May 5, 2010

Jennifer in Saskatchewan, Week 2

Jennifer in Saskatchewan's plastic waste

Name: Jennifer

Personal Info:
I’m in Saskatchewan, Canada. Plastic recycling is virtually non-existent here, but I found a company that will take 1-7. The catch: they charge $2.50 per bag, even when it’s dropped off to them! This is just one more reason to cut back, though, because I can no longer in good conscience throw it in the trash.

Total items: 20 (19 shown)

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Tortilla bag (new, #4)
MAYBE the pasta bag (old)

Items: Nonrecyclable
Brita filter (not shown, recyclable?)
Chip bag (new, SHAME on me)
Strawberry bag (old)
Tofu wrapper (new)
Brownie wrapper (old. Found it in the freezer)
Disposable contact container
Tab from oat milk (new)
Oat milk container (new, not shown)
Security seal from Coconut milk ice cream (new)
Lentil bag from farmers market(new)
Spice bag (new. I try to buy bulk, but it’s hard to find organic, fair trade)
Stupid food picker upper from bulk baked goods section (new)
Mint wrapper (Old. Found in my pocket)
4 Produce stickers (new)
Envelope window (new)

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic?
I could easily buy the lentil mix in a larger brown bag, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money until I tried the product. Next time, no plastic!

I could easily not buy organic, fair trade spices… but I like to when I can.

I can easily buy pasta in bulk, and have switched to doing so already.

Food picker-upper. If there hadn’t been a staffperson standing right there, I would have picked my own cookies out (carefully) with bare hands.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
The brownies – they weren’t very good anyway. It was a one time thing awhile ago.

Individually wrapped mints. I don’t take them from restaurants anymore.

What Items are essential and do not have a plastic alternative?


Oat milk (husband likes this kind the best… I’ve heard of making almond milk, but what about oat milk?)

Produce stickers – They’re even on my farmer’s market tomatoes.

Berries – I’m torn here, because I like to drink green smoothies for breakfast, but it is impossible to buy fruit plastic free. My plan is to go to a u-pick this summer and triple what I frozen myself last year.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I need to learn to make things like wraps, pitas, tortillas, and bread-y things instead of relying on my husband to do it. It would also require freezing this stuff so that we don’t have to buy it when we’re in a time crunch.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Chips. After a stressful few weeks I felt defiant and bought them even though I knew better (health and waste-wise).

Are there any other conclusions I can draw?
I thought I was doing well this week, but once it is all laid out before me it does not look so nice. This week was much worse for new plastic, and I justified it all because I was stressed out.

I also imagined what the daily plastic would look like in a household where the majority of food comes from a package… Scary in so many ways.

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