The gauntlet has been thrown, and we have accepted. Our friends at Rodale.com have challenged us to a No Plastic February. We are going to need your support. In fact, we are hoping you will take this journey with us, so we can compare notes and tips and frustrations.
From Rodale: Why go plastic free? There are plenty of reasons to cut down. It’s made from either petroleum or natural gas, two nonrenewable resources extracted in ways that pollute our air and water. Plastic manufacturers add chemicals to certain types of plastics that can be highly toxic, like bisphenol A and phthalates. And very few types of plastic are widely recycled.
We don’t usually take on eco-challenges, partly because we’ve seen quite a few over the years, but also because we’re in production of Season Two right now and adding another logistics challenge to the brain right now may not be what Joe and Theresa need…
But plastics is an area I was personally planning to take on in 2011, so I took the timing of the challenge as a sign. So SOME of the team have taken on the challenge directly, and everyone else has agreed to pay attention to their plastics use and try to minimize where they can.
The Plastic-Free Ground Rules are simple:
- No buying or acquiring new plastic.
- No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic.
- Minimize all other plastic use.
That’s not so bad, is it? After a recent trip to the grocery store, I expect the first rule to give me the most trouble. All of my favorite foods, including my favorite organic choices, come wrapped in plastic. This will be interesting!
Those participating at Rodale are particularly focused on health, and the toxins in plastic that may leach into our food. Others are focused on the fact that plastics are made from nonrenewable resources.
My own personal focus will be on single-use plastics, keeping my own plastic use away of the landfill, and the sheer waste of it all. Single-use plastics are plastic cups and lids, straws, plastic forks, to-go boxes, shrink wrap, and of course, those &*$&^@! plastic bags from the store. I’m launching February with a stack of those reusable grocery bags in the car, my ceramic coffee “to-go” mug clean, and maybe a bit of a chip on my shoulder. (I bet it gets knocked off soon – today in fact.)
The things I am expecting to be hard, probably will not be so bad. The things that will be hard are issues that haven’t even occurred to me yet. I can tell you now I’m in over my head on this, but at the very least I will have decreased my plastics consumption and waste significantly over the course of the month. I’m most excited to gain a new perspective on how much plastic I touch on a daily basis.
Who’s with me? Are you in? And what will be YOUR personal focus? Health, waste, something else? And who’s starting the support group for guilty admissions when we slip up?