31 January 2011

Plastic-Free February

Rodale.com is have a social experiment called Plastic-Free February. We're going to play along even though I know from experience it's almost impossible to completely eschew plastics. How do I know this? Some years ago, Mick and I got rid of our dumpster service, and decided to process our own trash - from work and home. We figured we'd recycle just about everything. Wrong. We still ended up making a $25 trip to the waste transfer station every month. And wasn't that a dreadful experience? Yes, it was. Not only does the place stink to high heaven, the amount of perfectly good stuff being dumped made for some deep depression on my part. I couldn't stand to see all the waste. It broke my heart.

We did develop some good habits during this experiment, like using reusable shopping bags long before they were common, and buying as much food as possible in bulk to avoid all that packaging. We'd also buy meats wrapped in butcher paper rather than plastics. When I don't make my own, I try to buy things like mayonnaise and ketchup in glass bottles. But sometimes it's just about impossible. I have yet to find agave in glass containers, for example. What about sour cream? Do you just pass on foodstuffs that you don't make from scratch? I usually don't. It's a modern dilemma!

So here are the ground rules from Rodale:

1. No buying or acquiring new plastic.

2: No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic.

3: Minimize all other plastic use.  

Will you play along? It can't hurt to practice and tweak our techniques a bit more, so we'll give it a go. Whatever plastic I can't avoid, I'll save for a future photograph and blog post, and maybe I'll even figure out a way to turn the excess plastic into a piece of artwork. Heaven knows I have enough assorted vitamin bottles for a wall piece a la Louise Nevelson.

"When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life – a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created." ~  Louise Nevelson

Temps: 11/-11 High of 4 tomorrow with 5" snow expected. High winds expected which will increase wind chills to minus 30 tonight. Hope the wild critters are hunkered down somewhere warm.

1 comment:

Lee Ambrose said...

Interesting challenge, Dani
I wish that I could get the medical community to "play along" but alas, these days soooo much is plastic - and thrown away or incinerated -- I know many think we've come a long way baby .. but sometimes I think we've gone a long way in the wrong direction

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