October 12, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 30

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What do you do when buying a fresh crab/lobster? I’ve only ever done it once and they were put in a box lined with a giant plastic bag. Do you think I could bring a big rubbermaid container? Faux pas?

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 30

Personal Info:

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

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

Total items: 24

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Bag within tin of laundry soap
2. Stickers on fruit & veggies
3. Bison package
4. Facewash tube
5. Band-aids & wrappers
6. Perogie bag
7. Prices taped on to antique jars
8. Ring from glass milk jug
9. Wrapping from birthday card
10. 2 Bread bags & tags
11. Shipping bag
12. Bag that items shipped were packaged in
13. Tags off of new items (you don’t know how hard it is to find dress pants with a 36″ inseam!)
14. Fish package
15. Cookie package
16. Mushroom package
17. Lid & label off of our last (glass) bottle of salad dressing
18. Packaging inside our new bathroom scale
19. Chip bag
20. Wrapping from extra pages for my dayplanner
21. 2 Bacon packages
22. Bag that we can’t figure out what it’s from
23. NYF cup (not shown)
24. Daiya bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Bag within tin of laundry soap: there’s got to be a way without wrecking out washing machine. We’ll be refilling our bottles from bulk at Christmas, so I’m workin’ on it!
-Stickers on fruit & veggies: sadly that time of year is coming… I have to start buying more produce from the store. I still buy at the farmers market every weekend though!
-Bison package: most of their stuff comes in butchers paper, but they were out of what we were looking for & gave us this instead
-Facewash tube: I’m heading to Lush this week to find something new!
-Perogie bag: we’re making our own at Christmas!
-Ring from glass milk jug: The one jug of milk per week rule is being enforced!
-Wrapping from birthday card: lots of cards don’t come with plastic but we needed to find something really special for an 80th birthday.
-2 Bread bags & tags: baking bread has been on the to-do list for weeks… the yeast is sitting out in the loaf pan in plain view lol
-Fish package: we can (and did this week) buy fish & bring our own container at “our fish place” rather than costco where this came from. Impulse buy I guess.
-Cookie package: mid afternoon sugar crash coupled with grocery shopping. Again. Clearly I can bake cookies…
-Mushroom package: Def available in bulk. Another costco impulse buy.
-Lid & label off of our last (glass) bottle of salad dressing: we’re making our own now!
-Packaging inside our new bathroom scale: in order to purchase one, this was unavoidable & there was no way of knowing what was inside the box until we opened it. Not something you would want to buy second hand in order to be functional (but without packaging).
-Chip bag: we’ve made chips before, this was an inbetween yoga & staff meeting snack
-Wrapping from extra pages for my dayplanner: this is silly b.c I’ll probably put everything into my iphone i’m getting this week. Unavoidable otherwise though.
-2 Bacon packages: the butcher that we buy our bacon from sells it in the deli case just like lunchmeat as well, so we can buy it with our own containers. This was in the freezer stash.
-NYF cup (not shown): better planning ahead required. Moral: I am not a morning person.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Most of these items DO have a plastic-free alternative. We’re just being lazy or not organized enough. I hate that. Things we could have done without this week that can’t happen without plastic are:

-Packaging inside our new bathroom scale: something we’ve hummed & hawed about getting for 3 years. We’re very focused on our physical activity level right now, and tracking gains is key to measuring success.
-Wrapping from extra pages for my dayplanner: I’ll probably end up using the iphone I’m getting this week for this purpose. Dumb non-planning mistake.
-NYF cup: this is one of the only gluten free safe fast food options (fries for sure!) available to me. It’s a treat once in awhile (and breakfast on a busy day apparently) Worst. Nutritionist. Ever.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
This is my 30th week thinking about what really is “essential” in our lives. None of these things are. We’re continuously striving towards a minimalist lifestyle not only in our closets, decor & home but also in the kitchen. Constant downsizing & multi-use items are the new standard. I take a load of things to the donation bin regularly!

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
ORGANIZATION is definitely lacking this week. We’ve started meal planning for the week in advance which is REALLY helping us not eat junk & informal meals all the time, but man! The loaf pan with the jar of yeast has been sitting on top of the toaster oven for like 3 weeks now. I spend too much time on my laptop, I should probably reign that in. Case in point: It’s currently 2am & I have to work in the morning.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Salad dressing’s finally not a part of our lives any more- I emptied the last bottle this week! I committed to not buying any more of it FIVE MONTHS AGO (man, we gotta eat more salad!). Sadly we’re just about back to packaged salad greens though.

This week it’s packaged fish. We have a fantastic (albeit pricey) fish place in town where they don’t mind us bringing our own containers (except for mussels- apparently they need air. And I don’t know what we would do if we were going to buy crab legs, or a lobster or something…). We have no reason to be buying garbage fish from the grocery store anyways. The big chunk we bought this week from Costco probably wasn’t that much cheaper anyways…

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

2 comments
Kristin
Kristin

We always try to bring our own containers to the deli and to the seafood place that we visit. We would just need to bring a much larger box for live critters rather than a sandwich container for our lunchmeat haha!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Yes! I think you could try bringing your own container. We bring our own container to the butcher shop for meat for our cats, and they just put the ground turkey directly into our stainless steel container. So I don't see any reason you couldn't do crab/lobster the same way. They will need to be able to deduct the weight of the container, so it might help if you weigh it first empty, but most scales can deduct a tare weight.