Day 5: Don't leave me, Plastic
Super photo from stellar trash-activist Alison's Teal. "We have the power to change the world with every purchase." Truth!
Oh Plastic, you're so great. So convenient, so malleable, so pretty, so waterproof, and so good at everything do you. Why would I ever leave you?
Sigh, my tumultuous love affair with plastic. I never want to send my beloved to live without me in a landfill. Or worse, to swim the depths of the ocean forever. That's why I want to learn to use it wisely, to take on only what I can keep long term, ideally to be united forever in my home.... Or maybe not.
But you see where I'm going with this. Plastic is a super resource that I want to use, not abuse. And one day also to not waste.
So how’s it all going so far? Well, tumultuous. Ground rule #1 has been easy – no buying plastic. Thanks to solid intention and planning, I’ve successfully been grocery shopping twice without plastic (yay!).
But then I bought new running shoes, which I’m certain contain lots of polymer.
… Running shoes guilt aside, my biggest challenge so far has actually been in using existing plastic at home. I find myself choosing plastic over alternatives for its convenience. A Tupperware here, a disposable razor there - Still using plastic casually makes it harder for me to rewrite an existence without it.
So at regular intervals I find myself called to reevaluate my level of commitment. I have to remind myself “Choose glass jars, choose degradable, choose the new deodorant, choose unpackaged spices.”
The choice is really the challenge. And it’s a big one! But I suppose that’s the same with every challenge – we are constantly met with opportunities to make choices that test our resolve. And it’s in those small and insidious choices that results actually happen.
Good thing I love a challenge!
Results so far:
Grocery shopping and food. The good people at Nester's Market in Whistler carry plastic-free produce, and their thorough bulk foods section uses compostable bags. Perfect.
Deodorant! I discovered that Lush Cosmetics make deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner all in bars totally free of packaging. Hallelujah! Their toothy tabs are honestly weird, but thankfully packaged in recyclable paper.
Packaged spices (Is life worth living without cinnamon?), and fresh produce covered in plastic tape.
Razors. Dental floss. My hair brush.
House appliances: my magic bullet, food processor, and dehydrator are all plastic. All 3 are second-hand. Do they exist in other materials?
Workplace plastic: Trying to do my job without plastic waste. (This one is a work in progress.)
If you have any tips on how I can get spices or dental floss free of plastic packaging, please leave a comment below! Until then, watch this blog for all the gory details to come.