August 2, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 21

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Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 21

Personal Info:

Just me this week plus bunny.

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

Total items: 18

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle
2. Tea bag wrapping (sadly I have a whole box of these)
3. Tortilla chip bag
4. Tab from bucket of honey
5. Wrapper from fudge
6. Almond flour bag
7. Envelope seal
8. Pectin pouches
9. (2) Tape from mailer envelope
10. Bubble wrap mailer envelope
11. Produce bag
12. Bag from weeks garbage
13. 3 lids from glass bottles
14. Pouch of honey garlic sauce
15. Tape from roll of parchment paper
16. 2 Clothing tags
17. 4 drywall plugs
18. Tetley canister

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle: we don’t use this stuff often, and there are two more bottles of it in the house, but there are plenty of solid soap options (lush) out there.
-Tetley canister lid & Tea bag wrapping (sadly I have a whole box of these): I have SO much tea in the house! I bought this kind not knowing that each tea bag was individually wrapped :( I have to use up the vast majority of tea in the house before I can buy any more & that’ll be awhile.
-Tortilla chip bag: I can make my own, but the tortillas I’d make them from still come in plastic.
-Tab from bucket of honey: ALL of the local honey available was packaged in plastic. I bought a 3kg bucket of it, so I should be able to reuse the bucket for something, plus it’s less plastic from one giant item rather than several smaller ones, right?
-Wrapper from fudge: I bought this while on “vacation” in Calgary last week from the farmers market, and didn’t end up eating it. A total impulse buy. I’ve seen some fudge vendors who simply cut a slab off of their block of fudge rather than having them individually wrapped, buuuuut…..
-Almond flour bag: I found almond flour in the bulk bins this week! I don’t use much of it & there are still some bags in the freezer, but I’ll be able to buy it waste free from now on.
-Envelope seal: I have a whole box of envelopes that are sealed not by licking the back, but by peeling off a strip like this to stick it together like a sticker. It’ll be a LONG time before I get through all of these…
-Pectin pouches: plastic lined pouches :( If I was following the directions properly, there would be 2 less pouches in this pile!
-Produce bag: The fruit stand guy usually gives me a foam container with raspberries in it, which I bring back to him, but he wasn’t there this time… the girl wasn’t sure that she was allowed to give the container away. I’ll try to keep a few containers in the car for future purchases.
-3 lids from glass bottles: 2 of these 3 are from products I wont be purchasing again anyways. I’m always on the lookout for glass bottles with metal lids rather than plastic.
-Pouch of honey garlic sauce: I gave up this item in week 3 & have finally used the last of it up.
-Tape from roll of parchment paper: the box is 100% paper, this was a pretty decent reduction compared to other rolls of wrap on grocery store shelves.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle
Tea bag wrapping
Wrapper from fudge
Almond flour bag
Envelope seal
Produce bag
Pouch of honey garlic sauce
Tetley canister lid

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Bag from weeks garbage: I’ve already limited my garbage can filling fairly substantially. This was 2 weeks worth of garbage in this little safeway bag. I can’t bury a lot of things as compost due to the wildlife in the area, so I do the best I can!
-3 lids from glass bottles: the teriyaki & hoisin sauce I can do without, but my liquid calcium/magnesium…..
-Tape from roll of parchment paper: even a completely cardboard package still had a bit of tape holding the edge of the roll down. Which I think was unnecessary…
-2 Clothing tags: to buy any sort of clothing (new or used) these are unavoidable.
-4 drywall plugs: I did my best not to screw them up, but 4 of them bit the dust b/c I didn’t drill the holes big enough.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
There were a few things this week that joined the plastic pile as a result of fridge cleaning out. Old things will always be lurking in the depths of the cupboards or freezer… The tortilla chip addiction lives on (fueled only by some folks that make killer salsa that is sold at the farmers market). The envelopes that continue to surface in my plastic mounds are from online purchases shipped to my house. Sometimes they’re shipped from another consumers home (reusing unwanted lululemon clothes!) but sometimes they’re direct from a store (shoes -on sale, but not in my size instore- for the wedding next weekend).

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Much to my dismay, I’m giving up prepackaged fudge this week. I have a killer sweet tooth, but this decision is best for my health anyways.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

3 comments
Kristin
Kristin

I've seen tortilla chips in a paper bag w/a plastic window on occasion, but the entire inside of the bag is usually lined in plastic as well, making it (seemingly) no better than an entire plastic bag :(

Margaret
Margaret

This might not be available in Canada, but here there's a brand of tortilla chips that comes in a paper bag with just a plastic window. I can check the brand next time I'm shopping so maybe you could see if it's sold where you are.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Mmmmm... fudge....

That's all. :-)