June 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 17

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Things (uncompostable things) are going mouldy in my garbage can before it’s full. I already am only using a small bathroom garbage can in the kitchen with grocery store shopping bags in it- I can’t go much smaller! Any thoughts?

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 17

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog: http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com/

Total items: 21

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Stickers on fruit
2. Bag for week’s trash (not shown)
3. Butchers paper x 2 (not shown)
4. Bag of frozen veggies (not shown)
5. RealFruit gummies bag
6. 2 Tortilla chip bags
7. Refillable (glass bottle) pump of moisturizer (finally bit the dust)
8. Inner bag from box of salt (new salt has no bag- yay!)
9. Pasta bag
10. Cheese wrapping
11. 2 Deli meat bags
12. Plastic label off of glass jar
13. 3 Bread bags & tags
14. Bacon packaging
15. Package from ribs (not shown)
16. Coleslaw dressing jar
17. Fudge wrapper
18. Broken ziptie
19. Seal from glass milk jug
20. Seal from bottle
21. Seal from glass jar of peanut butter

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Bag of frozen veggies
-RealFruit gummies bag: I could stop buying these…
-2 Tortilla chip bags: we could make tortilla chips, but the tortillas still come in plastic packaging…
-Inner bag from box of salt: new salt has no bag- yay!
-3 Bread bags & tags: for the record, I DID bake bread this week! We actually didn’t eat that much this week alone. I’m behind on my bread crumb making.
-Coleslaw dressing jar: we’re making it from scratch from now on! This was an old jar.
-Fudge wrapper: An impulse low blood sugar purchase. I do own a candy thermometer…
-Broken ziptie: Twist ties wouldn’t work for what this particular zip tie was being used for, and we don’t use a ton of these.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Bag of frozen veggies
-RealFruit gummies bag
-2 Deli meat bags
-Plastic label off of glass jar
-Coleslaw dressing jar
-Fudge wrapper

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I don’t feel that any of the items from this week’s list are truly “essential”. We could go completely vegetarian, but do not wish to do so. We could live without fruit, but don’t really want to. Salt is essential in some recipes, and you do need adequate sodium to live, but we’ve now got a box that is plastic free.

Bacon might be essential however.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Baking more bread. It takes up so much of my time, but I absolutely prefer it to store bought.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
There are a few items on the list that we have already given up. A few weeks ago I gave up “spices” that are packaged in plastic. I felt that salt counted in this category, and finally used up my container of fine sea salt that I use for baking. I found some that was in a cardboard box, but I don’t feel that the quality of the salt is at par with that which I was using before. I’ll be keeping an eye out in the meantime. Same goes the the bottled salad dressings I gave up recently. The coleslaw dressing probably should be considered salad dressing, so therefore it was the last of the salad dressings in plastic in the fridge. We still have a bottle in there that’s glass with a plastic lid, but I’m eager to start making our own dressings. This week we’ll be giving up (drumroll please) frozen veggies. Ideally I’ll stockpile enough of them throughout the summer to get us through the winter. That’s what people did years ago, why can’t we do it now?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com/2011/06/weeks-worth-of-plastic-week-17.html

5 comments
Kristin
Kristin

That is an AWESOME idea! I'm not sure we're quite there in terms of our volume of garbage, but well on our way! Thanks Margaret :)

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Margaret, that's a great idea to freeze the meat waste and toss it all at once. What do you save it in? Container? Bag?

Margaret
Margaret

The only wet item I can't compost is the raw food I put out for my cat that's left over when she's done eating (I'm vegetarian, so that's the only meat in the house). Somehow the feeding recommendations for her weight is more than she wants, but I'm afraid of her eating to little... so I'm playing around with balancing that. In the meantime, I'm putting the waste in a container in the freezer so it won't go bad, and then when that's full I'll put it in the garbage all at once.

Kristin
Kristin

We're currently using up a stash of old plastic grocery store bags, but I'm not sure what we're going to do once they're gone. We're composting like crazy now that it's nice enough to do so. The volume of garbage has gone down quite a bit since the bunny's litter box business isn't a factor anymore (composting). It was a piece of bread that was mouldy in the garbage can last week. I'm sure I probably could have composted it, huh... I've got shrimp tails left from dinner tonight that'll be stinking up the place in no time. I wont be composting those (could we throw them in the vermiculture bin?) as we had a bear dining on our garbage can before Christmas. We live pretty close to a foresty habitat that houses lots of woodland creatures...

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Wow. You're really making progress!

About the trash -- can you compost? I can't remember if that idea has already been discussed. Since we compost, we don't have any wet stuff in the garbage to get mouldy.

What are you putting the wet garbage in?