The Plastic Cap

Plastic Cap!

Have you ever heard of a salary cap?  It’s a simple idea that’s often practiced in professional sports to alleviate the price of overspending.  The idea is that there is a set amount of money that can be spent, and if you go over the allotment there is a tax imposed.  For example lets say there is a $10.00 salary cap, if I want something that will cost me $11.00, then I pay the $10.00 I am allowed to spend, but for the $1.00 that goes over the cap I must pay $2.00.  The extra $1.00 is the tax I owe for going over the cap.

For the month of September theDIHEDRAL has complied to slightly reduce the weight of our carbon footprint by avoiding the purchase of any new plastic.  In other words our Plastic Cap is set at zero.  Just like the salary cap scenario laid out above anytime we go over the cap, a tax will be imposed.  We have agreed to pay a $1.00 plastic tax for every new item we purchase that is composed of plastic. The taxes that we collect will then be donated to (Access Fund– A non-profit designed to protect access to public lands).  This way if we succeed then we’ve done something positive.  And if we fail, then we do something positive as well…win win.

The Plastic Cap is the collective brainchild of theDIHEDRAL and a few of our climbing buddies1 who were just sitting around talking after a climbing session. The topic was originally inspired after watching an impassioned “Insta-rant” by a fellow climber and outdoor enthusiast Devin Whitney Arnold (@littledevv).

One person’s rant turned into a twenty-person challenge, and we’re hoping with your help that number can grow even larger.  We’re realistic enough to know that this challenge won’t change the world, but it can raise awareness, and it can change a mentality.  Best of all, we’re in this together!

So, if you want to follow our progress, we’ll be using the hashtag #plasticcap on our social media outlets, but we want to follow your progress as well, so if this rencounter intrigues you, let us know what obstacles you face, and how you progress by commenting below or spreading #plasticcap on social media.  Feel free to tag us and let us know whom you bring into the challenge , and which organizations your plastic tax will go to if any? (my family is already sick of me imposing this on them)

My biggest obstacles are definitely going to be food. I eat Greek yogurt like I’m an ancient god sucking down ambrosia 5.3 ounces at a time. I drink soymilk like soybeans have nipples (I thought soymilk would be fine until I noticed that Plastic Cap).  And I eat packaged frozen veggies like a vegetarian in The North Pole.  Literally almost everything I eat comes packaged in plastic! What ever will I eat this month?  Who knows? But I promise to keep you posted along the way!  I’m armed with my Nalgene, a flock of cloth grocery bags, and for the times when I can’t avoid plastic I have a wallet filled with enough dollar bills to satiate a carnie working the ring toss!

Yep we’re ditching the straws, the grocery bags, the plastic cups, and anything else that comes in plastic.

SO, let’s go…let’s impose a Plastic Cap, and see where it takes us!

Carrot (Co-writer) theDIHEDRAL

  1. Joel, Lauren, and Katie, you guys are the best!
  • How many earths would if take if everyone lived like you?  Find out here! (2.5 earths for me)
  • If you’re interested in finding out more about Access Fund click here.
  • If you’re interested in committing to this type of challenge on a more permanent basis you can find more info here.

41 Replies to “The Plastic Cap”

    1. Thank you CityScapeMusic, maybe this is something you’d like to take part in, if so, let us know if you have any ideas about how to avoid plastic. Every time I go to the grocery store I get more intimidated about the project?


  1. Try making homemade yogurt and then straining it to get it Greek-like thickness. You’ll never go back! And you only have to find milk in a non-plastic container. Cardboard carton, any one?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for saying so, we are hoping for support along the way, as we approach September, the challenge just seems more and more daunting! We’ve been asking for any advice on plastic alternative goods on here and Instagram, so hopefully it all works out in the end!

