November 25, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 35


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 35

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 14

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
1. NYF cup & fork (not shown)
2. Edo Japan plate & fork (not shown)
3. 3 Restaurant straws (not shown)
4. Package from Christmas ornament unearthed from last year
5. Hot chocolate package from last Christmas
6. Wrapping from a case of canned beverages (damn you costco!)
7. Stickers on fruit & veggies
8. Lift pass on my jacket from 2 seasons ago
9. Salad tub
10. Chocolate bar wrapper
11. Bandaids & wrappers
12. 2 Cheese packages
13. Cereal bag (ancient)
14. Plastic coated twist tie (found on the floor, not sure what it’s from- maybe last week’s hairdryer purchase?)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-NYF cup & fork: we can totally make fries at home. In fact, we did make fries at home this week!
-Edo Japan plate & fork: actually, we made stirfry this week too
-3 Restaurant straws: we have yet to buy glass straws, but ask for no straw when we remember
-Package from Christmas ornament unearthed from last year/Hot chocolate package from last Christmas: we attempted talking to our families about plastic-less Christmas gifts awhile ago, but were met with hostility…
-Salad tub: we could by buying heads of lettuce, but at this point trying to eat more salad is taking more of a precedence.
-Chocolate bar wrapper: we usually buy chocolate in a foil & paper wrapper, but this was a special purchase
-2 Cheese packages: we can get cheese from our deli (and bring our own containers) but not goat cheese for Mr.C. Really though, they are still wrapped in plastic. We’re reducing the amount of cheese that comes home with us though.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Edo Japan plate & fork (not shown)
-Wrapping from a case of canned beverages (damn you costco!)
-Cereal bag (ancient)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Stickers on fruit & veggies
Bandaids & wrappers

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We seem to be making a habit of grabbing lunch at the mall while doing our weekend errands & running around. New York Fries Poutine & Edo Japan two weekends in a row, and (as much as I DO like it) I don’t like it. We usually have breakfast before we head out, so maybe we’ll have to start taking snacks with us too.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
We had discussed the “canned beverages” as our pick for this week, but found ourselves in a bit of a pickle. If we had bought the normally sold 4-pack of these (which come in a cardboard “box” with no plastic) rather than a whole case we would have been fine. But in the grand scheme of things, when the store received the item in question, would it not be encased in the same plastic? So while by buying the 4-pack rather than the costco-sized flat, we skipped the plastic coming home with us but it still existed even if we weren’t the ones to throw it out. All of this is fine really, because we’re still not going to buy them based on nutritional grounds.

But this applies to all canned items… I bought a flat of 12 cans of corn nearly identical in packaging to these drinks awhile back & it’s the same thing. If I bought the cans one at a time from the store, off the shelf I’m not bringing home any plastic, but when they were shipped to the store they were likely packaged in plastic just the same.

What’s a girl to do? I switched my coconut milk buying from cartons to cans awhile ago, and now I’m faced with this. Where do we draw the line?

In other news, we’re going to limit the amount of items we buy in cans. As for the corn, well…. we’ll be doing a lot of shucking & freezing next summer.

So to get back on topic what exactly are we giving up this week?

I think the compromise this week is to give up plastic (liquid) beverage containers. This would include but is not limited to (I’ve always wanted to say that- haha!) pop bottles, milk/juice boxes/cartons, beer/other cans that have the 6-pack plastic rings, or the case of drinks in question etc. This doesn’t include frozen beverage containers, dry drink mixes (i.e. hot chocolate) & alcohol. So that’s that.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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