November 9, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 33

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Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 33

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 31

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. Salad tub
2. 2 Chip bags
3. Digestive enzyme bottle
4. Tortellini container
5. Olive oil carton pull tab
6. Soy sauce label & lid (jar is glass)
7. Seal from bottle of peppercorns
8. Packages from jack-o-lantern carving kit
9. 2 Cheese wrappers
10. Bandaids & wrappers
11. Chicken package
12. Pancake mix bag
13. 2 Yogurt containers
14. 2 Pasta bags
15. Pull tab from carton of chocolate almond milk
16. Fruitcake wrapper (from last year!)
17. Sushi to-go container
18. Package from stypic pencil (for shaving)
19. Stickers from fruit & veggies
20. Truwhip container seal
21. Protein powder container
22. Quinoa bag
23. Deli meat bag
24. Lid to giant container of nuts
25. Cane sugar bag
26. Printer ink cartridge package
27. 2 rechargable battery packages
28. Tag from pineapple
29. Mushroom container
30. Empty pen
31. 3 Restaurant straws (not shown)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Salad tub: could be buying heads of lettuce
-2 Chip bags: I KNOW I can make my own…
-Olive oil carton pull tab: the new olive oil I purchased is plastic free
-Seal from bottle of peppercorns: I wonder if I can get peppercorns in bulk?
-Packages from jack-o-lantern carving kit: now that we have two, we wont need to buy again
-2 Cheese wrappers: our meat place has cheese in their deli case (but not goat cheese, so it’s not a 100% solution, but we can reduce.)
-Chicken package: I can get plasticless chicken from work that is good quality
-Pancake mix bag: I can make a pancake mix from flours rather than buying it premade
-2 Yogurt containers: It is possible to make ones own yogurt, but that’s not of much interest to me
-2 Pasta bags: we can buy ONE shape of rice pasta in bulk here…
-Pull tab from carton of chocolate almond milk: it’s possible to make your own almond milk, but it’s not in the plans
-Fruitcake wrapper (from last year!): I can’t say I’ve ever attempted to make a fruitcake before, but I’m sure it can be done!
-Sushi to-go container: we ordered too much & had to take a bunch home. Doesn’t happen often (and we wont order TWO spicy combo’s ever again!)
-Package from stypic pencil (for shaving): the alternative (an alum block) seems to be evading us but we’ll look in Calgary at Christmas
-Truwhip container seal: totally a guilty indulgence purchase…
-Quinoa bag: I can buy in bulk, but for twice the price. Damn you costco
-Deli meat bag: we brought containers (and even asked for them to be used) but she put it in a bag instead. Grr…
-Lid to giant container of nuts: easily purchaseable in bulk. Damn you again Costco…
-Cane sugar bag: most recent purchase was in a plastic free jar- yay!
-Tag from pineapple: we don’t buy often since they come from so far away, but it was a treat
-Mushroom container: plain white mushrooms are available in bulk, but that’s about it. I wonder how dried mushrooms would work in this particular recipe?
-3 Restaurant straws (not shown): I asked for no straw just as she was putting it into my drink… ugh. Too late :(


What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Tortellini container: we’ve given this up, but the freezer is full of goodies
-Sushi to-go container: I’ve been hesitant to give to-go containers up because due to the nutritional implications (i.e. eating too much because I can’t take it home/throwing out food because I can’t take it home) and I don’t exactly carry random tupperware containers everywhere I go.
-Truwhip container seal: I’m pretty sure this is being discontinued at our health food store anyways…
-Tag from pineapple: we buy maybe one pineapple a year (except for when we’re in hawaii)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Printer ink cartridge package: there are things that Mr.C needs to print off to hand in for school and it’s cheaper to do at home. If he was printing at school (more expensive) we wouldn’t be facing this item. The printer is seldom used for any non-school purposes.
-2 rechargable battery packages: option 2 would have been to buy “regular” batteries. Or buy a new kitchen scale that didn’t require batteries, but that’s just as wasteful in my opinon.
-Empty pen: In the foodservice industry credit card signing customers are constantly tucking our pens into their pockets. We always have to buy pens, and generally they disappear long before they actually run out of ink. I don’t write down all of my orders, and when I do it’s pretty extreme shorthand. I use every little bit of paper before flipping to the next page of my notepad as well. With chip technology in most peoples debit & credit card, the number of people that must sign for their credit card purchases is much lower (get on the bandwagon Amex!) but there’s still a need for pens in my workday.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I sound like a broken record, but I need to make more time to bake bread and make other things from scratch (I was up until 12:30 last night making applesauce!) rather than buying prepared. Time management is key to succeeding in this, and I’m working on it!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

Packaged mushrooms. Every time we make Pad Thai we buy a “variety pack” of mushrooms. We can get brown & white mushrooms in bulk, but that’s it in Prince George. Awhile back we bought a big container of dried mushrooms from Costco that I have yet to experiment with, but the next time Pad Thai is on the menu we’ll give them a try. I want to try to make mushroom soup with them as well.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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