June 28, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 20

week 20

1. I’d love to hear tips for plastic-free traveling. I will be going to PR for field work. I’m not sure rustic my accommodations will be, but I think I’ll be able to do my own cooking. My friends in PR have a hard time reducing plastics. Even produce is heavily packaged!

Location:Berkeley, California, United States

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 20

Personal Info:

a couple of grad students and their two cats

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

Total items: 5

Total weight: 0.52 ounces

Items: Recyclable
none

Items: Nonrecyclable
new:
– two envelope windows
– wrapper and tab from new bottle of canola oil

old:
– cap from red wine vinegar
– produce bag

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
– produce bag: Another from our dwindling stack of old plastic produce bags. I decided to say goodbye to this one after using it to store compostables during a field day, only to find it a week later.

– cap from bottle of red wine vinegar: Replaced with a larger glass bottle with metal cap and no inner plastic spout.

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
none

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I still need to figure out what to do about canola oil. I haven’t found it in bulk yet (but still need to make that trip to Rainbow grocery).

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
red wine vinegar cap. I found a large glass bottle of red wine vinegar that has an aluminum cap.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I have been super busy lately, but reducing my plastic waste has not been that hard. Once we established new habits, everything seems easy! Remembering to bring our cloth produce/bulk bags and canvas shopping bags is second nature now. This challenge has also helped me to reduce other, non-plastic waste too.

2 comments
Becca Ryals
Becca Ryals

Ack! I was wrong about the red wine vinegar. It does have a small plastic spout beneath the cap. I thought I saw just glass through the bottle when I bought it from the store. Sorry for the false alarm!

Danielle
Danielle

Where did you find the red wine vinegar? Brand?? I am going to need to replace my bottle soon and can't find a plastic-free replacement!

Also, plastic-free traveling (just like being at home) requires planning. Not knowing what you'll have access to (or for how long you will be traveling) makes it difficult to offer suggestions. I think that based on how much you've already reduced the amount of plastics you are using that it won't be as difficult as you think (maybe?).