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April 27, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Benne’ Rockett, Week 9

 

Name: Benne’ Rockett

Week: 9

Personal Info:

Read more about Benne’ in her Week 1 Post.

Location: Austin, Texas

Total items: 14

Total weight: 140 grams

Items: Recyclable
4 – plastic plant containers
3 – plastic plant wrappers
1 – coffee bag
1 – grocery bag
1 – toilet paper wrap
2 – poison – flea “medication”
1 – plastic backing from the plastic backing for my plastic screen saver for my plastic phone.
1 – plastic wrapping for ice cream carton

Items: Nonrecyclable
3 – plastic plant wrappers
1 – coffee bag
1 – grocery bag
1 – toilet paper wrap
2 – poison – flea “medication”
1 – plastic backing from the plastic backing for my plastic screen saver for my plastic phone.
1 – plastic wrapping for ice cream carton

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Last summer I bought an ice cream/yogurt/sorbert machine for $10 at a thrift store. Of course, the machine’s outer casing is all plastic. I’ve decided to begin using it, actually, making my first batch of vanilla this week. I decided that the very yummy hot chocolate ice cream I bought was not worth the small, unrecyclable plastic wrapper.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
What I learned from Week #9 – I’m out of control, but I’m going to forgive myself and move forward with my decision to reduce my plastic waste. Most of the plastic I created for Week #9 was due to gardening waste. Though three of my plants were in biodegradable containers, those containers were partially encased in the worst kind of plastic for our oceans. It can easily be torn into smaller pieces that birds and fish will ingest as “FOOD”. Though I have been bringing in my shopping totes and paper bags for produce, I forgot my newly acquired habit when shopping late at night with a friend. I also forgot that my favorite coffee comes in a paper bag, thus selecting the plastic bag version.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Building a smaller and slowly enlarging community of supporters on this issue seems to be helping me to be mindful. I also write in my FB Notes on my progress. I’ve had some very encouraging, as well as ignorant responses from friends in MX. Unless I spell it out on my FB page versus in an ongoing note, the same person keeps telling me that a plastic free life in the Yucatan isn’t possible or that recycling is the answer. WRONG! I received support from one friend down there as she posted a picture of a trashed beach with the word “TRASH” spelled out in sea shells. She tagged me in the image! It gave me an opportunity to list recycling options in their area. So many posters for that one image expressed disgust with the people who do not realize they are contributing to the issue by remaining ignorant.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Spring in Austin! Holy Smack I lost my mind and totally missed the boat this week on keeping the planet healthy. As I teach my students, take responsibility for your failures and move on. Can I hear a huge audience clapping, please?

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

Read all posts by: Benne Rockett

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