December 6, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Kristin, Week 37


Location:Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Name: Kristin

Week: 37

Personal Info:

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

Kristin’s personal blog:

Total items: 29

Total weight:

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

Items: Nonrecyclable
`1. Omega 3 bottle
2. Mascara tube & wrapper from new one
3. Hair conditioner tube
4. Hair product bottle
5. 2 Baking mix bags
6. 2 Salad tubs
7. Stickers from fruit & veggies
8. Green bean bag
9. Carrot bag
10. 3 Chip bags
11. 2 Pasta bags
12. 4 Restaurant straws
13. Label & seal to soy sauce bottle
14. Emergen-C packets
15. Seal around jar of greens+
16. Plug from wheel off of bed frame
17. Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil
18. Lululemon package & tag
19. 2 Tetley canister lids
20. Styrofoam to-go container
21. Seal around package of containers for Christmas baking
22. Seal around glass bottle of fish oil
23. Coconut yogurt container
24. Bread bag & tag
25. Seal from jar of peanut butter
26. Bent bed frame wheel
27. Plastic bag from bouquet of flowers
28. 4 small candy wrappers
29. Pull tab from carton of almond milk

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
-Omega 3 bottle/Seal around glass bottle of fish oil: I searched all over town for capsule omega 3 supplements in a glass container with zero success. I’ll be looking when we’re in the “big city” at the end of the month.
Hair conditioner tube: I can get conditioner in returnable/reusable pots from Lush. While they’re still plastic, they’re not going in the garbage. And they are recyclable plastic when they do reach the end of their lifespan.
-Hair product bottle: I’ve been reducing the amount of product I use in my hair for a few years now… I’m down to 4 bottles of stuff total I think.
-2 Baking mix bags: gluten free flours aren’t available where we live in bulk anyways, so mix or plain flour(s) it still comes in plastic.
-2 Salad tubs: we could be buying heads of lettuce, but I feel like this is a healthier option
-Green bean bag: they’re not in season anymore, I know… I do have a bit of a stash in the freezer, but I should have stocked up more during the summer.
-Carrot bag: these were local carrots from a farm about a 20 minute drive away. Veto.
-3 Chip bags: I can choose to make chips. I can also choose healthier snack options.
-4 Restaurant straws: I ask as many times as I remember… and I’m getting better at it! So frustrating when I remember & the server forgets… Or they bring water with straws without asking…
-Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil: I bought a big tin of sesame oil awhile ago, but we have yet to find a small bottle to keep in the kitchen to refill that will hold up to our abuse!
-2 Tetley canister lids: we have SO many of these in the house… trying to use them up, then we’ll commit to buying tea with the plastic packaging in mind. In the meantime, no purchasing.
-Styrofoam to-go container: rarely do I have leftovers when we go out to eat, but it was my birthday dinner & I only ate half… I did mention better packaging to the server.
-Bread bag & tag: we’re baking bread this week. Period.
-Seal from jar of peanut butter: a glass jar with a metal lid. We’ll reuse it. This definitely is the less plastic alternative.
-4 small candy wrappers: we gave up individually wrapped candy awhile back, but there was a stash that remained. I put it in our advent calendar this year, so we’re going through it.
-Pull tab from carton of almond milk: we gave this up a few weeks ago too, but we still have at least half a dozen of them in storage.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
-Hair conditioner tube
-4 small candy wrappers: we already gave this up!
-Pull tab from carton of almond milk: we already gave this up!

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
-Omega 3 bottle: not that we can find here, but we’re going to look when we’re in the “big city” over Christmas.
-Hair product bottle: this varies, depending on the item but cannot be avoided completely I don’t think.
-2 Pasta bags: we can’t get gluten free pasta in bulk here.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
It seems that much of our accumulation this week is “convenience food” if you will. Gearing up for Christmas, we’ve had lots on our plates in terms of things to do. We’ve been busy & our priorities have shifted a bit. We’re going to do our best to keep our diets & plastic usage in check until we leave on the 18th for Christmas.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Hair conditioner: I buy it in plastic pots from Lush, but the company takes the pots back & reuses them. I feel like this is okay because the plastic isn’t going in the garbage. They give you a free face mask when you bring back 5- there’s totally incentive!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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