PLASTIC I LOVE January 6, 2010

“The beginning of all human undertakings are untidy.”  John Galsworthy

PLASTIC I LOVE:

My hot water bottle

My laptop computer

My cell phone and digital camera

All the synthetic parts of my running shoes

My contact lenses, reading glasses and sunglasses

My baking spatula that gets all the batter out of the bowl

ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE JUST THE BEGINNING OF A VERY LONG LIST.

Needless to say, As I have been looking around more closely at the plastic in my life, I see again and again how much I use on a day to day basis.

On day 6 of this new year, I am still running on the fumes of all of everything left over from last year–a container full of yogurt in the refrigerator, cheeses wrapped in plastic wrap.

What am I going to do about all of this this year?

On Sunday, I stopped by Lowe’s on the way home from church to buy birdseed and found that every single bag of seed was plastic.  What a disappointment.

My friend Chris encouraged me to keep looking. So yesterday in my local lawn and garden store.  Imagine my happiness when I found a 50 lb. bag of Birdseed in a heavy paper bag–joy of joys–I felt vindicated in my search.   And then I got home and ripped the bag open to find that the liner was plastic—

I am beginning to see that bits and pieces of plastic are absolutely everywhere.

Almost one week into this and I am only slightly grumpy.  I know I am still living off of the leftovers of my life with plastic.  Not taking plastic bags when I buy something, watching out to keep wait people from giving me a plastic straw in a restaurant, and no plastic silverware have been fairly easy to date.  It is the packaging around the things I want to buy which is challenging me.

So far, the rules I know I can keep are:

1)  Always carry my own resuseable bags and REMEMBER to tell clerks–“no Bags Please”  In many stores–like almost any drug store, I have to be vigilant and say this again and again for each purchase.  augh……

2) No plastic water bottles, styrofoam or plastic cups.  I now have 2 steel water bottles that travel with me..

3) No plastic silverware–I have decided to carry a knife, fork and spoon with me.  For my own enjoyment, I am using my Mom’s beautiful sterling silver  (Lily of the Valley pattern.)  ahhh….

I have much to discover, and much to learn.  Stay tuned  for an article on plastic water bottles and meditations on my observations  successes  and frustrations in different grocery stores….Also, I want to know more about all of the plastic bags I am seeing in grocery stores that people say are biodegradable.  How does this work?   I want to know

5 Comments
Cici Stevens January 6th, 2010

This is great, Bryant. The name of your blog implies there is a tipping point, beyond which we are compelled to change the way we do things. Since you started this project, I have been noticing how much plastic comes/goes my way that I seem to have no control over (??) I appreciate your thoughts about plastic products that enhances our lives– (like polartec fleece!)– not “throw-aways,” but engineered to be in use for a long time. Thanks for doing this, sharing your thoughts, delights and disappointments…

Bryant January 13th, 2010

Cici–thanks for taking the time to think about this. Also, thanks for figuring out how to down load the great photo you took of me and all of that plastic at the beach.

Grace Pilafian January 17th, 2010

Dear Bryant, oh fearless guide into the unknown,
Stone Bros often sells bird seed they have mixed on site from bags that have broken. I am sure it arrived at Stone Bros in plastic, but they sell it by the pound and pack it in paper bags – I am sure you could bring your own container, as well. they don’t always have it – but I buy it whenever they do and my birds love it!!

thanks for this great blog…..

Bryant January 18th, 2010

GRACE–thanks for the Stone Brother’s tip. I will stop by and see what they have to offer.

Sarah February 8th, 2010

Hello, Bryant – I salute you and wish you luck on your experiment. I can tell you more about biodegtradable plastic and point you to some resources; I recycle for a living and know many of the other recylers in the community here in Chapel Hill/Carrboro.

Feel free to contact me. We can communicate via email or I can meet you at Weaver Street, I live a few blocks away.

Best,
Sarah

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