So, how’s the plastic-free life going?

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.

Cheers,
Jason

A Plastic-Free Dream

Not Pretty!

We’ve been troubled by the amount of plastic we use in the kitchen and throughout our apartment. Last year, we reduced the amount of glass we use by saving and reusing old bottles and containers. We use the containers for storing bulk items like beans, rice, flours, and other items we purchase in bulk from Rainbow market. We use the bottles for olive oil, maple syrup, and other liquid items. But reducing plastic seems to be difficult. We feel like crack addicts jonesing for the next fix whenever we can’t find a plastic Ziploc bag, but instead of crack we’re addicted to plastic. For years we have used Saran Wrap and Ziploc bags without giving a second thought to where it all ultimately ends up. We know it goes to the trash dump but where does it go after that?

We heard about the giant mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean a few years ago, but thought that it was someone else’s problem, not ours. We recycle. We compost. We reuse plastic bags from the grocery store. This fall, we paid a visit to Sharon Beals’ studio in the Hunters Point Shipyards where we were blown away by her sadly beautiful photographs of the plastics and other detritus and flotsam she’s gathered on our local beaches. We then took a good hard look at our lives and realized we are part of the problem and the only way to be part of the solution is to reduce our plastic consumption to the point of eliminating plastics from our household.

Even though our blog is about food, it’s also about the choices we make. We’re not going to preach and stand on a soapbox about the evils of plastic, god knows we’re just as guilty as everyone else, but part of this year’s commitment to living a more sustainable life includes an effort to reduce the amount of plastic we use and to change how we dispose of it So, starting today we will be documenting our reduction of plastic as well as what we’re eating. For all those out there reading our blog, please give us any suggestions you may have for plastic-free food storage. We hope that by the end of this year we will be plastic free. We know it’s going to be a hard habit to kick, so wish us luck.