Plastic-Free: Fact or Fantasy?

Just to set the stage before I begin to share my day as what I’m beginning to think of as “plastic-challenged”, I live in the real world.  Like many of you, I live in a residential community in the U.S.  I have 2 boys.  I have a patient husband who received a reusable bag from a friend of ours that says, “I Use This Bag Because My Wife Cares About The Environment.”  Oh, and that was over a year ago, and oh, the bag has never left the house.  So although I am keenly looking for ways that we can all improve our health and that of the environment, I am yet another  traveler on the path.

OK, so how did the first day “plastic-free” go?  I think it was an eye-opener.  I thought I was pretty conscious of plastic use before, but this, no this was an assault on almost every facet of life.  I did follow the rules, with one indiscretion, which I’ll get to in a minute.  But first, here’s a list of the sneakier plastics I encountered in day-to-day life.

Pens: My favorite pen is plastic.  So I have to pull out the metal.  Is that better?  I need more research on that.

Toothbrush: I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this one.  And while I’m at it, I’m pretty sure the toothpaste tube is also plastic.

Water filter: Our water filtering pitcher is plastic, and that’s what we’re using to avoid the purchase of bottled water.

Laundry soap: Even though it’s environmentally safe soap, the container is plastic.  And might as well lump in shampoo and conditioner here.

Toaster:  Yep, we have a plastic toaster.

Birdfeeder:  We’ve had it for years. In fact, my great Uncle Len and Aunt Mildred gave it to my grandparents decades ago and I salvaged it when they passed away.  But as I filled it, I realized it is basically plastic along with the metal.

I’m sure you were expecting me to list plastic spoons, plastic cups, plastic grocery bags, straws, and water bottles.  Those challenges are out there, too.  And I could go on.  But we have many days ahead.  And it’s going to be an interesting month.  Oh, and what was my “rule violation”?  I made this lovely, organic mushroom risotto last night and found that although I was able to store the leftovers in a ceramic bowl, the lid that goes with that bowl is – you guessed it – plastic!  I just couldn’t bring myself to waste foil when I could reuse that lid over and over.

So I did it!  I broke rule number 2. Today is a new day, right?  By the way, Happy Ground Hog Day!  Yeah, Phil did NOT see his shadow!  Tomorrow…

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