The Plastic Cap (Summary)

The #plasticcap challenge (summary edition)

First off we want to thank everyone who supported, participated, and encouraged us throughout our plastic-free/plastic-tax September. It was an interesting and educational ride, and we’re happy we didn’t have to go it alone.  With that being said, CHEERS! We made it to October. SO, how did it go? And what did we learn along the way?

As a reminder, the #plasticcap challenge was originated to raise awareness about plastic consumption and over-consumption.  theDIHEDRAL along with several friends pledged to limit their plastic consumption, and tax themselves $1 for every item of plastic they bought during the month of September.  We selected Access Fund as the non-profit to donate our accumulated plastic-tax at the end of the month1.


Total Tax: $47  My goal was to try and limit myself to $1/day, I wasn’t close, but at least I was in the ballpark.

What I learned: I wasn’t really surprised how hard it was to avoid plastic, but at the same time I was really surprised.  A friend of mine tried to avoid buying a plastic toothbrush, and so bought a bamboo toothbrush, the problem of course is that it was packaged in plastic. So if you’re willing to look, you can (why isn’t there a conjunction for ‘you’ and ‘can’, do you guys think ‘yuc’n’ could become a thing?)  find non-plastic alternatives, just be prepared to have them wrapped in plastic.  Another thing I learned is just how motivated very young people can be when they recognize a problem, e.g. Molly Steer’s “Straw No More” movement, and how kids relate to goals in such a non-partisan manner.  It sucks that the youngest generation has inherited damaged goods, but it’s uplifting to see them rise to the challenge, and this motivates me to do and be better!

How I’ve changed: The chance that I’ll ever use a plastic straw again is slim, the chance that I’ll ever use a plastic bag again is slim as well.  I’ll avoid using one use plastics such as sandwich bags, and plastic wrap. And I will also bring my water bottle with me everywhere I go.  I’ve acquired a healthy sense of guilt when I use a plastic object that could have been avoided, and while I recycle, I’ve learned I need to put a heavier emphasis reduction.  I’ve learned is that if you store glass jars of natural peanut butter upside down, they are much easier to stir #lifehack! One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that sometimes a simple idea among friends can lead to something truly amazing.  With an idea and a little motivation yuc’n make a difference!

I’m honored to have been a part of the #plasticcap challenge, and I’m grateful to all those who have participated along the way!


Total Tax: $33

What I learned: The #plasticcap challenge taught me how difficult it’s going to be to eliminate the amount of plastic waste we discard, but it also gave me hope for the future. There are SO MANY alternatives to wasteful plastic products that people make up every single day. As more and more people try to cut down on plastic by buying these products, this will incentivize more and more awesome reusable things to be invented.

How I’ve Changed: Growing up in the typical Texas family probably means you haven’t been raised to care super deeply about taking care of the Earth. My home is a stone’s throw from cattle ranchers, who still burn their trash and use outhouses. (Probably not actually true but you get the idea). We’ve got plenty of room for landfills down here, so my family was never one to care too deeply about our carbon footprint. However, things ARE changing. I saw my mom come home with a box of metal straws last weekend!

I think I will definitely be drawn to use things like metal straws, reusable paper bags, and other sustainable products. There’s really every good reason to switch over. It’s economically positive, and Earth friendly!

Gaia & T…

Total Tax: $40 (more or less) I lost track the third week and was at $30.

What I learned: It is crazy to realize how much plastic we use even when we are aware of the process. This makes me wonder, how much do we even spend on plastic when we are not paying attention to this? If by avoiding the products and seeking for alternatives I still spent a decent amount of money, I don’t even want to imagine how many plastic products I bought on August, and July, and the month before that throughout many, many years.

How I’ve Changed: My son accepted the challenge as well and was constantly remembering me that we couldn’t buy plastic or straws -emphasis on this-, although he sometimes succumbed as well. We are very compelled to reduce our dependence on plastic, even more now than before. We have always been recycling advocates and have constantly picked up trash to put in the respective bins. However, after this challenge, we started to pay even more attention to the amount of plastic products there are out there and the neglect to dispose them in the right place. My son wants to make sure the turtles are safe and the earth is healthy! He said: “We need to write a paper that says -No More Plastic!-”

Grateful for this challenge, we’ll have to do this again next year, let’s do it together! (Also, let’s try to avoid plastic all year round as well hehe)

theDIHEDRAL team

  1. For the original #plasticcap challenge article click here.
  2. A quick thank you for all the support, ideas, recommendations, and encouragement.  If you participated, let us know how you did and what you’ve learned along the way.  If you have any advice on how to maintain a life with less plastic, please comment below!

13 Replies to “The Plastic Cap (Summary)”

  1. I respect the challenge.I’ve been fighting my own plastic consumption for a while now. And find it difficult to eliminate.
    I created a game called..Whose resource is it anyways?
    Where we look at our garbage semi regularly n see how we could use our supplies reuse or better more green upfront purchases. Who ever comes out with less waste wins.
    Kind of like the TV show “Whose line is it anyways”.no real prize at end of game..
    But point made is
    Whose resource is it..we are using up our children’s and descendant children’s resources.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I only have to stand at the entrance to the supermarket to watch people exit with a cart full of plastic bags to be depressed. Why does it take us so long to implement changes that would be beneficial to anybody but the makers of plastic? Why do people buy “healthy” water in plastic bottles?
    We are a sorry excuse for a species.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great point…and it’s not even hard to make some of these small changes that can save time and money, e.g. re-usable water bottles and grocery bags.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A fine campaign to raise awareness and personally affect the outcome! Bravo!
    It’s important to think about living with plastic and moving forward. We really need to address the manufacture of plastics, sensible use, and reclamation. Thankfully, science (and commerce, her madame), are on the job. Plastics and other materials are being developed to be biodegradeable. The newest shopping bag melts in water and leaves no trace but carbon! Science is even developing organisms that can consume plastic.
    Plastic is here to stay. It is frankly a wonder material in its way, and a boon to mankind. There are things that simply would not exist without it (including life-saving medical applications), and our lives would be more complicated and expensive. (Like back in the day, when everything had to be shipped in heavy glass containers and wooden crates. Solid and reuseable, but costing us triple the fuel cost (i.e. increased carbon in the atmosphere).)
    Let’s think forward, and learn to use plastics, and all of our resources, wisely.

    Seek peace,


    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love what you have done here! Very inspiring. I too am repulsed by how much [lastic in or on everything we purchase. For a while, I asked for paper instead of plastic but I did not feel better with paper. I purchased the reusable bags from the store and thought I would be responsible and wash them, only to have them fall apart. I tried finding different bags only to find that they are made of plastic. Now I make my own shopping bags.

    The Dirt Farmer’s Wife

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found the same thing with many reusable bags. I do have one that I bought for a charity and it’s made of cotton and it’s about 10 years old,I have tested it using it to even carry a computer, and it’s still kicking. If you’re making them, this one had cool little compartments on the sides for smaller items and also had a zipper bottom that allows me to zip it onot a small rectangle for easy storage in my car!


  5. Thank you so much for this. I took your challenge for September and donated my tax to Ocean Conservancy. I’m writing about it now. I learned so much from this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just started this type of reduction as well. Last year my goalwas to increase recycling and reduce the actual trash that goes nowhere but to a pile. I started a little early but this upcoming year is geared toward reducing waste and increasing reusable items. I like that others are willing to do this too and maybe someday all together we will win


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