May 17, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 11


Beth: any new suggestions on bandaids or toothpaste?

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 11

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 31

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Frozen fruit bag
2. Salad dressing bottle
3. 7 pcs dental floss (not shown)
4. 2 Garbage bags for the week* (not shown)
5. Several sample packages of Natural calm
6. Energy gummies package
7. Hummus container
8. Macadamia nut bag from vacation
9. Tortilla chip bag
10. Triscuit cracker bag
11. Breton cracker sleeve
12. Stickers on fruit
13. 2 coconut ice cream tubs (it was on sale…)
14. Salad bin
15. 2 Tabs from cartons of almond milk
16. 5 Bandaids & wrappers from donating blood & a cut
17. 2 Broken headlamps w/bands
18. An assortment of damaged ziploc bags
19. Piece of flagging tape
20. 1m long piece of nylon rope
21. Orange ring
22. 4″ x 6″ foam piece from mapping equipment
23. Packaging from pizza crust mix
24. Pasta bag
25. Sample size Vega drink mix
26. Daiya package
27. Sheet of labels (for the freezer)
28. Pen package
29. Eyeglass cleaner spray bottle
30. Top of giant bag of cranberries
31. Seal from glass bottle of salad dressing

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Frozen fruit bag: farmers markets should be brimming with fresh fruit any day now! I’ll be stocking up.
-Salad dressing bottle: glass from here on in. This was the last plastic one!
-7 pcs dental floss (not shown): will be switching to silk once this stuff runs out.
-2 Garbage bags for the week: As a result of the reduced amount of garbage we’re generating (thank you myplasticfreelife!), we’re giving up our garbage can for a smaller one (don’t worry, we didn’t BUY a new one) and are therefore using much smaller garbage bags (old stash of grocery store bags).
-Hummus container: I’ll take another stab at making my own one of these days. I’m not sure my blender has enough power though.
-Tortilla chip bag: I recently purchased a bunch of soft corn tortillas from work and am excited to try baking them!
-Triscuit cracker bag: I could easily make crackers at home myself, but this was a case of coming down with an illness and being a picky eater.
-Breton cracker sleeve: see above.
-2 coconut ice cream tubs (it was on sale…): can easily make my own.
-Salad bin: could buy heads of lettuce
-Packaging from pizza crust mix: I have a fantastic recipe that we usually make from scratch

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Frozen fruit bag
-Salad dressing bottle
-Several sample packages of Natural calm
-Energy gummies package
-Tortilla chip bag
-Triscuit cracker bag
-Breton cracker sleeve
-An assortment of damaged ziploc bags
-Piece of flagging tape
-1m long piece of nylon rope
-Orange ring
-4″ x 6″ foam piece from mapping equipment
-Packaging from pizza crust mix
-Sample size Vega drink mix
-Eyeglass cleaner spray bottle

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-7 pcs dental floss: will switch to silk floss when I’m done with the plastic butler gum stuff.
-2 Garbage bags for the week: As a result of the reduced amount of garbage we’re generating (thank you myplasticfreelife!), we’re giving up our garbage can for a smaller one (don’t worry, we didn’t BUY a new one) and are therefore using much smaller garbage bags (old stash of grocery store bags).
-5 Bandaids & wrappers from donating blood & a cut: I am not permitted to refuse a bandaid while donating blood. There’s really no way out of this other than to
-Sheet of labels (for the freezer): freezing leftovers, making chicken stock etc. The labels themselves are paper, but the sheet they peel off of seems to have a plasticky backing. I have a giant package of them to work through before I consider purchasing something different for this purpose.
-Pen package: I work in a restaurant & customers consistently take my pens. I would love to be able to purchase refillable pens, but since they’re being “stolen” from me I suspect they likely wouldn’t be refilled anyways. If I was purchasing them because I was using up all of the ink it would be a different story.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Due to an illness likely contracted via either airplane or airport after last week’s vacation, we’ve got a few things in the pile this week that we don’t usually purchase or consume. The flip floppy stomach took precedence over the plastic tally I hate to admit. In a perfect world we would never get sick, but in the meantime it’s something we will just have to strive towards.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Plastic salad dressing bottles. I think the one in this week’s stash was finally the last of them! I will purchase in glass or be making my own from here on in.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

4 Responses to “Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 11”

  1. Eschina says:

    I am allergic to plastic. I keep having pregnancy-like symptoms until one day I finally gathered the energy to clean my home. I had already switched to brown paper bags at the grocery store, but it turned out I had a lot of plastic shopping bags all over the place, making me sick, so sick I couldn’t clean my home. Plus I am more allergic to my home than my parent’s home. It turns out some of the window frames are totally plastic. Luckily the toilet seat is plastic but it is very loose since I moved in here. I can ask my landlord if I could change it. I stopped using toothepaste for about a month until I saw toothe paste that comes in a can. I don’t use the lid because it is totally plastic and I can’t keep touching it every time I want to brush my teeth. The top part of it is plastic, but at least the toothepaste inside isn’t sitting in plastic and absorbing chemicals from it. I use the tall paper leaves bags for trash and wrap it with the blue plastic bag that the city requires us to have on trash day. It holds more trash and it is easier to carry when full.

  2. Fonda LaShay says:

    I have a plastic free tooth paste if you are willing to test it.. soap. I love it! I know it sounds silly.. but give this a read and maybe a try! :)

  3. Natalie says:

    Hmm, bandaids are a tough one. Depending on the place/depth of the cut, cotton + gauze and/or paper tape might work.

    I like to leave cuts to air out, but I am clumsy and sometimes cut myself while in the kitchen… I use a bandaid to keep my blood to myself and keep the cuts dry even under the running water.

    Toothpaste too! Beth, I wanna hear about the neem sticks.

  4. Beth Terry says:

    Hey Kristin, Bandaids and toothpaste are on my To-Do list. First, toothpaste. I’m not sure I will find a plastic-free alternative to Bandaids. And I’ve used a bunch of them in the last few months from clumsiness and also a few medical treatments.

    Do you want a funny story? Okay, it wasn’t funny at the time, but it is now. A few weeks ago, I noticed a brown mole on my tummy that had never been there before, and it was weird looking and speckled. I ran into Michael and said “I have melanoma! We have to go the the emergency room RIGHT NOW! I am dying.”

    Luckily, he didn’t get as excited as I did. I called the doctor and made an appointment for the next day. They agreed the mole had to come off and wouldn’t say if they thought it was benign or not. I had to wait a whole week. So of course I’m thinking the whole time, Oh my god, I hope I can get my book written before I die.

    Well, the mole was benign and all I have to show for it is a Bandaid in my plastic stash. Why am I telling this story? Because it just makes you think about what’s really important. I’m not that worried about the occasional Bandaid.