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Source: Kurtis Baute/YouTube

Scientist YouTuber Goes 24 Hours Without Touching Plastic — Well, He Tries To

By Sophie Hirsh

Usually when someone says they are going plastic-free or zero waste, it simply means they are working to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic as much as they practically can. But when scientist and YouTuber Kurtis Baute tries something new, he goes all in. Baute recently vlogged himself attempting not to touch any plastic for 24 hours — and the results of his experiment shed a light on the importance of not letting the fact that you can't do everything hold you back from doing something.

A few months ago, Baute went viral for locking himself in an airtight plastic dome filled with plants, in an experiment to see if the plants could convert carbon dioxide into enough oxygen for his survival, as reported by the BBC. This time around, Baute simply locked himself in his own home (because, as he says in the video, the pavement used for the sidewalks and streets in Vancouver are partly made with recycled plastic). That fact exemplifies just how seriously Baute took the experiment.

Baute opted not to wear his glasses for the 24-hour plastic-free experiment, because of his spectacles' small plastic nose pads. He didn't use his cell phone, because it contains plastic. He didn't own any socks or underwear that didn't contain some form of plastic (yep, fibers like polyester and nylon count), so he sported a very trendy towel around his waist and washcloths fastened to his feet. His carpet was also made of man-made fibers, so he played his own game of "the floor is lava" and scattered 100 percent cotton washcloths all over his home to step on. He pretty much only consumed shelf stable foods (plus some very creative cold-brew coffee) for the 24-hour duration of the experiment, because his refrigerator, kettle, stove, oven, and microwave all have plastic parts. He didn't turn on or off any lights in his home, since the light switches are made of — you guessed it — plastic.