Waste is Driving Me Nuts!

Its official – only 24 days into the project and I have become a crazy person. I see a plastic bag and I cringe, I see a take out cup and I almost snap.  I am a little worried that ‘almost’ snap will soon turn to ‘that time that I snapped’.  I mean its only 24 days in – I am honestly not sure if I can make it the additional 341 days without losing my mind on some innocent bag holder or take-out cup user.There are a number of things that frustrate me.  The most frustrating thing for me is how easy it is to change on a personal level.  Here’s how easy it is – step 1: Buy a Stainless Steel Mug, step 2: Use the Mug.  Or easier still, grab that reusable bag I know you have (in the back of your closet), bring it with you to the store (don’t leave it in the trunk of your car) and use it.  There is no excuse anymore, so just do it.  I am asking you nicely so you aren’t the person I lose my cool with!

Secondly, and perhaps most worrisome is that the mess is so widespread, and really imbedded in our consumer culture.  It seems to me that branded things, no matter what they are, or where they are found are good for business (at least from the companies perspective).  This means that if I am a coffee company, and I have my logo plastered on every cup I sell, it is good marketing.  It doesn’t matter if that cup is in the hands of some attractive young person, or piled up in the garbage can of a busy street, it is all good for the bottom line.  The same goes for stores, and especially fashion retailers.  If they can get their branded bag in the hands of well-dressed, good looking people then it is good for business.  Why would I want to get rid of my bags, or even encourage people bringing in whatever bag they can find in their house – from the business end it doesn’t make sense.

So what can we do, is it really as simple as bringing your own bag, or using your own mug?  The answer is both yes and no.  Yes, bring your own bag, use your own mug.  every little thing you do helps the greater good (and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise).  But this alone isn’t enough.  You need to demand less plastic from your retailers, and change your shopping habits accordingly.  Your dollar is your vote, and you can vote for less plastic.

Over the coming weeks I am going to brainstorm ideas on how to ask for less plastic at your favorite retail outlet.  Please share your  ideas as well.  We are gaining a readership here at our humble blog, and all the input we can get will make this not only easier but better – better for ourselves, better for our community, and better for our planet.

So join in and check back often for ideas on using less plastic when you go to the store, some of the ideas are easy, some a little more challenging, but they all make a difference.

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2 responses

  1. It sort of seems like your plastic experiment is not healthy if it is going to bring up thoughts of violence and despondency. Hey, we are doing the same thing over the course of the year, but we have refused to make plastic an enemy. Something that is bad for our planet, yes. Something whose use we have become too relient upon, yes. Devil, evil, pernicious, no. But, still, I strive to live my life in a gracious and loving way while trying to create and maintain a connection to the earth. This is hard enough without creating arbitrary sins and conditions within which it is all too easy to “fail” and be “bad.” Take it easy on yourself – it makes better copy.

    • Thanks so much for the comment. Let me start by saying I love your blog, and your project, obviously I think we share a lot in common, and would encourage other reading to check it out – plasticulous.wordpress.com.

      For me this blog post is very much tongue-in-cheek, if you know me, you’d know that I am most likely the least angry person in the world, and would never speak or act out in public like I wrote about, but I do get frustrated. I get frustrated because small changes are so simple to make, and despite what you may here they make a huge difference.

      You are right, the project is hard enough without making rules, but I feel that by making rules, and following them we will come to some revelations that we may not have come by if we allowed ourselves to be less strict. Yes, sometimes I feel like a crazy person, yes sometimes I use the words ‘fail’ and ‘bad’, but I do not however feel like we are depriving ourselves of a better life, quite the contrary, by living with strict rules we have made a much better life where we spend much more time in the kitchen, much more time together as a couple, and without a doubt have more fun!

      So again, kudos on the project, will be following along for sure, would love for you to do the same, I promise it won’t be all doom and gloom on this side!

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