The No-Plastic Holiday Challenge

by Kim   |   December 10, 2008

Toilet Paper

While most of us have a vague sense that plastic is part of almost every aspect of our lives, Beth Terry measures every ounce that passes through her household. 

She keeps a graph of her personal plastic waste output at the top of her blog, Fake Plastic Fish. Reading about the creative ways she finds to prevent plastic from flowing into her house and to her garbage can makes me realize that many aspects of modern life that seem to be inevitable actually are not. 

Like using scotch tape to wrap gifts .

Terry encourages us to take the No-Plastic Holiday challenge, which is simply:

  1. Make holiday purchases that come with little plastic packaging, and
  2. Choose alternatives to plastic items when possible.

Beth gives some pointers to help us get started unraveling the plastic web that seems to make overflowing garbage cans inevitable over the holidays. 

Among her tips is to request zero plastic and Styrofoam packaging specifically when ordering. 

That never occurred to me before, but it makes sense: why shouldn't our shopping transactions be on our terms? 

If Terry does receive an item with egregious amounts of plastic packing materials, she sometimes will "mail it back to the vendor with a nice note asking them to rethink their packaging policies."