September 18, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 25


Toilet paper wrapping: I recall reading an article some time ago about ordering a giant amount of TP from amazon & having it shipped (seventh gen maybe?). I DO have a vehicle & drive it more than I’m proud of, so my TP does come from the grocery store which only offers plastic packaged options. Aside from going all no-impact man via washcloths, installing a bidet (we’re renting, sorry) or abstaining completely (um, no) I feel like buying the largest packages possible is the only way I can reduce the amount of plastic resulting from this purchase. And reducing how much is used of course.

Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 25

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 22

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Avocado oil bottle
2. Agave bottle
3. Bread bag
4. Shrink wrap from flat of cans
5. Toilet paper wrapping
6. 2 Wrappers from top of glass bottle
7. 2 Chicken packages (not shown)
8. 3 Chip bags
9. Soy sauce lid & wrapper (glass bottle)
10. Chocolate chip bag
11. Mayo jar
12. Tortellini package
13. 2 Organic ground beef packages
14. Goat cheese wrapper
15. 2 Band-aids w.wrappers
16. Lid to bottle
17. 2 Mailer envelopes
18. Flip flops ripped :(
19. Electrical tape from bunnyproofing efforts
20. Garbage bag (not shown)
21. Lemon juice bottle
22. Airline baggage tag (old)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Avocado oil bottle: IS available in glass, was trying out different brands
-Agave bottle: not available in glass in PG. Currently using a 3lb (plastic) bucket of honey instead
-Bread bag: the non-gluten free boy is on a mission to bake his own bread this week! He usually buys bakery bread in a paper bag
-Shrink wrap from flat of cans: buying corn in cans (cheaper by the case) was a better option at the time than frozen bags. Can avoid in future
-2 Wrappers from top of glass bottle: I’m always on the lookout for wrapperless bottles, but there aren’t exactly a lot of gluten free worchestershire sauces out there!
-2 Chicken packages (not shown): costco purchase, less packaging than buying 4 thighs at a time. Our freezer is filled to the brim!
-3 Chip bags: I admit, I’m weak. We went camping, it’s vacation, right? I DO know how to make my own…
-Soy sauce lid & wrapper (glass bottle): I’ll be keeping my eye out for Kikkoman in the grocery store; apparently their gf soy sauce is now available in Canada and may have less plastic.
-Mayo jar: I’ve tried making my own… I need to maybe try a different kind of oil
-Tortellini package: comfort food purchase at costco. there’s 2 more in the freezer…
-Lid to bottle: the bottle depot requires all lids to be removed (and not recycled) any more :( I do choose bottles where this isn’t an option as much as possible however
-Lemon juice bottle: the new one is glass; this is something I gave up in one of my very first weeks, but it’s taken me this long to get through the rest of the bottle. Lemon & lime in plastic are both out now :)

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Shrink wrap from flat of cans: I bought a case because it was easier & cheaper
-Tortellini package: this was more of a treat purchase for him, not something we normally buy.
-Lemon juice bottle: this IS something I have given up!

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Toilet paper wrapping: see above predicament
-2 Band-aids w.wrappers: cuts need to be covered up when working in the food service industry.
-2 Mailer envelopes: what was in them? A straightblade! No more razor blades for him (I haven’t figured out a solution yet…)
-Flip flops ripped :( Can’t not buy shoes…
-Electrical tape from bunnyproofing efforts: the lamps etc need to be protected!
-Garbage bag (not shown): we’re not yet at a point of having a small enough amount of trash to go bag-free. Plus in a few months the ground will be frozen again, so burying our compost will be out. The worms can only handle so much…
-Airline baggage tag (old): unavoidable when travelling for work. Is there really plastic in them though?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Lots of my plastic this week was surrounding food. I do the grocery shopping, so I just need to be aware of what I’m putting in my basket. Oh, and stop being so lazy. There’s that too…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I think the avocado oil bottle is first on the chopping block. I bought it months ago to use for making mayo (ironic since there’s a mayo jar this week too!) with zero success. I bought another brand in glass from a different store when I realized that I would be able to find more than one source of it. At this point I’m not even sure what I’m going to use the rest of the oil for, let alone ever be buying it again. Salad dressings I guess… And I’ve heard it’s good for your hair…. I’ll be checking into that!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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