      Thanks for the support…it’s everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a cool idea! It sounds so hard too! The first thing I thought of was yogurt! I guess some of the bulk sizes come in glass (though homemade is definitely delicious). Feeling inspired to finally buy some reusable pseudo plastic wrap 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erika, I agree! Yogurt is 1/2 my diet, I am excited to try and make my own though. We’ll see how that goes. If you have any good recipes, then you’ll have to let me know.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi theDihedral! I love this idea! It’s just way too much plastic in our world nowadays.
    You can make everything from scratch – if you are willing enough to do some research. I’ve made yoghurt before and it’s not very difficult – will look for the recipe and pass it on to you.
    I’ve just started a website (thank you for liking my post) where I am going to post more and more ‘from scratch’ recipes now.
    x Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just that there are people out there paying attention means something…We’ll update how it goes along the way both here and on Instagram. Tomorrow is the kickoff, hopefully it’s a real success! Thanks for the support!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would say that taxation is theft. 😂😂
    But, I do like it when people come up with extra ways to fund things…
    You’ve got kudos on that! I would call it a swear cap, like the old fashioned swear jar 😉
    In my opinion, it’s not the plastic that’s the problem, it’s the lack of care in individuals that litter the earth with their trash and have no respect for the earth we live on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…I had a swear jar growing up, I feel like my Mom was the biggest contributor! I like the plastic jar concept! Thanks for idea, and you’re right on about respecting the place we live! Thank you for taking some time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I like being able to interact with what i’m reading… it’s dynamic!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought this would be easy until I realized–yogurt, berries, hummus…Thinking it’s time to stock up on bulk garbanzos so I can finally learn to make my own. But I made yogurt for the first time recently, and it was so much easier than I thought it would be! It takes about an hour and you have yogurt for a week, plus you’re saving money, as milk is much cheaper to buy than yogurt. I love the idea of a Plastic Cap, though! Time to stuff a reusable grocery bag in my purse…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would love that! I definitely need a good hummus recipe. 🙂
        Making yogurt is quite simple. You bring 3 3/4 cups of milk to the point where it’s just beginning to boil–the milk should be frothy. Then take it off the heat and let it sit uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the temperature has gone down to 110-120 Farenheit. (An instant-read thermometer is the only fancy equipment you need–or you can just eyeball it! 😉 ) Then you take about half a cup of yogurt and slowly mix some of the hot milk into it, before adding all that back into the pot. Stir it up a bit, and pour it into a clean glass jar (best if you run the jar under hot water first). Wrap the jar in towels and put it in a lunchbox or something insulated, in a warm corner of your kitchen counter, and let sit for at least 6 hours. You can use clothespins or snack clips to close the top of the lunchbox a bit more firmly. When you take it out, tip the jar to the side and see if the yogurt is still watery, or whether it’s turned into actual yogurt. If it’s done, then you’re all set–stick it in the fridge and enjoy!

        Sometimes it doesn’t work quite right, and in that case you can put it in cheesecloth and make something close to cream cheese…but I hope yours will be perfect!

        Happy chefing. 🙂 Let us know how it turns out! And I would love to hear your hummus recipe in return!


      2. This sounds realistically do-able!!! Happy chefing indeed!

        As for the hummus, here is the recipe I use on the regular…
        1/4-cup lemon juice
        1/4-cup tahini 
        Mix the shit out of it!!! (Super important) then add…
        1 tablespoon minced garlic
        2 tablespoons olive oil
        1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
        1/2-teaspoon ground cumin
        Mix the shit out of it!!! Then add…
        One 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (drained)
        Add 1/2 can then mix, then other half and mix
        1/8-cup water
        Mix it
        Top with olive oil as desired 
        Dash of ground paprika if you feel

        Simple as that…just make sure to really mix so that it has a smooth consistency. Let me know if you try it/enjoy it!


        Liked by 1 person

      3. Awesome, thank you so much!!! This also sounds realistically do-able haha 🙂 I will be sure to let you know when I give it a try, I hope sometime soon! My one question is–do you use a food processor at all or mix everything by hand? I don’t have a food processor so I’m fine with mixing!!

        And yeah, I was totally surprised by how easy it is to make yogurt! One thing I forgot to mention is that using a funnel of some kind can make the pouring stage easier lol. :3 Let me know your experiences with that recipe, too! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fantastic idea. Governments should consider using this kind of strategy and implement that very thing: a plastic tax for consumer goods and packaging. They are really just chipping away at an ice berg of a problem by focusing on plastic bags and water bottles.
    I would love to take on this challenge, but I am living in Japan, the land of over-packaging. I fear I would be a very very poor man very quickly. If anyone is aware of initiatives I could be involved iwth despite being here, my ears are wide open!
    Thanks and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant idea, it’s easy to think we can’t offset the damage done by big organisations but if every individual does a bit that will still make a difference. I’m going to try to follow your example.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a great idea! When I signed up for Plastic Free July I was sure that I’d never be able to find enough food to eat that came unpackaged. Yeah sometimes it’s inconvenient but between my butcher who is happy to use my own packaging (plus a conscious choice to eat less meat), getting our weekly veggies from the farmers market, getting supplies like nuts & flour from a bulk store (we can take our own jars etc) and eating less processed food & diary, it’s been easy & also exciting finding new ways to eat, like a mini-adventure all of it’s own!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, bravo to you for doing this and for alerting us. I think of myself as reasonably environmentally conscientious, but now when I contemplate all the plastic, not so much. I’m going to give this a go. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely love your writing. My family are jumping on the ‘reduce plastic use’ bandwagon. So far their paper Christmas calendars which contain no chocolate therefore no plastic insert have gone down reasonably well, I’m motivated!

    Liked by 1 person

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