Sunday, January 11, 2009

Could YOU do it?

Plastic drives me crazy. It's ubiquitous, and while it can be helpful, we also have no idea what will happen to all the plastic we dump on our landfills. Unfortunately, we do know what happens to the plastic that ends up in our seas. And there's no telling what happens when we heat food in plastic containers.

I try to avoid it. I use my own bags when I go to the store, or just opt to carry my purchases out without a bag. I have a Klean Kanteen (even though I hate the name) for carrying water, instead of single-use water bottles. I use glass containers to store a lot of the food in my kitchen. But there's no avoiding the plastic that is wrapped around just about everything I buy, or lining the cans of food I get at the grocery. Books are about the only thing I can think of that I buy regularly that don't come shrinked or encased in some kind of plastic.

Could I live without plastic? Could I even go for a week, or month, without adding to the mountain of plastic that is already cluttering my life? I've always thought it would be difficult. And now I know it would be. Could YOU go a month without plastic? And, if you don't want to go quite that far, here are Not My Bag's top tips for cutting back on the plastic habit!

UPDATE: Beth is trying (and doing quite well)!


Keera said...

I didn't know about plastics in the ocean. Scary!!!

As for cutting back on my plastic use, I can't use any of the tips. My lifestyle is such that I'm not constantly sucking on bottled whatever, I drink coffee out of china, and I don't eat fast food that often nor use plastic utensils. It would be hard, if not impossible, to buy any kind of produce not wrapped in plastic since everything in Norway has to be transported. I am happy to note that the plastic the pre-cut salad comes in is recyclable. I already use reusable shopping bags, and have gotten better about refusing plastic bags for my shopping.

I'd like to say one thing about plastic bags: The nations now trying to eliminate the things usually have thin, flimsy bags. Norway uses thick plastic in its shopping bags so our bags can get used several times before ending up as garbage can liners, making them less costly to the environment over their lifespan. Nowadays, they are also made of recyclable plastic.

alice said...

to buy any kind of produce not wrapped in plastic since everything in Norway has to be transported

This is also a problem at this time of year in Tennessee. This past year, though, I did enjoy taking my own bag over a local farm to pick up my produce subscription. No packaging, no plastic. Fresh food. Unfortunately, we pretty much gobbled it all up every week, so we didn't have anything to get us from November through to April, when the CSA starts up again...

A Free Man said...

Plastic. Arrrggh. I did a post about the perils of plastic not long ago:

Since then I've been trying to avoid the stuff, but it is absolutely impossible these days.

Lane_in_PA said...

I found this web site that has been a big help in reducing my use of plastic :