September 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 27


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 27

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

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. Organic broccoli tag
2. Sample size pasta bag
3. Bag from whole frozen chicken
4. Stickers from fruit & veggies
5. Tags off of new work clothes
6. Bandaids & wrappers
7. 2 Yogurt containers
8. Mailer envelope
9. Polenta tube
10. Goat cheese package
11. Cracker sleeve
12. Seal from tub of coconut oil
13. Cornstarch bag (lined)
14. Cranberry bag
15. Seal from tub of hummus
16. Pull tab from carton of OJ
17. Tortellini package
18. Vega sample packages
19. Costco bag of almonds
20. Spice package (old)
21. 2 Bread bags & tag
22. 2 inner bags from boxes of candy (sneaky!)
23. Packaging surrounding juice boxes (discovered in depths of backpack)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Organic broccoli tag: conventional broc doesn’t have any plastic
-Polenta tube: polenta can easily be prepared from the dry grain, we just happened to have this in the house from who knows how long ago. Should’ve checked the expiry date…
-Cracker sleeve: I can make my own, someone caved during a costco trip a few weeks ago & is binging…
-Seal from tub of coconut oil: the giant bucket of oil is definitely less plastic than buying smaller containers of it. It is available in small glass jars, but the price difference is huge.
-Cornstarch bag (lined): I honestly thought this box would simply contain the cornstarch rather than a bag inside the box. grr… Bulk section (or large bags if I can find it organic; preferrably)
-Cranberry bag: bought on sale last thanksgiving I think… there’s a few more bags in the freezer still. I think…
-Seal from tub of hummus: Another costco purchase. We used to buy it weekly from the farmers market where it was made locally in the city we lived before we moved here and we reused the containers. These containers suck. I want the happy camel back :(
-Pull tab from carton of OJ
-Vega sample packages: this product comes in a larger plastic jar, but this was just a trial size.
-Costco bag of almonds: I can TOTALLY buy these in bulk without any packaging, but costco is just so cheap dammit!
-Spice package (old): have already given up spices in plastic, just using up the supply.
-2 Bread bags & tag: Bread will be baked tomorrow. Promise.
-2 inner bags from boxes of candy (sneaky!): I shook the boxes in the store and swear I didn’t hear ANY plastic crinkly sounds. I feel completely duped.
-Packaging surrounding juice boxes (discovered in depths of backpack): not an item we’ve purchased in an entire calendar year I think…

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-2 Yogurt containers: not a normal purchase, just been on a bit of a kick lately.
-Polenta tube
-Cornstarch bag (lined)
-Tortellini package
-Costco bag of almonds
-Spice package (old): already given up
-Packaging surrounding juice boxes (discovered in depths of backpack): I think we’re adults here…

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Bag from whole frozen chicken: aside from changing our eating habits to exclude animals, I’m pretty sure there’s no way around this. I think buying a whole chicken probably means less packaging than if we were to buy smaller packages of “parts” individually however.
-Bandaids & wrappers: I cannot win.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Eating less meat for sure. Deja Vu- I’m pretty sure I was typing this topic in this box on this form within the last few weeks, but my new years resolution focused on eating one meal of poultry, one red meat & one fish/seafood per week. In the last 48 hours I’ve had chicken & red meat- not exactly on track given that there’s a huge hunk of roast in the fridge leftover from dinner tonight. But it’s been in the freezer since last Christmas- I had to cook it sometime… I guess this means that Tuesday’s pizza will be vegetarian after all. That’s okay, it usually is.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Tubed Polenta- it can totally be made from cornmeal, and isn’t something we opt for often anyways.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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