Can You be Plastic-Free?
A couple of years ago, Rodale asked me to participate in their Plastic-Free February challenge. Without hesitating, I said yes, thinking I was already using my reusable shopping bags and storing food in glass and other non-plastic containers whenever possible. I was no fan of plastic. This should be easy and kind of fun, right? I was humbled within hours to realize just how unaware of the plastic in my world I still was.
It changed my view of plastic forever, and while I am always striving to reduce the excess plastic in my world (Istill marvel at things like plastic-wrapped eggplants, which seems utterly stupid), I admire people like Beth Terry, who is an author and another sister from the Green Sisterhood. Beth’s book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, is exactly what I needed two years ago during my painful plastic-free February challenge!
Beth’s book is wonderfully informative about why we need to become aware of how plastic impacts our environment and our health, and she offers some great ideas on how to get started. Like us Green Divas, she offers a low-stress, no-guilt approach, which makes it all that much easier to kick this tough cultural crutch. I highly recommend getting your hands on this book.
Please listen to our interview with Beth Terry (in the last 20 minutes of the podcast) for some great ideas on how to kick the plastic habit!
There was a lot more to this week’s radio show! I recommend a quick visit to this week’s Green Divas Radio Show post to learn more about our talk with NBC’s Green is Universal Elise Marshall Jones, Green Dude Eco Ed’s excellent segment on eWaste, and Green Diva Mizar’s fun DIY segment on creative upcycling projects for Easter.
More about plastic in our world . . .
One of my most popular posts on Care2 was, 7 Good Reasons to Give Quit Drinking Bottled Water, which beyond the scourge of plastic bottles littering our world, turns out to be Green Diva Mizar’s mission with her ‘other’ activities as a water guru for Pur2o.
Back when I was in the middle of that harrowing plastic free February challenge, we had the opportunity to interview Jurriaan Kamp, publisher of Ode Magazine. As one would expect from the optimist who founded Ode, Mr. Kamp had an interesting take on the plastic dilemma and offered some insight into environmentalism v. reality and how innovation can lead to salvation. Listen to my interview with Jurriaan Kamp (last 20 minutes of podcast) to hear more on his philosophy of innovation as salvation.
Mr. Kamp helped to shape my current view of plastic as a resource that requires mindful use and re-use. I am convinced that if more manufacturers would consider the entire life cycle of their products and all of the resources that go into creating them and how they can and will be disposed of or upcycled or repurposed, we could begin to get a handle on reusing the massive amount of plastic that already exists and seriously minimize the use of raw materials to make more of it. I’m sure I’m dreaming way into the future, but with innovators and thinkers like Beth Terry, Jurriaan Kamp, and many others it just may be possible — at least for the next generation. Brilliant kids, who are growing up with greater awareness of these issues will make it happen, like this student who has developed a way to clean up some of the plastic and other garbage floating around the oceans, including the great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Susan Freinkel is another great thinker and writer, who has helped to shed light on our addiction to plastic. Her book, Plastic a Toxic Love Story is also an eye-opener. In addition to offering some good ideas of how to live with less plastic in our lives, she offers a lot of detailed statistics and scientific information about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of it all and in a language that is easy to absorb.
We also did a very informative interview with Ms. Freinkel. Find a link to the interview in a related post that includes some great ideas for upcycling common plastic items in our homes to forestall their extensive end in landfills, while giving them new life in practical ways.
As I look around my desk and mentally eliminate any plastic, my computer evaporates in the dreamy mist. I can’t imagine a computer without plastic, but am guessing that someday, somehow, someone will. Meanwhile it seems I would be unable to write this post, do the radio show, or carry on with the silliness of the Green Diva mission to spread these ideas, so for now, I will co-exist with some of the plastic in my world. I pledge to be ever-mindful and continue to search for ways of avoiding new plastic things and creatively upcycling the plastic stuff I have.