I’ve been mulling over this one comment someone left here. In short, he/she said I depressed them. So I want to clarify what my blog is about.
I don’t sugar coat my feelings for plastic. I am not some crazy angry hating person, but I do not pretend to like the material. Sure, I too have some non-disposable plastic items around the house, like plant pots, which did not make the purge alongside the kitchen and bathroom wares. But I don’t like them either and when their days here are done I will not acquire new plastic ones. I am continuously purging. Like at the moment, learning what a humongous problem our synthetic clothing is, I am getting rid of all my poly-everythings. Did you know that with each laundry load we release thousands of micro plastics into the water. They end up in the sea, so much so that these micros are becoming the most abundant, and creepily invisible, form of plastic pollution. It is also the stuff that will come back to us the fastest…like in our seafood. Read more.
There are many other items I do not have around the house. I do not have reusable cups with plastic lids, for example, unlike said commenter. I read a lot about this stuff, but don’t claim to be a chemist or ‘ologist of any sort. While who knows, the toxic effects of repeatedly sucking on the same area of worn plastic may be minute or none for all I know, I choose not to take that risk. Nor do I even like the feel or taste of said experience. I certainly will not impose that on my child either, who relies on me for these types of decisions. Old Tupperware is another good example, and I wonder if commenter uses those for e.g. hot foods. Useful, sure. Smart, unlikely. There are many other better materials for food and beverage related activities, which is often the point.
I don’t believe in just take small steps- “just bring your own bag”. Ugh. If we all stop there and feel great, this problem will persist as long as the plastic. Forever. Plus you will never experience the benefits. Go hard or go home. If this message does not please you -because oh how impractical!- then go read elsewheres where you can gain reinforcement for your own thinking. By all means, because I will not sell you a willy-nilly approach here. I honestly will not judge you if you are not ‘there yet’ in your actions but frig yes if you even get what I am saying: then we’re getting somewhere. Or, just have a laugh and we’re better off already.
If I describe something, I am attempting to give you that visceral experience too. Taste it, feel it, smell it- for it’s freaky that most people don’t even notice. There are only a handful of us people in the entire world seriously attempting to live plastic free by choice. So if we few don’t point this stuff out then forget getting anywhere. Let’s just all hold hands and keep recycling together till the end of days.
I am well aware that all kinds of consumption has its costs..forestry, mining etc. Trust me, I studied that in university for 8 years and am thoughtful in those aspects of my life too. However, I feel this particular material- plastic- has its uses and consequences that are particularly unacceptable, for the health of the planet including humans. I believe it is also leading the human experience awry in many ways. Take food for example, and what distance plastic allows us from it.
There are other blogs with solutions galore- or buy Beth Terry’s book. She has loads of tips. While I have many tricks up my sleeve too, I suck at updating my solutions page. I find the task of entering every little non-plastic doodad somehow annoying and perhaps not always that useful. I’m better at setting the scene and I also want to give the reader some credit- you can figure this stuff out yourself, in your own area wherever you may be. Much of the beauty in all this for me has been rediscovering creativity -a certain survival skill- long forgotten, buried under layers of convenience. I will always and happily hold your hand if you ask, and I always tell the story of something awesome, but I dare you to try. Going without is cool too. That’s there as well, dusty and unused.
If you like what you hear and want to see what life without plastic is like, you might enjoy our upcoming documentary, From the Waste Up- Life Without Plastic. While we are well into post production, we still need funds to make it happen by end of year. Watch the trailer. Consider a donation so we can reach a wider audience. Donate here. Thank you kindly. Other ideas for collaboration welcome.