November 2, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 32


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 32

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. Sample cup from “Healthy Living Expo” (not shown)
2. NYF cup & fork (not shown)
3. Swedish berries bag
4. 2 Chip bags
5. Packaged baking mix bag
6. Ring from glass milk jug
7. Witch hazel bottle
8. Mustard powder container
9. Bandaids & wrappers
10. Goat cheese package
11. Salad tub & seal
12.Wrapper from Cocoa Camino chocolate bar
13. 2 Yogurt containers
14. Bag from green beans
15. 2 Udi’s bags & tags
16. Plastic seal from cayenne pepper bottle (glass)
17. 2 Garbage bags from weeks trash (not shown)
18. Worn out shoes (Sadly, the soles cannot be fixed they told me. Twice.)
19. Stickers from fruit & veggies
20. 2 old toothbrushes & packages from new ones
21. Hair product bottle
22. Container of mango sorbet
23. Lid & seal from 3 bottles of vitamins

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Sample cup from “Healthy Living Expo” (not shown): They suckered Mr.C in…
-NYF cup & fork (not shown): this is the only fast food (basically) I can eat & needed a snack at the mall. Usually I always have a snack with me everywhere we go.
-Swedish berries bag: I could always eat REAL berries lol!
-2 Chip bags: I KNOW that I can make potato chips myself…
-Packaged baking mix bag: purchased in April in the US solely because I couldn’t buy the product in Canada. It’s not something I would have bought ordinarily…
-Mustard powder container: this is something we have up awhile ago, just used up the container. I have a tin to use going forward.
-Salad tub & seal: I could be buying heads of lettuce
-Wrapper from Cocoa Camino chocolate bar: this company has ‘tricked me’ a few times with their ‘treats’ as the outer package is paper, with a plastic liner inside. I’ll be avoiding their products in future.
-Bag from green beans: this time of year they’re not widely available in bulk. I could have chosen a different veggie.
-2 Udi’s bags & tags: I need to make time to bake my own bread.
-Plastic seal from cayenne pepper bottle (glass): I’ve given up spices in plastic already, but this was an item that I didn’t have a bottle for.
-2 old toothbrushes & packages from new ones: I know that wood/bamboo toothbrushes are available & I’m going to look at the when we’re in the ‘big city’ at Christmas as they aren’t available here.
-Hair product bottle: This is something I’m reducing my usage of in general. I wont be purchasing this particular product again.
-Container of mango sorbet: I’m getting an ice cream maker for Christmas!
-Lid & seal from 3 bottles of vitamins: we’ve started buying glass bottles w/metal lids

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Swedish berries bag
-Mustard powder container (already given up)
-Wrapper from Cocoa Camino chocolate bar
-Bag from green beans
-Plastic seal from cayenne pepper bottle (glass) (already given up)
-2 old toothbrushes & packages from new ones

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Ring from glass milk jug: not that dairy is really essential to anyone’s diet, this is the least plastic option
-Witch hazel bottle
-Bandaids & wrappers
-2 Garbage bags from weeks trash
-Worn out shoes (Sadly, the soles cannot be fixed they told me. Twice.): I have a difficult time finding shoes for work that I (a) like, (b) fit well & (c) are in my price range. Sometimes “ethically produced” etc shoes don’t fit my required criteria. Sometimes work shoes only last me 3 months before going in the trash; I can’t afford to spend a fortune on something that is destroyed that fast.
-Stickers from fruit & veggies
-Lid & seal from 3 bottles of vitamins: even the glass bottles with metal lids have a plastic wrapper around the neck.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Aside from a job change, the shoe dilemma likely wont change (For reference I work in a restaurant & spend several hours a day in any given pair of heels on my feet.) This is also directly related to my band-aid consumption.

I’m finding myself busier & busier all the time without making time for things like baking bread (although I’ve only had 3 loaves all month). Balance is key in my life and I’ve been making time for other things that are important to my well being such as yoga. The trade off for the time it takes to bake a loaf of bread relative to my sanity is worth it sometimes.

Yet again this week I can include an improvement in our diets in this category. Participating in Unprocessed October this month has been beneficial for sure. A less processed diet generally means less plastic by default.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
This week we’re going to remove plastic toothbrushes from our lives. Over Christmas I’ll be scoping out stores in Calgary for alternative options to the traditional, disposable commonplace choice.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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