Plastic, plastic everywhere

Hope I’m not boring you about a dream I had about the ocean and what that dream propelled me to do. At the time I had the dream, I made a pledge (without too much thought and no end date!) to avoid bringing new hard plastics into my life. Now, I’m into my third year—who knew?

Since I pledged, I have been faced with a dilemma, mostly about personal care products, because I ran out of the products I had been using.  Although I have been able to buy shampoo, lotion, massage oil, and bath gel in bulk (filling up plastic containers I already owned), I ended up purchasing toothpaste, dental floss, and sunscreen in plastic containers because I didn’t know any other way to get these necessary items.

Enter the Internet—where I found information about making almost anything, from deodorant to toothpaste to sunscreen and more. But looking at what it takes to make my own products, I felt forced to ask, Do I need this? (A bit of double entendre there.) If so, I have granted myself dispensation to buy it in plastic until I decide if I want to or can make it myself.

Something similar happened in my kitchen at the beginning of the pledge when I realized that I didn’t have the motivation to make or find acceptable packaging for everything that had previously been on my full-o’-plastic shopping list (hummus, eggplant dip, yogurt, cottage cheese, salsa, pesto, and so on). Now my husband or I make these items only when we are inspired—which brings a certain creativity and excitement not experienced when just purchasing them at the store.

I have gotten used to asking Do I need this? on all of my shopping trips—which has turned out to be quite useful for saving money in these worrisome times. My life feels simpler and more creative—a nice bit of fallout from my no-hard-plastics pledge.  Soft plastics (like food packaging) are still alive and well in my life (overwhelmingly impossible to give up?).

One step at a time, eh?

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3 thoughts on “Plastic, plastic everywhere

  1. I love this story of how things have progressed with your no-hard-plastics pledge! The question: do I need this? is one that I ask myself often and it’s SO applicable to any consumption-reducing pledge. Thanks for putting it in the spotlight here! I use it when I clean out a closet full of stuff or an old box that’s been collecting dust — and it comes in very handy! I use it when I organize the clutter on my desk, as I’m prone to keeping lots of notes and reminders of things that have inspired me or sparked new awarenesses. I use it when packing for a trip. It’s a very handy little question, indeed!

    • Thanks a lot, Lydia, for sharing your similar experiences with “Do I need this?”

      Sometimes, my mental (instead of physical) world asks the question, as in “Do I need this feeling, problem, or concern?” I wish I thought of it more often to be able to step back from what’s on my mind.

  2. Love this and thanks for sharing – as you know I retired and moved to on a small ranch in the last 5 years – I have learned so much. Learned that using teflon utensils and pans lined with it sluff off and end of in our systems – they don’t know if it’s harmful (DA!) so I threw out all teflon utensils and started cooking with aluminum, enamel, glass and cast iron. I has been hard to fade away from plastic containers but collecting more glassware at yard sales has helped me there although it does create a small storage problem. So the solution for that is “EAT EVERYTHING ON YOUR PLATE” and only cook for 2 not 6 like most recipes portions. A great vegetable garden has created good food canned and frozen (yup I use freezer bags – oops), but if we all try and follow Vegheards lead – we can at least make slight if not huge contributions to this environmentalal friendly committment. Plastic has indeed taking over our lives. Thanks Veghead for pointing that out.

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