I am officially back in Canada (likely for the rest of my "PWF" year). What have I been up to so that I wasn't posting you ask? Well, mostly out at the lake where there is no internet :P. I am back in with my family for the summer and so it is much like in New Zealand where I can't force everyone to be plastic free but I can be.
Carlyle, Saskatchewan is a difficult place to not generate plastic waste. A lot of the vegetables come wrapped which is a pain. I asked around (at every shop I go to) about plastic bag use and if any shops charge for using the bags. I am unhappy to report not a single store did in Carlyle (which is a very small town in Southern Sask). I think that is going to be the easiest way to encourage people to bring their own bags; make it more expensive if you don't. My cousin had a good laugh at me when I refused to allow any plastic bags in my load of groceries and was putting things in my pockets and purse. To me it was no big deal though.
I have had some positive comments about my daily life ways to reduce plastic. I went to Dairy Queen and brought my own spoon so I could have a blizzard. The cashier said (and I quote) "Wow, that's really cool." When I explained why I didn't want to used her plastic spoon.
Just this past weekend I was able to volunteer in the 2nd Annual Ribfest in Kamloops, BC. One of the great things about the volunteering is I got to establish a bit of a rapport with the ribbers and I was able to find out some neat things (plus get a few bonuses). The sweet bonus came when I brought my container to pick up a pulled pork sandwich. The girl serving me asked me if it was a personal meal and when I said yes she piled on the meat. Hahaha I had enough meat for two meals. I heard rumour of another guy who brought his own plate and received extra ribs.
A sad thing I learned, the biodegradable containers (made from pineapple husks) are over twice the price of the Styrofoam ones. Greeeeat. There is some incentive for ribbers.
A non-plastic thing - Prairie Smoke and Spice, contacts shelters in all of the cities that the go to and offer up the extra food at the end of the event. I was really happy to hear that. Really, I am anti-waste in general, not just plastic. Gator BBQ, another of the ribbers at the event, came up to the volunteer booth to drop off some extra food as well so that it wouldn't go to waste. It was so funny, my dad and I walked by the ribbers and wondered what happened to all the extra food. Not 10 minutes later the Gator BBQ manager (I think...) came over with the food. We got to chatting and that is what lead me on my adventure to see where the rest of the food goes. By the time I learned that the New Life Mission was coming down it was too late to organize all the ribbers. But for next year.... I think we can swing it so that the Rotary club has all the ribbers do that. Yay no waste!!
I was able to take home some of the (free) food in my personal container as well. Turns out the Rotarians watching me were very impressed with my plastic free adventure. Makes me wonder if I have impacted anyone. That wasn't one of my goals but interesting to think about.
So far I have found a store that charges (3 cents) for plastic bags, the Old Town Farm Market. I haven't been actively searching, because it is just easier not to buy anything :P. And Save on Foods (with its massive bulk section) will allow me to bring my own containers for things!!! Hurrah. Granted, I will have to pay for the extra weight, but still. Just gotta find light containers.
Well that is long enough for now I'd say. Hopefully one of these days I will get my act together and get some photos going. Ciao.