April 13, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin in BC, Week 8

Kristin's plastic waste

Name: Kristin

Week: 8

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

Blog: http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com

Total items: 28

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
-Garbage bag from weeks worth of trash -Various stickers on fruit
-Butchers paper (plastic lined) from sausages
-7 pieces dental floss
-Sample packet of hair stuff
-Goat cheese package (not shown)
-Grinder top off of glass jar of peppercorns
-Rings attaching price tags
-Instant noodles package
-Salad bin seal
-Broken tupperware container from Christmas
-Pasta bag
-Brown rice chips
-4 bandaids & wrapping
-Miss Vickies chips bag
-Bacon package
-Pen package (not newly purchased)
-Bag of frozen fruit
-2 pull tabs from oj & coconut milk cartons
-Pamela’s Pancake Mix bag
-Ziploc bag (well reused), broken
-‘Sharkies’ bag
-Seal from envelope
-Foil seal from bottle of avocado oil
-Tag from broccoli bunch
-4 battery packages (old)
-Tortilla chip bag (paper) with window & lined w/plastic
-2 bread bag tags

What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
-Bacon package; Butchers paper (plastic lined) from sausages: from the freezer. Fresh meat could easily be brought home in a container
-7 pieces dental floss: will be replacing with silk floss when I run out
-Grinder top off of glass jar of peppercorns: glass jar with metal lid has been purchased in addition to a refillable metal grinder
-Instant noodles package: we’re using up the stash & not repurchasing
-Salad bin seal: can’t wait until I have lettuce growing at home!
-Broken tupperware container from Christmas: not repurchasing plastic, only glass containers if needed.
-Bag of frozen fruit: we will stock up on fresh fruit from the farmers market when it is in season and freeze it ourselves.
-‘Sharkies’ bag: purchased over a year ago, was just in the house.
-Seal from envelope: I have a giant box of envelopes with sticker-like seals, but I will not be repurchasing this type of envelope in future.
-Foil seal from bottle of avocado oil: new avocado oil bottle (is glass with metal lid) found!
-Tag from broccoli bunch: organics aren’t available without plastic tags it seems, but I could purchase conventional without tags.
-4 battery packages (old): we switched to rechargable batteries eons ago, but they are not starting to not hold their charge for very long. We may need to buy a new set. Thoughts?
-Tortilla chip bag (paper) with window & lined w/plastic: this is a huge plastic reduction compared to the tortilla chips we usually buy. I will continue to seek out alternatives.
-2 bread bag tags: could be baking our own bread!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Sample packet of hair stuff
-Grinder top off of glass jar of peppercorns
-Instant noodles package
-Broken tupperware container from Christmas
-Ziploc bag (well reused), broken
-‘Sharkies’ bag
-Seal from envelope
-Foil seal from bottle of avocado oil
-Tortilla chip bag (paper) with window & lined w/plastic

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Garbage bag from weeks worth of trash: it’s still too early to be able to dig into the ground to compost more than what our vermiculture can handle
-Various stickers on fruit: not giving up fruit. Stickerless farmers market fruit is coming soon!
-Bacon/Butchers paper (plastic lined) from sausages: We have drastically decreased our meat consumption in the last 3 months, but we’re not prepared to give it up completely.
-7 pieces dental floss: even the silk floss we’re switching to when the plastic stuff runs out is housed in a plastic case…
-4 battery packages (old): for work purposes GPS units, headlamp, camera, alarm clock. When you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t plug in a rechargable power source, this is kind of

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Grinder top off of glass jar of peppercorns. The jar is glass (and we will be reusing) but the grinder screwed onto the jar was plastic. We have purchased a set of salt & pepper grinders that are wood with metal and love them! We wont be buying any more of those spice grinders that seem to be in every grocery store these days.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com/2011/04/weeks-worth-of-plastic-round-8.html

Please help me…
4 battery packages (old): we switched to rechargable batteries eons ago, but they are not starting to not hold their charge for very long. We may need to buy a new set.

They are used for work purposes GPS units, headlamp, camera, alarm clock. When you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t plug in a rechargable power source, this is kind of the only option.

Thoughts? (Other than buying all new gear…)

5 comments
Ashley
Ashley

Try Rayovac, I believe all mine came in cardboard packaging only now. There's no little plastic window on them. I also buy batteries in bulk online for much cheaper and less packaging. Good luck! :)

steven
steven

I seem to remember getting batteries online in a fairly large bulk amount in a cardboard box, with no plastic (other than the wrapper on the metal cell itself). Of course, getting 50 AAA/AA rechargeable batteries may be overkill in your case.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Katie, that sounds like a good option for people just getting started with rechargeables who don't already have a charger. But I already have one -- which is a big hunk of plastic. Do you know if there something about these batteries/charger that make them environmentally better? Enough to replace an old charger?

Katie M
Katie M

try envirocell (envirocell.com was "under construction" as of this, but a google search for envirocell battery will show you where to buy) i found them at whole foods. the problem was you can only use them in their own charger, which was plastic. but the packaging was all cardboard and you can charge other batteries in the envirocell charger.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Kristin, I love your progress!

I have not seen batteries not packaged in plastic. Let me know if you find some. My rechargeable batteries came in plastic packaging too.