Its been a little over a week since we started our low-impact diet. To remind people of what this diet consists of, it’s a lifestyle change to go plastic-free. The concern for the ocean, ground water, and our health has started us on this change. To keep me motivated I’ve been reading No-Impact Man, and thinking about what impact I’m leaving on the planet. I can honestly say that I have not used any new plastic wrap or baggies in the week since starting. And aside from the minor set back, Steve as well has stopped his use. I sort of feel like I’m in AA. If only there was such a place for plastic addicts. Maybe a support group needs to be started. “Hi, my name is Jason and I’m addicted to plastic.”
I have to say that giving up plastic wrap hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. When we make our bread we have replaced plastic wrap with a damp kitchen towel to cover the dough as it proofs. A left over half an onion or lemon now goes into a Tupperware container, or glass jar. Steve’s sandwiches are going into containers now too, instead of tossing them into plastic baggies. It’s really amazing what other items you can find to store food in when you make a conscious effort to not use plastic.
Our goal is that by the end of the year we will no longer have a trash can in our apartment. I know most of you are thinking, that’s not possible? Where will you throw away your trash? First, we plan on reusing containers. Glass jars are great for storing items, and for buying things in bulk. Second, composting is such an easy thing to do. Even things like tissue paper used to blow ones nose can be composted. Third, recycle. As a last resort if we can’t compost or reuse something we will recycle it. And the things that can’t be reused, composted, or recycled we will need to eliminate from our lives. I think it’s the least we can do for living in such a wonderful place like America.
Remember the public service announcement from the 1970’s with the Native American looking over the trash dump with tears running down his face. The caption was something like, “People start pollution, people can stop it.” Well, I don’t want to pollute America any longer. Look, plastic is a petroleum by-product, which essentially is just waste from petroleum refinement for fuels. (I won’t even go there about petroleum.) So, if plastic is just waste to begin with, and the only place it ends up is in our water supply and landfill, aren’t we all just wasting America every time we use it?
I’ll get off my soapbox for now and return to the topic of our blog in the next entry, good sustainable food. Occasionally we will keep you updated about our progress and let you know of clever ways we’re going without plastic. Like in the next few days I plan to write about our attempt at making home-made kefir and yogurt. This is in an effort to stop buying the yogurt and kefir in plastic containers. In the meantime, if you’re keeping up on our blog and trying to reduce your impact, think twice about using plastic wrap or plastic baggies. There are better alternatives out there that won’t trash our world.
Jason: This post brought tears to my eyes and inspired me. I am going to join you in your pledge to live a plastic-free life. The continent-sized island of plastic floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean haunts me and plagues me with guilt. So what am I waiting for? If not now, when? Thank you so much for the reminder! And getting rid of your trash can!!! Yes!!! You guys rock.