I made a pledge to do my best to make July a No-Plastic month. As is usually the case, I presumed it would be a snap. Wrong-o. Plastic has invaded every nook and cranny of my life. It is in/on/with/made of everything I touch, it seems.
After coming to grips with this fact, I decided that I would aim for not bringing any plastic into my home for a month. The upside of this is that a) I will save money and b) it will stretch my creative abilities to their max.
I have been keeping track of how things are packaged over the last few months, as I got ready for the challenge. It's sort of like jogging in place before a marathon, without the ibuprofen. I would say that 99.9% of anything I ordered online came with some sort of non-recyclable, plastic packaging. A few were pretty creative themselves. I got some adorable mugs from Calamity Ware and they came in a veritable Matryoshka of cardboard boxes; a total of 4 boxes, nesting tightly within each other, with the mugs individually wrapped in plastic in the final box. Then there was the book that was heavily wrapped in plastic bubble wrap and enclosed in a bubble wrap mailing envelope. I ordered a used copy of Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Ironically, it arrived in a plastic dust cover. When I go to the grocery store, the majority of items I tend to buy are packaged in plastic. If I am not right on top of the people manning the checkouts, everything would be triple bagged. I already schlep my reusable bags to every store I frequent. If I forget them, I have to come up with creative ways to juggle purchases to the car (pockets are my life). Then there are the epic fails - like my experience ordering frozen dog food (each package came in it's own giant box, lined with Styrofoam - my nemesis - containing dry ice). I've gotten the packaging fairly well under control on that end, ordering a freeze-dried, human-grade food that is in a box. In a plastic bag in a box. However, it looks as though I will be buying only used furniture. I have been looking for a storage unit to help organize my craft/yarn/office room make-over, for quite some time. I found the perfect one, on sale, at a big box store in May. It had to be ordered, so I did so. Had I ordered it in July, I would have had to send it back as soon as I opened the box and looked inside - it was a plasti-phobe's nightmare.
|Damn Styrofoam again|
I needed to get cheddar, but cannot buy it at the grocery because it is in a plastic-wrapped block. I did a little calling around and found two local places that carry large wheels of cheddar that I can get cut to order and wrapped in paper. Score! It costs more, but it is worth it in the long run, me thinks. The upside about all this mental canoodling, is that I find myself thinking of creative solutions to all kinds of things. I was watching a podcast about a young woman and her family who homestead in Arkansas, and I was admiring her gardening/harvesting apron. I looked it up online and it was pricy. I think I can make my own rendition at a fraction of the price. The wheels have already started turning. After all, I finally remembered how to thread my sewing machine.
If I can stem the inflow of plastic and reuse what I already have accumulated until it falls apart (but never goes away), I will rest easier. I grew up (my teenagish years) at the dawn of Earth Day. Those principles have stuck with me ever since and the one thing that stands out most starkly in my mind is the fact that there is no Away, as in throwing something away. It goes somewhere. Unfortunately, it often goes into the oceans and streams and rivers. It goes into landfills. It is blown to the sides of the road, up in tree branches. This is a finite planet. There are already too many people on it and those people are creating too much trash. If more people would become aware of the amount of plastic trash they are generating for future generations - as in all their kids/grandkids/great-grandkids - maybe the trend will turn.
Hope springs eternal.
If you are interested in joining in, here is the link.