Have you met my husband, yet? He’s super. A good man and a good father. (Don’t ask the kids- they don’t know a blessed thing. They think anyone who makes them fold laundry and eat the food I prepare for them instead of just subsisting on spicy Cheetos and Dr. Pepper is some sort of child abusing monster. Hubby believes his job is to raise them to be healthy, happy, ethical adults and also to protect me, their mother, from the constant stream of begging and demands for my attention. Good job, honey! Keep it up!)
He has also, admirably, become more environmentally conscious as he has gotten older. Awesome. Again, good job. I love him and respect him and would never, ever keep anything from him…
Except maybe this.
His environmental action has coalesced around eliminating plastic. Laudable goal. Yes. We could all stand to reduce the amount of plastic we consume. However…
I recently stumbled across several blogs from folks striving to become plastic free. Free. From. All. Plastic. Which, do not misunderstand me, is flat out awesome. Peruse their posts and the herculean task they have taken on becomes apparent. No plastic beverage containers, obviously. No liquid detergent. No powdered detergent, if it comes with a plastic measuring cup. No kleenex. (little plastic window on top.) No stretchy, moisture wicking running clothes. No milk- cow, soy or otherwise- in non-glass containers. (That film isn’t wax, folks, it’s plastic.) No disposable pens. No shampoo. No hair gel. No obscenely delicious salted dark chocolate almonds in the handy, resealable bag, even if they are vegan. No wine with plastic corks. Nothing shipped or stored or wrapped in plastic. Look around you. All that stuff? NONE OF IT.
Let me say right off, that they all, to a person, have noted that you can’t avoid the stuff 100%. Gonna’ buy your pinto beans in the bulk section of the grocery store and put them in your own, reusable container? Guess what they were shipped to the store in? Right. A great big plastic bag.
Still, they are striving to do the very best they can, against a staggering reality and I think that is amazing. Amazing and depressing and daunting. Especially when it is pointed out that every thing ever made out of plastic still exists.
I need to lie down.
The reality of how much of the stuff is floating around out there is exhausting to contemplate. If Hubby so much as catches wind that there are folks who have managed to go so hardcore, my life will become roughly one zillion percent more difficult. As much as I am working to reduce our own plastic footprint, I’m not sure I’m ready for the headache of canning my own tomatoes (metal cans being lined in plastic) pressing homemade tofu and making my own deodorant–especially since the entire U.S. aspirin supply is tucked away in tiny, plastic bottles.
But maybe I can sort of eeeeeaase into it– which really isn’t like me at all. Normally, the challenge of something like this grabs me and I am ALL IN, BABY! This one, however, buckles my mind in the sheer enormity of it. Back-to-back marathons seem more possible. Building a time machine out of rubble seems like it might work, comparatively. So here’s the plan:
I’m going to pick five things that I can find non-plastic alternatives for. And when that gets absorbed into our daily habits, I’ll pick five more. It seems like such a small amount that you kind of wonder if it could possibly make any difference. Then you multiply five by 52 weeks in the year, and -BAM!- 260 plastic items NOT added to the floating seas of garbage in the ocean. Then 520, then 780…. Maybe somewhere in there I’ll actually let Hubby in on the plan…. But not until I find dark chocolate salted almonds in a glass container and a wine box with a biodegradable liner.