September 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Alice, Week 2

Plastic Challenge Week 2 (PIC)

Are there cat treats in metal or glass containers? Tips on facial washes and cream, and body cream?

Location: HULL, Quebec, Canada

Name: Alice

Week: 2

Personal Info:

Woman, 33, vegetarian, dark green when it comes to the environment (can’t wait to start this challenge!), I work as a dishwasher in a hotel that is becoming greener every day – very happy about that :) … been with my boyfriend for 8 years, living together, 7.

Alice’s personal blog:

Total items: 43

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
– 4 conditioner containers and 1 hand/body lotion (Golden Nugget):

The Golden Nugget containers belonged to my dad’s girlfriend – she didn’t want them anymore. I don’t really put all that much cream on my body – just once in a while when it’s really dry, or cold and dry. I used that cream for shaving: I have a Alba Organics Green Tea Eye Gel container that I kept after it was done and put the cream in it (been reusing the container for years – it’s really practical! It’s a “push top” and easy to use. I also have another one that I kept for my facial wash (quick at home, work, or on-the-go).

As for the conditioner containers, I still have the conditioner, I just put it all in one bottle (an old one also, that I kept), instead of having a bunch of little bottles that take space (I did some cleaning). God knows I need space!

– 2 facial creams: NeoStrata (SPF 15) and Dove (SPF 15)

Had them for months. I just finished my Dove container and was about to open another when I decided to do some cleaning and look through my bottles and found the NeoStrata one (almost empty). Ended up finishing this one too.


– Meow Mix Market Select container: 1 can last me 3 days. I started giving a little less. They have dry food, and the wet food is more as a treat, plus they have dry treats too. Will make my own wet food when I have time – then I will give a little more.

– 2 plastic forks from work: We had a BBQ, and they used disposable stuff – I was shocked that they used disposable and not reusable and told them so. So, I used 1 paper plate, 1 soup paper bowl and 2 plastic forks (would have been just one, but dropped one on the dirty disgusting ground). Drank my soup from the bowl so I wouldn’t have to use a spoon. I was told that the utensils are compostable but it doesn’t say so on them.

– 1 Spic & Span bottle: That also came from my dad’s girlfriend (back in Feb 2011 I think). She got rid of a lot of stuff when she moved into a smaller place.

Items: Nonrecyclable
– 2 deodorant/antiperspirant containers:

1 Arm & Hammer Advanced and 1 Dove. These were both empty for a while. I wait for 3 deodorant sticks, then I put them in the microwave for 10 seconds or more (depending on the type of deodorant – so become liquid in a few seconds, some stay really hard). I pour two (the harder deodorants that become a just little soft, I have to scrape out) into one deodorant stick. I put the most liquidy one last, on top, then I put it in the fridge so it hardens faster. I let it sit for a few weeks or more – I use it when my current deodorant is done (and put this one aside for future reuse). *** When all my deodorants are done, I will give the baking soda trick a try.

– 1 Ivory bar wrapper: Belonged to my dad’s girlfriend (wrapped in plastic). A girl I used to know went to a class on how to make soap, I might try that. Sounded like fun from what she said! If it’s too hard or I don’t have time, I will buy the soaps at Market Organics (in downtown Ottawa), they have unwrapped bars of soaps. I have a whole bunch of Ivory bars left, but I will donate them to my Food Bank.

– 1 PC Green Phosphate-Free Dishwashing tabs plastic bag:

Not the greenest dishwashing tabs (I thought they were greener than that when I bought them), but a lot better than a lot of other ones. I only have 4 left – so I put them in my Bio-Green tabs box to make some room under the sink. We still had some Cascade tabs (ugh, hate those, my boyfriend bought them – donated them to my Food Bank, people still need to wash their dishes), and I also have some dishwashing powder in a box to finish up (but no plastic at all)

– 1 wrapper from PC crackers: Hmm… do crackers in bulk exists? I would think not because they would be stale.

– 1 Sensodyne ProNamel toothpaste tube:

Had it since my last 2 dentist visits (or longer). Finished the little bit I had left (squeezed the life out of it to get the most toothpaste) and after, went and bought 3 different Lush Toothy Tab boxes! LOVE THEM! Gonna keep one box at work. 3$ + CAD for 1 box of 40 tabs. If it becomes too expensive, I might try making my own.

– Meow Mix Market Select: 3 lids/seals: One from last week that I forgot to put in my tally, the one from this week, and one from the container still in my fridge that will be in next week’s tally.

– Seal from powdered Nestea Iced Tea container:

My boyfriend bought it. I decided that if I crave juice, I will just make myself an iced tea (big cardboard container, but plastic lid and seal), once in a while, or just go to the store and buy 1 juice in a glass container


– 2 bags from inSnax (Sea Salt and Multi-Grain garden Herbs): My boyfriend and I both had some. Had those for a month or so. But no more for me!

– 1 razor from my reusable razor: Once I am done with them, I am going to buy a safety razor


– Wunderbar (1), Nutri-Grain (1), Ice Cream bar (2) wrappers.

– Containers from work from when I forgot to bring my reusable containers: 3 small peanut butter containers, 4 small margarine containers, and 1 small honey container.

– 1 bag of preserved dates: Had this since last year, or longer. Buy in bulk now.

– 1 plastic seal from my yogurt container that is still in the fridge…. when done with my yogurt, will try to make my own.

– 2 instant oatmeal packets: I usually buy and use multigrain oatmeal in bulk (which I have) but was in a hurry, so grabbed and left for work.

– 1 Plain Cheerios cereal bag: I decided to fold it and put it aside. I am sure I can reuse it somehow.


– 1 plastic wrap from HazerBaba Turkish Delights ( ). I am also thinking of keeping the wrapper to wrap stuff.

What items can I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?
– Oatmeal
– Cereal?
– Crackers – If I can make my own
– Dishwashing tabs:

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
None (yet), I’ll find a way to make plastic free alternatives if that’s what it takes.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Facial wash and cream, body cream, laundry detergent, fabric softener…

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Making my own stuff, looking for alternatives to plastics, such as glass and metal

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Yogurt… but I still have containers left

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
MORE PEOPLE SHOULD DO THIS… we don’t need more of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch… we need to reduce it. …. (A group of architects has a radical new idea for cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: turn it all into a giant island of recycled plastic complete with farmland, beaches — even a city made of plastic buildings with a plastic subway system)….. AT LEAST THEY’RE TRYING!

Floating toxic plastic garbage island twice the size of Texas

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