March 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Benne’ Rockett, Week 4

Name: Benne’ Rockett

Week: 4

Personal Info:
After 27 years of raising children, I am now living alone in my home in Austin, TX.

Read more about Benne’ in her Week 1 Post.

Total items: 33

Total weight: 136 grams

Items: Recyclable
4 water bottle type caps
1 spray can lid
3 – cup, lid, and straw for cold coffee, #1
2 – container of almonds, including lid, #1
2 – sushi tray and lid, #1
2 – water bottles, #1
2 – flea meds
1 – breath mints container
1 – coffee can lid
1 – pasta bag
2 – restaurant creamers

Items: Nonrecyclable
4 water bottle type caps
1 spray can lid
2 – flea meds
1 – breath mints container
1 – coffee can lid
1 – pasta bag
2 – restaurant creamers

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I’ve had several eye openers during the week. The restaurant that served coffee with creamers in plastic containers, also served my oatmeal with a side of milk in a metal pitcher! No creamers from now on! I also found my favorite chicory coffee in a paper bag, versus a tin can with a plastic lid. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that! I generally use diatomacceus Earth for fleas. Unfortunately, one of my cats had been living with my daughter, and had not been treated for 7 months! Poor kitty and my poor house was infested.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
The water bottles, and I’m sure they weren’t mine but counted them anyway, are a huge waste of money and a health hazard for women. I haven’t consumed water out of a bottle for at least a year. These were floating in my car – gives you an idea of how long it had been since I cleaned it out! I posted on my FB note the following:
“Evian water 9 oz $1.49……….$21.19 per gallon!” and “Since at least 1936 it has been known that BPA mimics estrogens, binding to the same receptors throughout the human body as natural female hormones. And tests have shown that the chemical can promote human breast cancer cell growth as well as decrease sperm count. These findings have raised questions about the potential health risks of BPA, especially in the wake of hosts of studies showing that it leaches from plastics and resins when they are exposed to hard use or high temperatures (as in microwaves or dishwashers).”

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I can make sushi, and have for many years. Have never found Nori packaged in anything but plastic. Almonds – haven’t taken the time to find them in bulk.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I’m going to talk more about this in my Week #5 posting. I’ve made some significant changes and have brought the agency I work for into the picture. I spoke about that in Week #3.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Thankful that I don’t have to give up my chicory coffee as I found it in paper!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I pulled a plastic ring top off of my paper carton milk this week – Week #5. I also cut off the metal spout used on the salt box. Why couldn’t the milk carton be redesigned to have a paper spout similar to the salt box? Hummmmm?!?!?! Thinking of suggesting this to the company.

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