Folks, this is about my "consumption" of plastic over the next year. I'm looking at what I have, what I buy, and why I seem to need this hundred and fifty year old man-made concoction more than my mother's fried chicken.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The "Rules".

  1. Document & categorize all plastic products in my home.
  2. Keep & categorize any plastic that comes into my possession (purchased or given) in my guest room for a year.
  3. Actively look for, research & acquire plastic alternatives.
  4. Find ways to minimize my use of plastics--particularly single-serve, one-time use, landfill/incinerator/turtle belly-bound plastics.
  5. To be empowered by my learning process.
I'm getting a little nervous...plastanxiousness, me thinks.

6. To make up new and useful words.

8 comments:

susanc said...

It dawned on me this morning as I was listening to a lady on my plastic tv that possibly the most widespread abuse of plastic has been credit cards! She was talking about cutting up "the plastic" to get out of debt. We have all been sucked into overly using "the plastic". Wonder if we paid cash for everything if we'd be more frugal? There is something about counting out the money that makes me not want things.

Sunnye said...

Amen to that!! Even when I have cash to pay for things, I will instinctively pull out the plastic to "numb" myself to the amount of money I am spending. There have been occasions when I left my plastic at home and I was cashless for the day and you know what? I didn't die. ; )

Jives said...

But then, is cash all that great for the environment? I found this student project (PDF) comparing the environmental impact of dollar coins with dollar bills.

The coins are better, because they have a longer lifespan, but the nature of currency requires more money in the market as the economy grows, which means more mining for more coins.

Did you realize that 90% of dollars end up in landfills, while 10% are recycled into roofing shingles and insulation?

Umm... so I'm thinking our fingerprints access our bank accounts.

Sunnye said...

Wow--this gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase "throwing your money away". I have never thought about actual dollars going to the landfill. How do you know when a dollar bill is finished?
I just read that all US bills are produced in Dalton, MA by Crane & Co. (They've had a contract since, oh...1879). Our bills are 75% cotton & 25% linen with some red & blue synthetic fibers thrown in for good measure. Since 1879, we've gotten fancy by adding metallic strips, watermarks and color-shifting ink (when are we gonna have shape-shifting ink like in Harry Potter?). The bills are printed only in D.C and my college hometown of Ft. Worth, TX. They print just under $400 million A DAY. Yee-haw!
Anyway--back to the topic of plastic--23 countries (with Australia leading the way) have introduced plastic bills which are touted to be less hospitable to bacteria and counterfeiters and more durable.
http://money.aol.com/special/canvas/_a/the-secret-life-of-the-dollar/20060531203909990001

Emily said...

Living in Post-Katrina New Orleans, I am faced with some precarious plastic problems. Recycling has not yet been reinstated as a city service and I refuse to pay a private collection company in fear of a supply/demand effect on the city's priorities. So for the past 15 months, my equally dedicated husband and I have been collecting all of our trash and toting it to Baton Rouge once per month or less. it is daunting to think that on some occassions we need 2 cars to tote plastic, metal and paper so that it can be recycled and reused in some fashion. I find that living with your garbage does make a difference in what you use, buy, and want!

Angie Francis said...

Sunnye

I am thrilled to hear about the journey that you are on! What a wonderful way to explore your own questions while building awareness. Wow! I am looking into my recycle bin here at work with new light!

Best wishes,
Ange

Sunnye said...

Angie girl! I was just thinking about you TODAY when I was walking in the woods with my pup. For some random reason, I said to myself "I bet Angie would like it here..."

Thanks for tuning in--I just got back from Trader Joe's and suddenly realized that almost every single item in that store in packed in plastic. So, the "new light" you are referring to just keeps on blinkin' for me!

Miss your smiling face...

Naropa said...

Sunnye

I do feel so very at home in the woods... It makes me smile to know that you were thinking of me while you were walking amoungst trees.

Are you aware of a company called Eco-Products in Colorado? They make corn plastic-ware, containers, etc. Just the other day I was in the grocery store buying baby lettuce and the container was made of corn! Whooppee! But then.. I wonder what are all of the recources needed to make that corn container? How much petroleum was used to produce this? Have you read the Omnivores Delema yet? I highly recommend it!

I dream of going to a grocery store with my glass mason jars and filling up with the items I need. Washing them and returning to the store with the same jar. And paying for the item with money I have earned - not a plastic credit card.

:) A