October 17, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 30


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 30

Personal Info:

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

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

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. Dumpling bag
2. Bandaids & wrappers
3. Bubble mailer
4. 2 Yogurt tubs
5. Protein powder tub
6. Chip bag
7. Cheese wrapping
8. Packaging for new tweezers
9. 2 Pasta bags
10. Facial scrub tube
11. Sherbet container
12. 2 Almond bags
13. Stickers on fruit & veggies
14. Sour cream container brought home from relatives containing dessert post Thanksgiving dinner
15. 2 Rings off of a new spatula & new belt
16. Daiya bag
17. Leaky Ziploc bag
18. Vitamin bottle lid & label (bottle is glass)
19. NYF cup
20. Plastic wrap (not shown) from platter of devilled eggs taken to thanksgiving dinner
21. Garbage bag from the week’s trash (not shown)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Dumpling bag: We could make dumplings (but would likely do without)
-Chip bag: “Emergency Food” that I would likely have lived without.
-2 Pasta bags: One type of rice pasta is available in bulk here in PG (sadly my least favorite shape) I’ll stock up in Calgary at Christmas.
-Facial scrub tube: I can make my own or use the great new product I discovered at Lush this week
-Sherbet container: I’m getting an ice cream maker for Christmas!
-2 Almond bags: I could purchase a coffee grinder & make my own almond meal, but we do have allergies in the family so it would have to be dedicated to that one single purpose & used for grinding nothing else. Probably not going to happen for the amount of almond meal I use.
-Stickers on fruit & veggies: I’ll continue to buy from the farmers market as often as I can, but winter’s a’comin!
-Sour cream container brought home from relatives containing dessert post Thanksgiving dinner: A reusable container could have been given to us, but we don’t see them very often, so it probably made more sense to give Mr.C something disposable to take home. I wasn’t there, so I’m not terribly clear on the circumstances. However, what I do know is that you can’t convince a polish grandma that you’re “not having any dessert”. A boy must eat it or take it with him lol
-Vitamin bottle lid & label (bottle is glass): the last bottle of vitamins I bought was glass with a metal lid, but I’m pretty sure it’s just that one company w/that option. Fortunately their stuff’s not bad!
-NYF cup: now that I finally have my iphone in hand, I wont have to lurk in the mall for who-knows-how-long (but NYF is still a treat once in awhile b.c their the only gf fries I can get!)
-Plastic wrap from platter of devilled eggs taken to thanksgiving dinner: these could have gone in a container (or rather several containers) but it seemed more fitting to bring them already presented on a platter. Especially since the guest was not expecting anything to be brought to dinner and may not have had an extra platter available.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?

-Dumpling bag: CCCCCAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Facial scrub tube: I’ve found a great facewash/scrub this week from Lush that allows me to bring my own container- awesome!
-Sherbet container: feeling sorry for myself purchase when Mr.C was out of town this summer. Finally got rid of the syrupy mess.
-2 Almond bags: this was cheaper than buying Bob’s almond meal by at least half, but smaller bags. I can’t even remember the last time I baked anything with almond meal though, I just happened to be cleaning out some of our spices etc & put this into a container instead of leaving it in the bags.
-Leaky Ziploc bag: not very many weeks ago we did give up ziploc bags, however we have LOTS still in the house & will continue to use them until they’ve worn out.
-Plastic wrap: I have a roll that’s likely going to last me ten years. I may as well use it up when I absolutely need it.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Bandaids & wrappers: The foodservice industry requires cuts to be covered. Wearing heels all day every day this week didn’t help my cause any either…
-Packaging for new tweezers: while I do “indulge” in some waxing services, these are a good thing to have a good pair of. The last ones recently kicked the bucket. The new ones have a lifetime guarantee & free sharpening! I’ll just have to make sure I don’t lose them.
-Stickers on fruit & veggies: there’s a guy at our farmers market that sells through the winter (they do have a greenhouse, but who knows where the out of season “organic” stuff really comes from…) I can’t always get what I need from them though.
-2 Rings off of a new spatula & new belt: price tag rings are on all kinds of things and generally seem to be impossible to avoid. Reducing consumption/consumerism helps though!
-Vitamin bottle lid & label (bottle is glass): my new bottle of vitamin D is glass w/a metal lid, but this is only one brand out there. Food sources are always best, but we don’t always get all of the nutrients we need from food alone, so supplementation is sometimes needed.
-Garbage bag: until we get better at this…. sigh.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
The potstickers were totally a treat & not a regular item in the house. We’re constantly striving towards a less processed diet.

We’re halfway through a “Unprocessed October” challenge which has led us to be consuming a LOT less food from a package. Hopefully this months experiences will impact our regular diets going forward. I encourage everyone to give this a try! More info at www.eatingrules.com

Plastic wrapped platter: acquiring some larger containers for things like this may be in order. Or maybe we’ll just bring a dip next time…

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Tying into our Unprocessed October challenge this month, we’re giving up: Processed/prepared foodstuffs ie dumplings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc. This covers a fair number of items that can occasionally be found in our kitchen. Avoiding items like this will by default encourage healthier food choices. We’ve been known to make monster batches of perogies on more than a few occasions, but it’s been at least a year & a half since we’ve whipped some up.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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