April 13, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett, Week 9

Becca's & Gordon's plastic waste

Name: Becca Ryals and Gordon Bennett

Week: 9

Personal Info:

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

Blog: http://becca.posterous.com

Total items: 6

Total weight: 0.71 ounces (not pounds, as I have previously reported)

Items: Recyclable

Items: Nonrecyclable
cap to new 4 L aluminum soy sauce container
packing pillows and packing tape
wrapper from top of banana bunch
label from radishes

Grocery bag for kitty litter

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Gordon needed a couple screws for his guitar, which he had to order special from Fender. He also ordered picks made from US surplus wheat rather than restocking with plastic picks. The screws and picks came in their own small plastic pouch (not included in this tally because they are still in use). We expected that, but we did not expect that they would be shipped in such a large box with so much packing material. We may have been able to avoid this by talking to the company first and requesting plastic-free packaging. We’ll try this next time we place an online order. We were excited to find picks made from corn though! Before ordering them online, we asked the local music store if they carried them. The guy looked at us like we were nuts.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
We’re not willing to give up veggies, but we can’t wait to get our spring/summer crops in our small garden. Hopefully, this (combined with more frequent trips to the farmers market) will reduce the plastic waste associated with veggies.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Floss and kitty litter bag (although we will be reusing plastic bags rescued from our work place when we run out of our stash of bags). Beth, have you tried using cotton thread for floss yet? It seems like it might hurt…

Soy sauce — we changed from using a 1 liter plastic bottle with plastic cap to a 4 L aluminum container and plastic cap. The net impact is a reduction of 3 plastic caps and 4 plastic bottles.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
It was a really busy week, but we planned ahead. This seems to be the key to preventing convenient, on-the-go plastic waste.
Planning ahead has been the key to reducing our plastic waste.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
We still have to cancel the Wired subscription, which is delivered in a plastic sleeve.

We recently discovered Boulder chips, which come in a compostable bag made from wood pulp. What are your thoughts on this? Is it completely compostable?

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