April 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin in BC, Week 7

Kristin's plastic waste

Name: Kristin

Week: 7

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

Blog: http://slightlyirritatingandinconvenient.blogspot.com

Total items: 39

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Garbage bag for the weeks garbage
2. Chocolate bar wrapper
3. 4 Coconut milk fudgesicle wrappers
4. Leave-in conditioner bottle (finally used up!)
5. 2 Bread bags & tag
6. Cracker bag & tray
7. Goat’s milk yogurt tub
8. Goat’s cheese tube
9. Uncontaminated oats bag
10. Various stickers from fruit
11. Seal from box of dishwashing soap
12. Miss Vickies chip bag
13. 7 pieces dental floss
14. Tortilla chip bag
15. Pasta bag
16. Bunny hay bag
17. Razor blade
18. Steak package- for dinner
19. Salad dressing bottle
20. Lid from (glass) bottle of sesame oil
21. Backing from page of labels
22. Individual miso soup package
23. 2 bulk bin bags
24. Salad tub
25. Hummus container & seal
26. Rice cracker container
27. Instant soup package
28. Lid to glass bottle of liquid calcium
29. Pasta bag
30. Spatula (broken)
31. Pad Thai noodle bag
32. Mushroom tray & wrap
33. Tag from green onions
34. Bag of bok choy
35. Produce bag
36. Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil
37. 3 Plastic rings attaching price tags
38. Clothing store bag
39. 2 baggies from goggles for tanning

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Chocolate bar wrapper
-4 Coconut milk fudgesicle wrappers
-2 Bread bags & tag
-Cracker bag & tray
-Miss Vickies chip bag
-Bunny hay bag
-Razor blade
-Steak package
-Salad dressing bottle
-Individual miso soup package
-2 bulk bin bags
-Salad tub
-Hummus container & seal
-Instant soup package
-Spatula (broken)
-Mushroom tray & wrap
-Produce bag
-Clothing store bag

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-4 Coconut milk fudgesicle wrappers (they weren’t that good; kind of disappointing)
-Leave-in conditioner bottle (finally used up, a bottle ages old)
-2 Bread bags & tag (I could be making my own…)
-Cracker bag & tray (also a new product I tried, unimpressed)
-Miss Vickies chip bag (damn them for reformulating the recipe with no artificial colors/flavors)
-Razor blade (one of these days, but not yet)
-Salad dressing bottle (we’re well on our way on this one)
-Individual miso soup package (we have miso paste, this was the last individual package)
-2 bulk bin bags (I have cloth bulk bin bags now, these were stashed in the cupboard from before I bought them)
-Rice cracker container (I think this was the last one from the existing stash)
-Instant soup package (we wont be repurchasing these once the stash is done)
-Produce bag (my bulk bin bags work for this purpose if for some reason I need a bag for produce. The organic farmer at the farmers market has all of his produce pre-bagged in plastic, but there should be more farmers when the market expands to outside in May)
-Clothing store bag (I usually ask for no bag, but I had forgotten to bring my ‘purse-bag’ in to the mall)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Garbage bag for the weeks garbage (we’ll be burying more compost & taking out the garbage less frequently when the ground thaws!)
-Uncontaminated oats bag (only 2 brands that I know of that supply these, and they’re both plastic bags to a degree)
-Various stickers from fruit (waiting for fruit to be in season!)
-Seal from box of dishwashing soap (even a box (bulk size) has a teeny bit of plastic- 80% less apparently)
-7 pieces dental floss (we’re using up the last of the butler gum brand & switching to a silk floss, but it still comes in a plastic ‘case’)
-Lid to glass bottle of liquid calcium (I shall seek out an alternative brand, but this one is really good & has minimal plastic…)
-Tag from green onions (all of the green onions have tags on them it seems… farmers market, we’re waiting!)
-Lid from glass bottle of/Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil (glass bottle, plastic lid. The 2nd one we bought had a plastic lid as well, but a cardboard bottle)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We went a bit astray this week & our number of items was much higher than we had aimed. Although we are still in the process of using up existing items in the pantry (and likely will be for a LONG time) that’s certainly not all of where our plastic came from this week.

We’re planning a trip in 3 weeks & will be making LOTS of efforts to reduce our plastic footprint, but at the same time I DO have a LOT of samples of shampoo etc that are stashed away with my luggage that aren’t mysteriously going to disappear either…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
coconut milk fudgesicles- they weren’t as good as we had expected & wont be buying them again (especially with as much garbage as they produced!)

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

Please help me…
Dishwashing soap- The city we lived in before sold things like this (and many others!) in “bulk” so that we could bring our own containers & refill them from their gigantic containers. We don’t have a place like that here though. The big box that I bought claims to be equivalent to 3.5 bottles of dishwashing soap, but with 80% less plastic. Inside the box is a plastic bag holding the soap. What to do?

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