February 28, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Kristin Overton, Week 47


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin Overton

Week: 47

Personal Info:

University & working couple plus bunny doing the best we can!

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

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Grocery, produce & bulk bin bags
Milk bought in glass & plastic lids recycled
Bought seeds (for the spring to plant!) all in paper
I found cheesecloth in bulk this week!

Total items collected: 23

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Sadly plastic recycling isn’t available where we live.

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Stickers on fruit & veggies
2. Salad tub
3. 3 Melted Ziploc bags (whoops)
4. Pizza crust mix bag
5. Enjoy Life chocolate chunks
6. Daiya bag
7. Restaurant straws
8. Bread bag
9. 2 bags frozen gluten free foods
10. Face wash pump bottle
11. Marshmallow bag
12. Lululemon mat strap tag
13. Saran wrap
14. Wasabi salt box (gift!)
15. Pull tab from carton of almond milk
16. 3 Individually wrapped candy wrappers
17. 2 Deli feta containers
18. 2 Sample packages of 7th Gen. laundry detergent
19. Fish oil bottle cap
20. 2 Chip bags
21. Fresh Basil bag
22. Mini booze bottle
23. Windshield washer fluid

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Salad tub: could buy heads of lettuce (bought mesculin seeds to plant in a few months!)
-Pizza crust mix bag: could make from scratch, but gf flour still comes in a bag
-Bread bag: we can be making our own more often
-2 bags frozen gluten free foods: an item we gave up a few months ago but bought accidentally over Christmas
-Face wash pump bottle: I’m currently using a facial cleanser that comes in bar form from lush (without packaging)
-Marshmallow bag: it is possible to make these, however I have not done so before
-Lululemon mat strap tag: I could have sourced out a handmade strap from etsy I’m sure
-Saran wrap: I could have done the baking myself instead of purchasing it
-Wasabi salt box (gift!): we typically buy our salt in a non-plastic container, however this was a gift from a trip to italy
-Pull tab from carton of almond milk: we gave these up awhile ago, but have a few left in the pantry
-3 Individually wrapped candy wrappers: this is also something we gave up, but slipped up when they came with the cheque at a restaurant
-2 Deli feta containers: this particular cheese was not available in “bulk” from the deli, we did ask. We’ve begun making ricotta ourselves recently, maybe feta is next up?
-2 Chip bags: we can make potato chips ourselves
-Fresh Basil bag: I do plan on having a basil plant in the spring, but we don’t have enough light in the house to grow it on a windowsill (I’ll never live in a basement again…)
-Mini booze bottle: unsure as to where this came from, but we’re working on downsizing the liquor cabinet!
-Windshield washer fluid: in warmer weather I could use a homemade solution, but not during the winter.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-3 Melted Ziploc bags (whoops): we gave these up already, and are going through what we have in the house.
-Pizza crust mix bag: I’ve been buying these since May for a comparison style blog post, but could give them up once were done.
-2 bags frozen gluten free foods: these fall under the “convenience food” listing as an item we gave up awhile ago, but bought over Christmas inadvertently. We’ll give up something extra this week to make up for it.
-Face wash pump bottle: As I’m currently using a product that comes in bar format, this is something that theoretically we could give up.
-Pull tab from carton of almond milk: this is included in the “beverage containers” that we gave up some time ago, but we do still have a few more in the pantry.
-3 Individually wrapped candy wrappers: this too is something we gave up awhile ago, but someone fell victim to when the candies came with the cheque at a restaurant. We’ll give up something extra this week to make up for it.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Stickers on fruit & veggies

My definition of what “essential” truly is changes every week when I have to rationalize the plastic our household has collected. Fourty seven weeks of asking myself “What really is essential” has caused me to ask the same question to myself when purchasing things destined for our home. I’m happy to report that not much of this weeks list really is in fact essential, and therefore it can eventually be eliminated. :)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Perogies, bread, saskatoon pie. These are all of the things I intended to bake/make this week that didn’t happen. Even though I had lots of time off. Often this question forces me to assess how I spend and prioritize my time. I know that I spend too much sleeping and on the computer, and not enough doing things around the house. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in a pigsty (today) but there’s always more prep that can be done. Procrastination is my big personal demon for sure…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
In addition to our one item we are giving up this week, we’re adding two more to make up for the items on our list that shouldn’t be there.

1. Pizza crust mix: should this include all mixes packaged in plastic? We have two more in the house for the gluten free pizza crust mix review blog post, but then that’s it. It’s not difficult to put together the flours I already have in the house to create something. Although they too come in a plastic bag…
2. Face wash: I am currently using 2 different products from Lush that are both available without packaging (or I can bring my own). I should probably buy stock in this company…
3. Saran wrap: we do have a roll of it in the house which is rarely used (but it’s there). This weeks plastic wrap came from a cafe that occasionally makes gluten free baked goods and I managed to catch them on a day when they had some available, so I jumped at it. A pineapple blueberry somethin’ or other loaf isn’t something that I would have normally been interested in, it was solely the fact that they had something that I could eat. I wouldn’t have given it a second chance otherwise. I do love to support independent places like this when they go out on a limb and make something for us allergy folks, but at the same time…

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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