May 3, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 13


Does anyone have any tips for hosting a plastic-free baby shower?

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 13

Location: California, United States

Personal Info:

We are two grad students in the environmental sciences living in Berkeley with two cats.

Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett’s personal blog:

Total items: 8

Total weight: 3.55 ounces

Items: Recyclable
two odwalla bottles. caps will be sent to (new)

one cap from glass bottle of vanilla extract (old)

Items: Nonrecyclable
two wrappers from crackers (new)

one window envelope (new)

q-tip box (old)

plastic garbage bags (scavenged litter)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Cracker wrappers – we got these when we hosted a party and neglected to let our guests know about our plastic challenge.

odwalla bottles – gifted to me by a generous post doc in a neighboring lab who left them for me in my lab when I was out.

vanilla – my friend taught me how to make my own vanilla

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
q-tips – we don’t use these very often. this giant box lasts a couple years.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
plastic bag – I use old plastic bags for cat litter because flushing and composting are not options where I currently live. Previously, I would go to the store intentionally without my reusable bags so that I could get free plastic bags. Now, I just collect them when I see them on the streets, sidewalks, and grass. I try to pick up litter when I see it anyway. Now, I am using it before I toss it.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Almost all of my “new” plastic was given to us. The party-related plastics can easily be avoided. I still need to work on explaining the importance of living without plastics without insulting them and their generous intention.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
q-tips and plastic gifts

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I am still amazed at how much plastic is still in my house after 13 weeks.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Becca, I'm amazed at how much plastic is still in my house after almost 4 years!