March 14, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Kristin Overton, Week 49


Our deep freeze is a lid-on-top style (rather than stand up) and I suspect when we begin to use glass to store leftovers there is a risk of breakage. Does anyone know of any sort of shelving systems we could use?

The freezer does have one basket that sits on the top, and we have another (plastic) storage container that we use to keep all of our homemade stock (in 2 cup plastic containers, ugh) separate from everything else in there. Any resources?

If anyone has natural suggestions for removing a blueberry liqueur stain from beige carpet, I would be forever grateful. It’s now a few days old and isn’t too bad, but….

Oh, and natural stuff to put in a steam cleaner as well as that’s in the plans too.

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin Overton

Week: 49

Personal Info:

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

Kristin Overton’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Oh, the usual suspects… bulk bin bags, produce bags, grocery store bags…

We’re on a mission to use up lots of the things we’ve accumulated in our freezer and pantry so buying less things and using up what we already have totally counts!

I need to get better at tracking this category throughout the week!

Total items collected: 21

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Sadly plastic recycling is not available in our area.

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Lid to can of coffee we bought 3+ years ago
2. 2 Salad tubs
3. 3 Sardine wrappers
4. 4 Ziploc bags, died & gone to heaven
5. 5 Stale GF granola bars, received at Christmas
6. 2 Plastic container lids, reused to death
7. Bag for the weeks trash (not shown)
8. Stickers from fruit & veggies
9. Almond yogurt container
10. Rice noodle package
11. Cheese wrapper
12. Bread bag
13. Chip bag
14. Fresh basil bag
15. 3 Mini Eggs bags
16. Edamame bag
17. Chapstick tube
18. Meyer lemon bag
19. Lid to spray can of carpet stain remover
20. Bandaid & wrapper
21. Lululemon garment bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Lid to can of coffee we bought 3+ years ago: coffee is available in bulk and we will be buying it as such in future
-2 Salad tubs: heads of lettuce
-3 Sardine wrappers: these are widely available without a plastic wrapper. I was out of it…
-4 Ziploc bags, died & gone to heaven: once all of our ziploc bags are gone we’ll use mason jars in the freezer.
-2 Plastic container lids, reused to death: once these are all gone we’ll use mason jars, as we reuse them only for freezing homemade stock.
-Bag for the weeks trash (not shown): we’re not doing much composting right now as the ground is frozen, but in a month or so this will be cut way back down
-Stickers from fruit & veggies: can’t wait to be getting fresh produce from the market rather than the store- spring is coming!
-Rice noodle package: we’re aiming to cut more grains out of our diet, so pasta packages will be less and less common
-Cheese wrapper: we can buy cheese from a deli that we bring our own containers to, but didn’t make it there this week.
-Bread bag: we can of course bake our own
-Chip bag: …of these as well
-Fresh basil bag: we don’t get enough light in our basement suite to grow fresh herbs, but the greenhouse should be ready for use soon as long as the weather cooperates!
-Edamame bag: these were free from work as someone ordered the wrong product. Don’t ever buy them. I think I’ll be keeping the other one as a cold compress since they didn’t agree with my digestive system too well.
-Chapstick tube: I bought a replacement that was in a tin, but still sealed with plastic film. As long as I stay hydrated enough I don’t generally need this.
-Meyer lemon bag: I gave up citrus in bags months ago, but this is the first time they’ve ever been available to us in Canada- I was so excited to see them and be able to try them that I totally forgot. Not all they’re cracked up to be. Recipes?
-Lid to spray can of carpet stain remover: If anyone has natural suggestions for removing a blueberry liqueur stain from beige carpet, I would be forever grateful. It’s now a few days old and isn’t too bad, but….
-Lululemon garment bag: my lulu purchasing will decrease, as I’m saving for a yoga teacher training course in the fall!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Lid to can of coffee we bought 3+ years ago: without a doubt we can give this up.
-3 Sardine wrappers: I can’t believe I actually bought these. The brand we normally get doesn’t have any plastic. We can give up the plastic coated ones.
-4 Ziploc bags, died & gone to heaven: we already gave these up, but have a decent stash still.
-5 Stale GF granola bars, received at Christmas: we gave up wrapped granola/snack bars awhile back, but these were bought for me by someone else.
-Edamame bag: though not technically a vegetable, these may count as one for this purpose. I didn’t buy these however, and the other bag will be kept in the freezer as a cold compress.
-Meyer lemon bag: we gave up citrus in bags months ago, but I brought these home. Tsk Tsk.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Bandaid & wrapper: a requirement for my job should it be needed. Can’t bleed in other peoples food…

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Despite my best intentions last week, I didn’t bake bread. Sigh.

As I mentioned above, I’m doing a teacher training course through my yoga studio in the fall, so I’ll be saving up money for that over the next 6 months. This means less trips to winners for things I don’t need and (ideally) less lululemon purchases (it’s my only non-food vice…). Reducing my spending alone should net less plastic in the house. Welcome to my adventures.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
We’re giving up two since I’m a dummy and bought a bag of meyer lemons when I’m not allowed to.

Coffee and cans wrapped in plastic (so unnecessary!) are onto the ever growing list of things not welcome in our home this week.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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