A record of my efforts to live a more sustainable life.

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - September 19 - September 25, 2010

Recyclable Items (3)
  • 1 soy milk carton
  • 1 raspberries container (PETE 1)
  • 1 paper bread bag with plastic window

Non-Recyclable Items (3):
  • 1 sample size SodaStream syrup package
  • 1 graham cracker bag
  • 1 Pink Panther ice cream treat package (it was the ice cream truck again!)

Total Items: 6

Making Soda With My SodaStream

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Winnipeg Convention Centre for an eco show. Basically I paid $10 to be advertised to, but the products were all really interesting, environmentally friendly things, so I didn't mind. I bought a bamboo cutlery set from Green Please! (a Winnipeg-based company!) to carry in my backpack, as well as the SodaStream.

The SodaStream is a machine used for making soda at home. It doesn't use any electricity, just a pressurised CO2 canister. The only waste products are the empty syrup bottles. The syrup bottles are pretty small, though (only enough for 9L of pop), so I'm hoping that eventually they'll make bigger bottles.

The one thing that bugs me is that you have to spend more to get more environmentally friendly models. The Eco Soda model, which is made of recycled materials (as is the packaging) is $20 more than the Genesis (the cheapest model, and the one I purchased). And you have to go way up in price to the Titan or the coveted, $299, Penguin model if you want to make your soda in glass bottles instead of plastic. This was already a big purchase for me, so I got the Genesis, with the excessive packaging that recently showed up in my plastic tally, rather than spend the extra money. At least the plastic bottles used for carbonating the water are BPA free, so that's something.

On the flip side of my complaining about the packaging, I think the fun of making your own pop is enough to make the SodaStream worth it. So here are the pictures of Jonathon and I making cola, without detailed instructions, simply because it's very easy.

The SodaStream, a bottle of cold water, and a sample-sized packet of cola syrup.

The bottle is screwed into the machine, and Jonathon pushes the button to carbonate the water.

After the water is carbonated, we pour the syrup in (carefully, because this makes it fizz a lot!).

That's Jonathon! After mixing in the syrup, the cola is complete. And it was all done in under a minute.

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - September 12 - September 18, 2010

Recyclable Items (1)
  • 1 hummus container (PP 5)

Non-Recyclable Items (12):
  • 1 cereal bag
  • 1 microwave popcorn wrapper
  • 1 package from tint brush
  • 1 Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream treat wrapper (I just... I can't say no to the ice cream man.)
  • 2 pasta bags
  • 2 sample size SodaStream syrup containers (once this box is done there will be no more sample sizes!)
  • 1 Styrofoam noodle bowl
  • 1 soy milk seal
  • 1 wrapper from Tarot deck
  • 1 combination lock package (if I could stop losing them, I could stop buying them)

Total Items: 13

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - September 5 - September 11, 2010

Sorry for the delay on this one. I started my last term at the University of Manitoba on Thursday, so I've been a bit busy. After December I'll be done, but until then, my scheduling could be a bit wonky. So please bear with me!

Recyclable Items (3)
  • 1 sour cream container (PP 5)
  • 1 soy milk carton (plastic spout and lid)
  • 1 seal from CO2 canister (LDPE 4)

Non-Recyclable Items (20):
  • 1 mint wrapper
  • 1 toothpaste tube
  • 1 rigatoni bag
  • 1 piece of plastic wrap
  • 1 veggie burger package
  • 1 cheese slice wrapper
  • 1 straw
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 soy milk seal
  • 1 apple filling packet from apple turnovers (not pictured)
  • 1 icing packet from apple turnovers
  • 1 pill package
  • 4 pieces of plastic from SodaStream packaging
  • 1 wrapper from SodaStream sample pack
  • 3 seals from SodaStream

Total Items: 23

So, this was my worst week since January! Therefore, I figure I should point out all the points where I went wrong, or where I simply got unlucky with the amount of plastic coming my way.
  • I bought a SodaStream. Which is awesome. But it came wrapped in a fair bit of plastic. I'll be writing a full post on the SodaStream soon, in which I'll talk more about the packaging, and about how cool the SodaStream is.
  • The veggie burgers I normally eat aren't wrapped in plastic. The veggie burger package and cheese slice wrapper are from a BBQ I went to at a friend's house. You can't really be picky about packaging when a meat-eating friend is kindly making you a veggie burger. :)
  • I went to the BDI (an ice cream place, for you non-Winnipeggers), and got a milkshake-type thing, and they gave me a spoon and a straw! I'd forgotten to bring a spoon, so I was expecting that, but a straw, too? Ridiculous.
  • The plastic wrap was from a sandwich, at a place that had previously given me a sandwich wrapped in tin foil, but this time used plastic! I was rather disappointed.
So overall, I had a lot of bad luck last week! Hopefully it won't happen again.

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - August 29 - September 4, 2010

Recyclable Items (2)
  • 1 orange juice carton (plastic spout and lid)
  • 1 envelope with window

Non-Recyclable Items (8):
  • 1 potato bag
  • 1 frozen vegetables bag
  • 1 perogies bag
  • 1 seal from taco sauce bottle (as soon as I'm done the individual taco sauce packets I've got left, there'll be no more of those!)
  • 2 carton seals
  • 2 toothpicks with plastic tips (I really, really hate these.)

Total Items: 10