food
*expired roadside assistance plan card found in wallet- discontinued plan

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
*Due to allergies, I cannot purchase items in bulk due to the risk of cross-contamination. I would do so if I could!
*Meat wrapping. Foam trays, plastic wrap, meat wrapping paper etc. We’ve reduced our meat consumption to three meals per week, but that’s still leaving us with plastic trash.
*Apple pears- they come wrapped for protection ;) Have to avoid purchasing them.
*Wrap band from 3 pack of glass food storage containers. The irony in purchasing glass “Tupperware” containers, but they still come wrapped in plastic. Sigh.
*All supplies for light fixture rewiring project. Home Depot is a land of overpackaged items, sadly.
*Foil seals from almond milk, corn starch etc. I’m sure they contain some plastic in them although the container itself is recyclable.
*Packaging from candy thermometer- one time purchase
*Christmas- we received a disgusting amount of gifts this year that were coated in plastic. We have arranged a “secret santa” for next year so that the number of gifts purchased is reduced.
*Garbage bags- is there an alternative? I have read that the biodegradable trash bags don’t biodegrade in the landfill & are useless, but we have purchased them before
*Cards in my wallet- I bought a new wallet this week & was surprised at the number of plastic cards I have. Credit, airmiles, ID, store loyalty cards etc.I won’t be adding any more.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Less processed foods. This is not a bad thing.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Starbucks- I wont have any unless I bring a travel mug with me.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I have been awakened to the amount of plastic that goes through our house. I will be making a conscious effort when spending money to reduce the amount of it that enters our house.

http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com/2011/02/weeks-worth-of-plastic.html

Please give me suggestions!
Garbage bags- aside from the biodegradable ones (which as I understand aren’t actually better b/c they don’t actually biodegrade in the dump) is there a better option? Obviously reducing the amount of garbage that exits the house via composting etc reduces the number of garbage bags consumed, but there must be a better way!

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5 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Kristin in BC, Week 1"


Guest
Daniella
4 years 4 months ago

I haven’t seen the post on garbage bag alternatives, but if you NEED an actual bag of some sort, my suggestion would be to buy a large wetbag. They tend to be lined with PUL to keep them water proof, and you would probably have to order one online (from a cloth diaper store, etsy or hyena cart) but you would keep using the same one over and over again. Just rinse it out if it gets stinky or sticky.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

I do have a stash of garbage bags under the kitchen sink that we use for the bathroom garbage, but it takes quite awhile to accumulate.

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/60045656

This is the garbage can we have in the kitchen & the top is too wide to use a “grocery bag”. My mom has done that her whole life, so I grew up on the “grocery bag garbage can” lol.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Well, one strategy for garbage bags is to salvage and save un-recyclable plastic bags and use them for that purpose. Since it sounds like none of the plastic is recyclable in your area, pretty much any bag would qualify. I don’t know about you, but every time I take a walk I pass by at least half a dozen bags blowing in the wind.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Thanks for linking that article Beth! I’ll be posting this past weeks details tomorrow :)

Sadly the ground is frozen 10 months a year here, and our worms can only eat so much, sadly much of our compostable matter goes in the trash. When things thaw out in a few months though, we’ll be composting the bunny poop too. I have a wheat allergy, so we don’t use the litter you’ve suggested, but we do use a corn based biodegradable litter. But it doesn’t flush well :(

I WISH that there was a better recycling program here- it’s just tin cans, paper & cardboard in addition to the bottle depot. We’re down to about one small bag a week with all the plastic sitting out. That makes the plastic look a like a lot bigger of an issue.