June 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 19

week 19

Is it awkward to tell your dentist that you don’t want their toothbrush?

Location:Berkeley, California, United States

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 19

Personal Info:

a couple of grad students and two adorable cats

Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett’s personal blog: http://becca.posterous.com/

Total items: 11

Total weight: 3.43

Items: Recyclable
-bottle of peanut oil (old)

Items: Nonrecyclable
new:
- chocolate bar wrapper
- three straws (WHHHHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?)
- toothbrush packaging

old:
- bag of pasta
- toothbrush
- two sponges
- lid to olive oil spray

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
- three straws: I know. I am as disappointed as you are! I claim ownerships for all these straws. Two came in just one drink. None of them were necessary, especially because I have a sweet glass straw from Glass Dharma. I participated in the letter writing campaign in April, and I still write to restaurants when I see (or accidentally get) plastic straws.

- chocolate bar wrapper: We had some friends over for a cookout. A not-so-subtle “no plastic!” plea to our guests before the party resulted in only a couple plastic items. One is a salsa container (still in our fridge) and a Whole Foods brand chocolate bar. I also fell for this chocolate bar on week 18, thinking it was lined with foil.

-bag of pasta: Now I purchase all types of pasta from the bulk aisle at Berkeley Bowl. I’ve been in the tri-color shells lately.

- synthetic sponges

- toothbrush wrapper: Gordon got a new toothbrush from the dentist. I guess he was too embarassed to decline the free toothbrush offer and explain that we have been using the Preserve toothbrushes made from recycled plastic.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
olive oil spray cans

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
peanut oil: I haven’t looked for alternatives to plastic bottles of peanut oil yet, since I don’t use it that much. Olive oil is easy to find in bulk, but I’ve had trouble finding other oils in bulk.

toothbrushes: We usually use and recycle Preserve toothbrushes. Loved your recent post on toothbrush options!

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Being more assertive when people (like the dentist) try to give us plastic

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
sponges

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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