It is nearly May, almost five months past when I should have posted a recap of my 2009 plastic aversion adventure. I still feel deflated from not making my seemingly doable ten pound goal. Even though I did not have a valid way of measuring what was not brought home, surely I didn’t reach ten pounds. Just a guess — it was more like eight. The truth is, as soon as the new year began I splurged. In January and February I indulged myself with a new pair of running shoes (lots of plastic), a big jug of vinegar (plastic to save a few cents), new tooth brush, hair clips, new CPU (computer power back up). I even used a few plastic bags from the grocery store rather than walking back to my car to retrieve a paper one. I had pent up desire for plastic which I lavishly indulged once the year was over.
Regardless, today I easily pass by boxes of baby greens without longing. The heads or bundled greens are actually, by and large fresher. And I have been lucky enough to pick lettuce from my own garden. It doesn’t get fresher than that!
Our tortillas and bread still come in plastic bags instead of from our oven, (shock!) but the bags are reused until they are truly used. As a matter of fact, now when poly is tossed in our house it is broken, unwashable or unusable, in other words garbage. Lately a row of matching glass jelly jars, with red gingham lids are kept near my fridge. They’re much better for most leftovers than ziplock bags and I reuse the plastic tubs from yogurt and cottage cheese several times. I can’t imagine ever buying a bit of plastic to use in my kitchen again. Metal, ceramic, glass or wood is almost always the better choice and I wrap my occasional sandwich to go with old-fashioned wax paper.
Regardless, five months after my planned finish, there is little doubt I have made my ten pound goal. Without a doubt the year-long experience has forever changed how I view and consume plastic. I’ll won’t use as much. Being cognizant of unnecessary or misused plastic I know I can avoid most of it without undue sacrifice or inconvenience. For that reason, I’m glad I tried and learned to ask when it comes to plastic, “How long will this be used?” and “Is that long enough?” I discovered the truth is, plastic it is mostly garbage waiting to be.