March 20, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Kristin Overton, Week 50



Hair products: I have naturally wavy hair but it’s also what you could call “unruly”. If air drying, I usually use some sort of mousse or gel (spray or otherwise) type product… ideas?

Brands of hot sauce: knowing that in Canada I may not be able to find what you may recommend, have you found any without plastic? Or, how can one go about making it?

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin Overton

Week: 50

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!)
Restaurant straws, instead of drinking the (plastic wrapped) complimentary tea at work, I keep a container of (unwrapped) tea bags with me all the time; cloth grocery, produce & bulk bin bags

Total items collected: 24

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Steak package
2. 2 Cereal bags
3. Triscuit bag
4. Cheese wrapper
5. Stickers from fruit from the week
6. Trash bag for the week
7. Vermicelli bag
8. Blueberry bag
9. Hair product bottle
10. Celery bag
11. Pizza mix bag with accompanying yeast packet
12. Bandaid wrappers
13. Bread bag
14. Credit card (fraud… they’re sending a new one)
15. Seal from protein powder tub
16. 2 Yogurt tubs
17. Mayo jar
18. Seal from new mayo jar
19. Cheese sauce mix packet
20. Almond milk carton pull tab
21. Deli container
22. Inside of wooden lid to glass bottle of hot sauce
23. Wrapper to new hot sauce bottle
24. Cumin seed packet

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Steak package: I’m not sure why we have yet to buy these straight from the butcher. I’ll look into the quality factor the next time I’m there.
-2 Cereal bags: not a normal buy, leftover from Xmas I think
-Triscuit bag: also not normally found in our house; a treat. We can make our own!
-Cheese wrapper: we do sometimes buy cheese in bulk from the deli to which we take our own containers.
-Blueberry bag: we picked lots last year (and have some in the freezer still!) and I suspect we will this year too
-Hair product bottle: this one I’m workin’ on…
-Celery bag: organic celery is hit or miss with the packaging at our health food store. I should ask about that, actually.
-Pizza mix bag with accompanying yeast packet: for blog post, only one more to go before we can start making our pizzas from scratch again!
-Bread bag: obv’s we can make this ourselves, but we’re cutting down the amount of grains in our diets
-2 Yogurt tubs: can be made at home
-Mayo jar: can also be made at home (we’ve tried, with little success)
-Seal from new mayo jar: ditto
-Cheese sauce mix packet: I have a dated stash of these… wont be repurchasing
-Almond milk carton pull tab: we have a few cartons left in our cold room, then on to a nut mylk bag!
-Deli container: I plan to bring my own container for goat’s feta
-Inside of wooden lid to glass bottle of hot sauce/Wrapper to new hot sauce bottle: thoughts?
-Cumin seed packet: came with a spice set as a christmas gift, normally would buy bulk

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Cereal bags
-Triscuit bag
-Celery bag
-Pizza mix bag with accompanying yeast packet
-Cheese sauce mix packet
-Almond milk carton pull tab: we’ve already given this up, but have a few more in the house still
-Deli container: also gave this up, but had it in the house at the time
-Cumin seed packet: we gave up spices in plastic quite awhile ago, but this was part of a Christmas gift

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Stickers from fruit from the week: can’t wait until may long weekend when the farmers market opens waaay up!
-Trash bag for the week: with limited recycling and the ground still frozen (no municipal composting either) we can’t avoid this. Our worms can only take so much.
-Bandaid wrappers: I work in foodservice…
-Seal from protein powder tub: they’re ALL plastic… aside from not consuming the product…

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Again this week… baking bread when I say I’m going to do it. Ya know, instead of just saying I’m going to do it… We’re phasing grains out of our life bit by bit, so putting it off isn’t such a bad thing. Buying it anyways isn’t ok though.

I’ll talk to the guy at the butcher’s and see what the quality of their beef is. Or maybe the bison guy at the farmers market could wrap his steaks in paper like the ground beef is. I don’t see why not. When I was a kid & my dad and grandpa would go hunting, that’s what they did. I’m sure it’s more of a visual thing for customers. I bet he would if I put in a large order…

Lots of the things on our list this week are things we don’t generally buy and wont be replacing once they’re gone. There’s a few packets of cheese sauce mix stashed away, I’m down to 4 cartons of almond milk in the house, one more bag of pizza crust mix, a total of 5 bottles of hair product I think (between the 2 of us) we’ve come so far! )Please pretend not to see the bag of cheezies sitting next to me on the couch right now… I’m so weak.)

I’m having allergy testing done sometime soon, and I’m sure that dairy will show up (although I proclaim to not eat much of it, that’s not really the case I’m noticing). Having it on paper in front of my eyes will help it sink in I think and I hope to eliminate it from my life for good. I’m going to decide on which test I’m going for right now!

There, done!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I think cereal is a good one since we ARE trying to phase out more grains from our diets. Must. Read. More. Paleo. Blogs (for grain free ideas like cauliflower rice!) I’m hesitant to give this one up, but it’s a gluttonous thing that I only buy when I’m being “bad”. Like the 2lb bag of mini eggs that came home with us from the grocery store yesterday… Only until Easter, I swear.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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6 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Kristin Overton, Week 50"

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I have long wavy (frizzy) hair as well and I use a tiny bit of coconut oil instead of “product”.  My hair is quite dry so it absorbs the oil and makes it shine nicely.  I wouldn’t  recommend it for people with oily hair.  I use the same stuff that we cook with so it’s available in glass jars.   After I put it on my hair I wipe my hands over any dry skin patches (elbows!) until it’s completely absorbed.  I don’t have to use hand lotion anymore either!

Thanks for all the tips & suggestions!

It usually does come in plastic, but as someone who switched to toxic-free cosmetics a while back, I’ve found that aloe vera works great as a gel. I have really curly hair.

you might check for some good hair & beauty tips.

I also gave up on making my own hairspray and moved to hair gel from finding recipes online. Mix up 1/2 cup hot water with 1/2 teaspoon gelatin and keep in an old plastic servin’ saver the refrigerator. Scoop out a little when needed and warm in your hands to melt it a bit. Making your own mayonnaise does take practice but is so much better than store-bought. Add crushed garlic for an aioli and it’s even better. I watched multiple YouTube how-to’s before I got the hang of it. Did you mean that you can actually make your own… Read more »
Hi Kristin. I also tend to have frizzy hair, and I buy hair pommades that come in metal tins. Here is one you might try, although I haven’t tried it yet: That is a de-frizzing product, but not a holding product. If you are looking for hold, I have heard of people making hairspray with vodka and lemon juice, but I tried it and couldn’t get it to work for me. There are also recipes online for hair gel made from flax seeds, but that also didn’t work for me. Still, it’s fun to experiment. We’re all different.