April 26, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 12

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 12

Personal Info:

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

Blog: http://becca.posterous.com

Total items: 13

Total weight: 3.6 ounces  (0.29 ounces new, 3.32 ounces old)

Items: Recyclable
Bottle of cleaner (old)

Items: Nonrecyclable


  • three envelope windows
  • wrapper to Aveeno face soap


  • nylon rope from disposable camera
  • wrapper for roll of quarters
  • wrapper around mesh scourer
  • plastic bag from some food stuffs
  • floss

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?

-nylon rope from disposable camera: We counted the rest of this plastic in our week 7 tally, but we actually didn’t toss it. I have actually been using the case to protect my digital camera while snowboarding. But, this nylon rope has served no purpose.

-wrapper for roll of quarter: The last one. I heard that the Bank of America in North Berkeley has rolls of quarters in paper.

-wrapper around mesh scourer: These can be purchased without plastic pretty easily.

-plastic bag from something: who knows? I found this in the cupboard, and it has a big hole in it. I get along great with no new plastic bags.

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

Lysol cleaner

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

-3 envelope windows: One of these is from the UC retirement savings program, but I just signed up for online statements. Two are from Comcast, both addressed to “current resident,” even though we are already customers with paperless billing. I can’t take it!!! I have been able to reduce a lot of my mail waste by signing up for paperless billing and calling companies. I already spent 30 minutes on the phone with Comcast, so I have to take another approach. If you get a lot of junk mail, get yourself unlisted at https://www.catalogchoice.org

-bleach? Our walls get really moldy during the rainy season.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We need to be willing to experiment (e.g. with less-plastic or plastic-free face soaps)

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
plastic wrapper for roll of quarters.

Question: We don’t like using bleach, but natural cleaners don’t seem to do the job in this case. Any suggestions?

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