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@KarenScribner What exactly is that "proper place?" I'm assuming you mean the recycling bin (and if you don't, please disregard my message). Unfortunately, there are instances where plastics that have been put in a recycling bin end up in the ocean. For instance, when something goes in a recycling bin, it then goes to a material recovery facility (MRF) where the various plastics get separated out and baled. Once baled, they become commodities and are sold on the commodities market. These baled items then end up in huge metal containers and loaded onto container ships.Much of the developed worlds' plastic is purchased by developing countries, and is shipped overseas to get to the purchaser's processing facility. There have been many occasions where containers have actually fallen off of ships, dumping tons and tons of plastics into the ocean. 

It's not a perfect system, so if we want to lessen our impacts on the marine environment, we should start by reducing our consumption of plastics. That way, the bottle you put in the recycling bin isn't unintentionally littered into the ocean due to an imperfect system.

6 days, 9 hours ago on Is There Hope For Cleaning Up The Pacific Garbage Patch?


@AutumnDann I also don't wash my greens. I buy them at the farmer's market, so the lettuce is purchased directly from the farmer, who I know doesn't use any pesticides or chemicals. Sometimes there is a little dirt, but I just brush it off.

1 year, 4 months ago on A Tale of Two Plastic-Free Salad Spinners


1) Jessica C

2) janneconn [at] gmail [dot] com

3) U.S.

4) Soaps

5) Making all of my own gifts. I will wrap my gifts in newspaper, or recycled fabric.

1 year, 4 months ago on Plastic-Free EcoEtsy Holiday Gift Give-Away


Nicely done, especially because this only your second week! I don't have many tips or suggestions for you, since we live in different parts of the country. There have got to be stores in Ohio that sell cheese plastic free, but since I'm in CA, I don't know where those stores might be!

I noticed that you are going to try the Diva Cup. I tried it myself, and it REALLY didn't work for me. It just doesn't work for some women, like me, but other women LOVE it. Hopefully you will be one of them. I have a different product to suggest for "feminine hygiene" that works really well for me. It does come in a cellophane wrapper, unfortunately, but I feel like it's a trade off. There are reusable sea sponges that you wear like you would a tampon, rinse it out in the sink when it's full, reinsert, repeat. At the end of your cycle, you put it in a glass of apple cider vinegar for 10-15 minutes to sanitize, squeeze it out and let it dry (then you store it until your next period). Here is where you can buy them: --they come in a set of 2, and each tampon lasts about 6-8 months. So you basically spend about $15/year to year-and-a-half for this.

Also, for the junk mail, you can unsubscribe by going here:, as well as here:

Good luck!


1 year, 6 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Katie Sumner, Week 2


Welcome, Dawn (et al)!

Nice job for your first week! Here are a few things that I came across for dental hygiene:

Also, my boyfriend and I both use bamboo toothbrushes by Brush With Bamboo: --this toothbrush comes in a bamboo paper wrapper, and compostable-plastic wrapper. The bristles are currently made from nylon, but they may introduce a boar-bristle option in the future.

For toothpaste, we use Uncle Harry's Tooth Paste: --It DEFINITELY doesn't foam, which I tend to like, but I can't tell you how AMAZING my teeth feel after I brush. Unfortunately, the lid is plastic, as well as the safety seal, but when we finish a jar, we use the old jar for salad dressing containers, spice containers, etc.

Lastly, for floss we use EcoDent, as Ericka mentioned. It works well, and has less plastic than "regular" floss, but still has plastic.

For yogurt, St. Benoit is virtually plastic free. However, I think this company only serves California. Maybe once you learn how to make homemade yogurt, you can start your own yogurt company in Colorado with returnable glass jars!

Good luck continuing to be plastic free! 

1 year, 7 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Dawn Kearns, Week 1


I'm so glad to see you mention the Cuppow. I personally HATE that product (I mean, I know it's better than other options--but it's still an argument about the lesser of two evils--which I don't believe leads to truly sustainable decision making). I exclusively drink coffee from glass. I usually drink coffee a mason jar, but recently I have been drinking from an old spaghetti sauce jar, since the mouth opening is smaller. However, now that I see there is this EcoJarz cap, I may switch back.

By the way, have you SEEN the "How it all Began" video about the Cuppow. Hilarious! If only I actually thought it was cool.

1 year, 7 months ago on I wish I'd known about EcoJarz when I wrote my book


Hi Hahn!

I am an avid camper, and I do a few things to eliminate my plastic waste while camping.

For the ice bags, I recommend using reusable ice packs (like the gel packs, or hard-plastic liquid packs that freeze into blocks) --something like this (but not necessarily this brand--I just googled "ice pack")

Also, don't bring stuff with you when you're camping that requires too much refrigeration. I usually bring eggs (which can stay room temperature for about a week--contrary to how they come at the grocery store), fruits, veggies, bread, peanut butter in a glass jar, cheese, and other things that don't need to be kept super cold.

For fire wood, some of the places I go to sell wood in cardboard boxes, while other places sell loose wood. I keep my eye out en route for those plastic-free options. I also bring a lot of kindling, so that lighter fluid is not needed.

Lastly, what kind of camping or packaged foods are you referring to? I agree that almost everything I come across in this category is packaged, so I don't eat it. But, perhaps we can brainstorm some alternatives.

Well done!


1 year, 8 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Hanh Pham, Week 7


Hi Ellen and Pedro,

To your first point, for bread spreads, I would recommend buying peanut butter or almond butter in glass jars with a metal lid (or you can make it yourself). As far as vegan margarines go, I don't recommending eating that in the first place because of all the processed ingredients. If you eat butter, there are a few companies that sell their butter in a paper box with paper-wrapped butter sticks. You can also make butter yourself from heavy whipping cream, and store it in a glass container in the fridge. Are there other "spreads" you are referring to that I am not addressing? Mustards, mayonnaise, ketchup, and other spreads have plastic-free alternatives, as well.

To you second point about leftovers, I haven't used cling wrap since 2009. When I have leftovers, I use tupperware to store my food. I have a variety of sizes, and store them in one of my kitchen cupboards when they are not in use. I do have tupperware made out of plastic, and I do not intend on replacing them with glass or metal alternatives, since I use them so infrequently.

I hope that helps, and let me know if you have any other questions!

1 year, 8 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Ellen and Pedro, Week 6


Hi Ericka! I'm excited that you are going to be interning for Beth!

I graduated from SFSU in Fall 2010, in Geography, as well. The Geography of Garbage class, which I took in Fall 2009, completely transformed my life. I'm glad to know that the course is continuing to impact people's lives, and am happy that you are supporting the effort to eliminate plastic.

When did you take Geography of Garbage? Was Nancy the professor, or Jen?

It would be great to meet up sometime and share our experiences, and talk about the possibilities of a Zero Waste future. You can find me on Facebook, or twitter @SingleUsePlanet.

All the best,

Jessica Connolly

2 years, 1 month ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!