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

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

Recyclable Items (2)
  • 1 orange juice carton
  • 1 peanut butter jar (PETE 1)

Non-Recyclable Items (11):
  • 1 cereal bag
  • 1 video game wrapper
  • 1 orange juice seal
  • 1 piece of plastic wrap
  • 1 shredded cheese bag
  • 1 salad dressing seal
  • 1 big piece of Styrofoam
  • 4 miscellaneous pieces of plastic wrapping from Christmas presents

Total Items: 13

13 items is not great, but let's compare. In 2009, the week containing Christmas was week 2 of this plastic counting adventure. That week I threw away 37 pieces of plastic. So I must say, I feel pretty good about that 13. Sometimes I think I get too caught up in trying to beat my latest record, and forget about how far I've come.

Need a last minute gift idea?

'Tis the season of thoughtfully picking out the perfect gift for each person you care about. Unfortunately, it's also the season of picking up last minute, generic presents that just end up cluttering people's houses. So, for the person who has everything (or at least who isn't making it obvious what they don't have, and need), you should consider donating to a worthy cause, and dedicating it to that special, hard-to-shop-for someone. Lots of popular charities have something like this, whatever your cause of choice. So today I'll share with you just a few of the options available, specifically the ones that have popped up in my inbox over the past couple of weeks (I'm on a lot of mailing lists).

So, since this is an environmental blog, I'll start with that. Greenpeace has a program called Presents for the Planet. You make a donation to Greenpeace, and you get to send a friend an animated e-card!

If you're more into helping people directly, you have a few choices. My favourite is Oxfam. Through Oxfam Unwrapped you can give a variety of gifts, so this one actually overlaps with the other categories. You can send gifts to people in need all over the world, including things like bicycles, flocks of chickens, and textbooks, and then Oxfam sends your special someone a card.

If you're a Manitoban, or buying for someone who lives here, you might consider Food Matters Manitoba. Your gift will help fund healthy, sustainable, and fair food security projects right in our local communities.

Lastly, for the animal lover on your list, check out WSPA's Really Wild Gifts. You can choose gifts that help a specific type of animal, or make a donation to go wherever it's needed most. You can help fund bear sanctuaries in Pakistan, or fund care for neglected cats. I know that's a gift I'd cherish more than a box of chocolates or a new sweater.

So if you're still trying to figure the perfect present for someone who seems to have everything already, I hope you'll consider helping out a person or animal or the planet this holiday season. Happy shopping!

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

Recyclable Items (3)
  • 1 soy milk carton
  • 1 lasagna container (PETE 1)
  • 1 envelope with window

Non-Recyclable Items (2):
  • 1 perogies bag
  • 1 soy milk seal

Total Items: 5

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

Note: This is week 52! Holy mackerel! I've been doing this for a whole year!

Recyclable Items (1)
  • 1 soy milk carton

Non-Recyclable Items (5):
  • 1 advent calendar wrapper
  • 1 Halloween candy wrapper
  • 1 toothpaste tube
  • 2 carton seals

Total Items: 6

Show Us Your Plastic Challenge - November 28 - December 4, 2010

Recyclable Items (1)
  • 1 shampoo bottle (HDPE 2) (I actually use solid shampoo now. I just figured I should finish this bottle off)

Non-Recyclable Items (3):
  • 1 cereal bag
  • 1 pill package
  • 1 fruitlets bag

Total Items: 4

Recyclable Items (2)
  • 1 soy milk carton
  • 1 hot chocolate tin lid (LDPE 4)

Non-Recyclable Items (5):
  • 1 soy milk seal
  • 1 Styrofoam soup bowl
  • 1 microwave popcorn package
  • 1 cheese slice wrapper
  • 1 gingerbread man wrapper

Total Items: 7