May 30, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 13


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 13

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 21

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. 7 pieces dental floss (not shown)
2. Garbage bag for the week (not shown)
3. Contact solution bottle
4. Face wash container
5. Udi’s bread bag & tag
6. Turkey package (not shown)
7. Allergen free chocolate chip bag
8. Seal from glass bottle of salad dressing
9. Stickers from various fruit
10. Bag from whole turkey (not shown)
11. Hook on gardening gloves
12. Tape holding together old camping S&P shakers (donating)
13. Yogurt container
14. Coconut ice cream
15. Bag of fiddleheads from farmers market
16. 3 Price tag loops from new rain jacket & 2 work clothes
17. Chili powder jar
18. Spice mix bag
19. Tortilla chip bag (paper, but lined in plastic sadly)
20. Produce bag from (prepackaged) chard at farmers market
21. Saran wrap from cake & giant platter of turkey leftovers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Udi’s bread bag & tag: I could be making my own bread, but to be honest I don’t really have the time.
-Seal from glass bottle of salad dressing: we’re going to start experimenting with making our own salad dressing in this leftover bottle actually!
-Coconut ice cream: I haven’t yet began making my own ice cream, but I do have some frozen watermelon lurking in the freezer for experimentation!
-Chili powder jar & Spice mix bag: going forward I will be purchasing all spices in bulk, glass or tins.
-Tortilla chip bag (paper, but lined in plastic sadly): could be making our own tortilla chips with the tortillas I have bought from work.
-Produce bag from (prepackaged) chard at farmers market: pretty soon there will be farmers market vendors

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Yogurt container: not something we normally buy because Mr.C does not tolerate dairy at all, it was a treat for me.
-Bag of fiddleheads from farmers market: we just tried these for the first time! Not as fantastic as they had been made out to be. If I can get them in bulk (once a year when they’re in season) we’ll maybe get some. A nice change from the day in/day out veggies.
-Chili powder jar/Spice mix bag: we’re giving up buying any new spices in plastic this week.
-Saran wrap from cake & giant platter of turkey leftovers: we don’t use this very often at all, let alone twice in one week! This roll may be my last.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Garbage bag for the week (not shown): we’re down to a smaller can & therefore bag using up our stash of grocery store bags. Not sure what we’ll do when we run out :S
-Stickers from various fruit: fresh okanagan fruit should be available at the farmers market soon, but as long as it’s coming from the grocery store I can’t get around it.
-Bag from whole turkey (not shown): I’m fairly certain one cannot buy a whole turkey not in a package unless you’ve just killed it Mark Zuckerberg style on the farm.
-Hook on gardening gloves: I bought gardening gloves this week (for the first time) as a result of a massive blister I sustained on the palm of my hand weeding the lawn. I’m not about to spray chemicals on my grass, so manual labour is required.
-Tape holding together old camping S&P shakers (donating): was essential at the time. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve cleaned salt and/or pepper out of our giant tote full of camping gear. An old pepper grinder is replacing the pepper shaker & we’re going to check out Value village for a salt shaker that doesn’t have a mate.
-3 Price tag loops from new rain jacket & 2 work clothes: aside from not buying new things, this is basically unavoidable.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Continuing to use our bulk bin bags (we wash them in the laundry every time we use them as there are nut allergies in the family). I don’t always have them with me & have to save my bulk purchases for the next trip.

Fewer “treats” that aren’t made in my own kitchen. Reducing our sugar intake will likely curb the allergen free chocolate chip bags coming through as well. Not to mention the health benefits. Baking our own bread rather than purchasing it would reduce our plastic further although it’s a time game with these items.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Spices packaged in plastic. One of our local grocery stores offers (some) spices in bulk and it’s not out of the question to find them in tins (mind you sometimes the tins have plastic lids) or in glass jars (sigh, with plastic lids). We’ll aim for no plastic spices in the future.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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