June 21, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 16


We have been slowly using up items that have been gifted to us. How have you dealt with asking your friends & family not to give you plastic items?

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 16

Personal Info:

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

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

Total items: 23

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. 2 Seafood bags
2. 2 Topsoil bags
3. Pad Thai noodle bag
4. Garbage bag for week’s trash (not shown)
5. Stickers from fruit
6. Butcher’s paper from last week (forgotten, not shown)
7. Dental floss (not shown)
8. Soap packaging (gifted to us)
9. 4 restaurant straws (not shown)
10. 2 Glass milk bottle seals (1 forgotten from last week)
11. Pen packaging (discovered in old office supplies)
12. Cereal bag (very old!)
13. Salad bin
14. Furnace filter bag
15. 2 Berry clamshell containers
16. Produce bag from farmers market vendor
17. Rockets candy wrappers (found in depths of closet)
18. 2 pull tabs from cartons of OJ & almond milk
19. Dental floss container (finally on to the silk floss!)
20. Seal around glass jar
21. Baggie from new weedeater containing screws & instructions
22. Pasta bag
23. Restaurant dip cup (not shown)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-2 Seafood bags: I took containers with me but bought more than they could hold.
-2 Topsoil bags: I have since found out that our city offers compost for free that I could have mixed with some dirt from the flowerbeds for our container plants.
-Soap packaging (gifted to us): We will be purchasing plastic free soap & dealing with gift giving closer to Christmas
-4 restaurant straws (not shown): I NEED to get better at this!!!
-2 Glass milk bottle seals (1 forgotten from last week): Our occasional goats milk purchase is much better off in a glass jug
-Salad bin: our lettuce has started sprouting!!!
-Furnace filter bag: we’ll deal with that once we go through our large supply of them
-2 Berry clamshell containers: aside from not buying, I’ll have to wait for them to start showing up at the farmers market/u-pick farm
-Produce bag from farmers market vendor: I hate buying from this guy at the market & might as well be getting the produce from the grocery store anyways…

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
4 restaurant straws
Cereal bag (very old!)
Furnace filter bag
Rockets candy wrappers (found in depths of closet)
Seal around glass jar
Pasta bag

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Garbage bag for week’s trash (not shown): reducing frequency the garbage goes out
-Stickers from fruit
-Pen packaging (discovered in old office supplies): essential to my job. So many of them are stolen that purchasing refillable pens is not an option.
-Dental floss container (finally on to the silk floss!): The silk floss container however is still plastic….
-Baggie from new weedeater containing screws & instructions: I am not cutting around the flower beds with scissors all summer. Essential? Yes.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Reducing the amount of plastic in our home is a continual process. We went camping with a few coworkers a few days ago & didn’t contribute anything that wasn’t biodegradable. Wait, maybe our toothpaste…

The contrast of their plastic grocery bags containing single use cutlery & plates, salad kits with dressing packets, water bottles, tuna salad & cracker snacks and single serving cheezies to our no-waste trip was significant.

After coming home, I kinda feel like I’m not doing too bad…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Individually wrapped candy is incredibly wasteful and yet so prevalent in our society. No longer in our house. I’ll have to raid the candy jar & take stock of what’s in there…

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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