Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Plastic Life

Today is day 1 of my year long project to spend each month examining and making a radical change in one area of my life. This month, I have decided to examine my plastic life. I have plastic in each room of my house, in every closet and drawer, and decorating my fridge and cabinets as it contains the food I feed myself and my family. I have already reduced the plastic in our life through wooden toys, cloth grocery bags, and glass food storage, etc., but this will be a time for me to purchase absolutely ZERO plastic. I will have to do without or find an alternative. This month will force me to deal with the most challenging plastic in my life. Addicted to Plastic, a documentary that just showed at the Athens Eco Focus Film Festival, left me more informed of the dangers and negative affects of plastic in my own life as well as others all over the world and inspired me to make a huge change in my convenient plastic lifestyle.

Day 1- I found myself cringing this morning while serving yogurt out of a plastic container and bread from a plastic bag for breakfast, mostly due to my knowledge that these items would run out soon and I would need to find alternatives, either for the plastic or the breakfast items all together. The second challenge for the day came after walking into church and seeing a huge cake on a table. I planned it out with Tim, my husband, that we would hand the cake cutter a napkin, and kindly ask for a piece of cake. Upon leaving the church service, there were tables set up with wonderfully sliced pieces of cake on plastic plates with plastic forks. The cake had been cut and I quickly realized I would be doing without. My 2 and 4 year olds had a delayed reaction to their lack of cake consumption, which included Kendall screaming all the way to one of her favorite fast food restaurants, "I want cake!" Her realization and my headache came right before I also realized that I would not be getting coffee when we went to dinner at McDonald's due to the styrofoam cup and my neglect to put a coffee mug in the car for this very reason. Although great fun, eating with friends at McDonald's proved to be a small challenge, with no order of our usual apples (plastic bag) or apple juice (plastic straw) or milk (plastic container) and also taking the barbeque sauce (plastic) I requested from the employee before my husband gently reminded me that I was about to carry off 2 small plastic sauce containers. We handed them back and then said a short prayer that the water cups I requested would be paper. Let me just say that the crying and fussing over wanting milk and a "horse" (no happy meals!) both at the restaurant and especially in the car afterwards almost made me pull my hair out. This leads me to examine our lifestyle of overpriced mini milk jugs and happy meal toys and their impact on my children as well as others and the environment. I have a feeling we will be having a family meeting soon and staying home more than usual this month.


  1. Stephanie, a friend of mine carries little glass bottles (generally the organic jelly or the narrow salad dressing type) in her car for water for the kids. They fit in all her cupholders, have lids, and she just brings them in to fill at taco bell (where we could get food wrapped in paper). Generally, though, she just doesn't eat out. That makes a world of difference right there.

    I'm going to spend a lot of my alone time this weekend pondering your plastic challenge. It is very interesting, and I'm glad you're posting about it.


  2. Thank you for the tip, xt...and thanks so much for reading!