March 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 6

Becca's & Gordon's plastic waste

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 6

Personal Info:

Read Becca and Gordon’s full description in their Week 1 Challenge post.

Blog: http://becca.posterous.com

Total items: 23

Total weight: 0.365 pounds

Items: Recyclable
maple syrup bottle (old)
peanut butter plastic jar and lid (old)

Items: Nonrecyclable
(new)
straw
brussels sprouts label
Pete’s tea bag wrapper
Wrap around glass jar of bbq sauce

(old)
Quarters wrapper
Lid to soy sauce
Energy bar wrapper
Floss
Lid to oatmeal
Old broken plastic spoon
Bag for cat litter

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
As always, we can replace most of the old plastics. We are slowly using it up and replacing it with plastic-free alternatives. But, we do have some new avoidable plastics this week. One of us bought and love their new glass straw, so how could it be that there is still a straw in our tally?!? Well, the other one of us thought he did not need a straw. Looks like he’s changed his mind after this accidentally straw acquisition. The Pete’s tea wrapper could have been avoided. We ordered tea at a diner and didn’t know it would be a single tea bag in a plastic wrapper. In general, we make our own loose leaf tea. The wrapper around the bbq sauce jar was an overlook. We thought the glass jar was plastic free but didn’t see until we got home that it had a little plastic ring. We’re have a recipe for bbq sauce that we might try out since we’ve been eating a lot of bbq seitan lately.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Some of the “old” plastics (stuff we had before starting the challenge), like energy bars and of course that plastic spoon. We don’t even know where it came from.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
We don’t plan on giving up floss, but we plan on replacing our plastic cased floss with EcoDent (even though the floss itself is nylon) after our runs out.
There are also a lot of plastic labels on produce. We are trying our best to avoid them, but it’s been hard to eliminate them because well, we like to eat fresh produce and can’t (don’t) get everything from the farmers markets.

The embarrassing plastic bag in the picture is to scoop cat litter. We still have a large stash of bags that we are going through. We decided that, for the time being, we can’t flush our litter (cats are always getting outside) and composting it is not practical where we live (but an option in the future when we leave the Bay Area).

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We had to get a bigger cat litter box. Instead of buying a new one from the pet store, we waited a couple days and found the perfect one from someone on Freecycle. We are waiting to give our old one away on Freecycle as well.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
this week we bought maple syrup in a glass jar instead of plastic bottle

1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

I love that you used Freecycle to get your cat litter box! Most people think about disposable plastic waste, but refusing to buy brand new durable goods is another way to reduce our overall consumption, plastic and otherwise.