The Great Plastic Problem – What Can We Do?

A few months ago, my daughter learned about the water cycle and how our water is cleaned and this led to her learning about the pollution in our oceans. Since then, she’s been really interested in how plastic plays a role. She’s only six, so her ideas aren’t completely developed, but she’s expressed interest in “helping the oceans,” so we’ve reached out to friends for ideas and we’ve come up with a couple of our own as well.

It’s hard, you know, to avoid using plastic. I actually decided to stop shopping at our local Rempke Market, because they wrap produce in plastic. I mean, why? What is it about a zucchini that necessitates plastic wrap?

Instead, I shop at Kroger and I generally order online, but unless they’ll allow me to specify paper bags, I’ll stop doing that as well, because almost everything comes in plastic bags. I know paper isn’t much better, especially if it ends up in the landfill, because there’s not enough oxygen in the landfills to break down the paper fibers, but my bags will be used for crafts and once they’re ready to be tossed, I’ll use them in my garden. They’ll be wonderful brown matter for the compost pile, or for use around the apple trees with a good mulch layer on top.

I’m currently trying to use up the plastic bags we have by turning them into a small basket that I’ll either use as a wastebasket if it is the right size, or as a small basket to hold things in the library. If you’d like to try this, here’s a link to a how-to video. I’m not trying to get mine complete in one day, so today I just focused on getting them cut and ready to be braided.

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I worked on that while Kat customized dolls. She’s making them The Incredibles and even cut their hair to look like the characters. Her creativity amazes me.

 

 

 

So, all of this has me curious about how others are reusing plastics and (even more important) how they’re working to eliminate the use of plastics. I think that’s the ultimate goal here – that we take steps to eliminate our consumption of plastic. It’s so difficult. Everything is made of plastic, or wrapped in plastic, or goes into a plastic bag.

For example, what do you use instead of trash bags? Is there even an alternative? What did people do before plastic trash bags? Did they just burn things? Of course we can’t burn plastic, because it’s toxic and it further pollutes the atmosphere….

Anyway, just a thought.

What companies are you passionate about that have eliminated or greatly reduced their use of plastic? A friend of mine on Facebook mentioned a company called Who Gives A Crap for toilet paper. I definitely want to check them out. When I consider things like this, I end up worrying about the fuel used for shipping and how that affects things…but I think plastic is a much bigger problem and so I’m willing to take the chance. Also, they build toilets for people, which is really cool and better than squatting over a hole like many people have to do…at least I think it is. I’ve used the bathroom outside on numerous occasions and actually for over a year of my life, at one time, and it’s not that bad unless the weather is bad and then it stinks (pun intended).

Back on topic: We are the consumers who drive the industries that have a lot of power over the health of our earth and I really do believe that each of us can make a loud point with our money. Money talks, right? Without us, corporations and products wouldn’t exist – at least not for long.

This has nothing to do with plastic, but I’m also on the hunt for an alternative to tampons. many years ago I used the Diva Cup, but really didn’t care for it at all, although I know many women use it and love it. I found a company called The Flex Company that makes a disk that seems like it would be better and more comfortable. I’ve contacted them to ask about materials used and how they are working to minimize their footprint on Mama Earth. I’ll let you know what I hear. I’m also researching about making washable pads, especially because my little girl will be needing something before I even care to think about it. I want to be prepared and I want to eliminate the toxins and the waste when it comes to our monthly cycles.

I’ve also purchased material to make shopping totes. I made some many years ago and stopped, for whatever reason – life? It happens. Anyway, I’m excited to do that and I really like the fabric I grabbed. I’ll update you after I’ve made them. Hopefully I still have a knack for it! We’ll see.

Do you have ideas for The Great Plastic Problem? What has and hasn’t worked for you?

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I’d really love to hear your ideas and learn from your experiences on this topic, Please feel free to comment. I hope you all have a lovely day! I’ll leave you with a picture of my cutie from our visit to farm today for eggs and a plant for the front garden. Here she is with a sheep that absolutely loved her. She leaned her face into Kat’s hands and closed her eyes for several minutes. It was so incredibly sweet.

Xx

Resa

 

 

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