Monday, July 16, 2012

Plastic Footprints

Last night I returned to French classes after a three month break. One of my friends greeted me and then told me about a book he'd just read as if we were resuming a conversation we'd been having the day before. In a sense we were resuming a conversation because he knows about Footprints and often tells or sends me information he thinks I may be interested in. More often than not, he's right.

The book he read was about a woman's attempt to live a year without plastic. I jumped on Google as soon as I got home and came up with Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel. I also found a Melbourne woman, Gina Pendergast, who is trying to live a plastic free life. The link to her blog is here A Plastic Free Year. I'm not entirely sure which one my friend was talking about but both are interesting. My brain was fried after two hours of French so I only skimmed read bits of both but look forward to following both blogs.

A plastic free life is pertinent to Footprints. People seem to approach it for two different reasons or a mixture of the two. There seems to be growing evidence that plastic is dangerous to our heath. Furthermore, waste plastic is dangerous to the environment, particularly marine life. Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

We've taken a wider approach; we're attempting to reduce our waste, plastic being one of them. I'm aware of the health risks and have been trying to slowly move across to glass food storage containers. As I've mentioned before my choice at the supermarket would always be more packaging if it came from an ethical company. The ethics outlined in the Ethical Consumer Guide also take environmental record into consideration. I would rather buy something more heavily packaged if the company producing it was kinder to the environment. Heavy packaging invariably means plastic.

Plastic is everywhere! It isn't just in things we discard, it's in just about everything we buy/own. I honestly don't know how one would get around that and that is why I'm keen to follow these blogs. If I can cut down on it, I would like to.

I'm fortunate to live in a state where plastic bags are no longer used in grocery stores, unless one pays for them. That eliminates all those bags which left alone in a drawer breed! I have my fruit and veggies delivered and the company doesn't use many plastic bags. The ones they do use get reused here. I use them for fruit and veggies again, or to line small rubbish bins. I'm even slowly re-stuffing the dog's big pillow after the insert had to be thrown out; I'm using plastic bags for that.

Teenage Daughter is given meals twice each week from her work place. They always come home in plastic take away containers. I think it would contravene health regulations if she were to ask for them to be put in a used one brought from home or, even better, in a glass one from home. We reuse the containers. I'd prefer not to because I want to move away from plastic but they're just the right size to send meals to my frail, aged father-in-law in.

The problem is that the seed has now been sown in my head. I've spent a good deal of the morning as I ran errands thinking about all the ways I could further cut back on plastic purchase and usage. I'll keep you posted on those as I learn more from others' blogs.


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