|My favorite plastic people: Nina Ballerina '56, Madame Alexander Favorite Friends, Tonner My Imagination, Toni '50, American Girls Kit, Maryellen, and Molly|
Daughter Hallie started this discussion on plastics when she wrote that she’d like to do more to reduce her plastic footprint. She said she wished plastic had never been invented and asked how our ancestors managed without it. (Read it here.)
So, without really researching, I stepped up to this huge controversial topic. Through nine posts, I shared as much as I know – well, a lot of what I know – about mid-century product containers and how consumers managed without plastic, suggesting the pros and cons.
But I have to tell you – life has really changed. I subscribe to the theory that whatever the era, we live within a system, and there’s only so much one person can do. I encourage you to research the subject, draw your own conclusions, and then decide your course. I have asked my laptop any number of questions about plastic, and it always provides plenty of websites with diverse ideas for my consideration. Some of them take a hard line: plastic is bad; eliminate it. Others offer more doable options.
I believe that if I tried to totally eliminate plastic from my life, I would deprive myself of a lot of good. After all, some of my favorite people are plastic! We have to face the fact that plastic is here to stay, but we should be concerned about the overall issues related to the reuse and disposal of plastics and its impact on our health and the environment.
What can one person do? Okay – I’ll go first. Here’s what I’m willing to do:
· I will continue to reuse cloth shopping bags or to carry without a bag when possible.
· I’ll reduce the purchase of juice concentrate in those cute little plastic bottles and opt instead for the old-fashioned cardboard cylinder – if I can find them.
· I promise to never buy water.
· I’m willing to use a razor and insert new blades rather than using disposable razors.
· I will phase out my use of plastic storage containers in favor of glass – Pyrex, Corning, and Anchor Hocking. I will also use jars if appropriate.
· I will increase my composting efforts.
· I will look for products in jars and bottles rather than plastic.
And here’s what I’m unwilling to do:
· Return to powdered detergent because it’s sold in cardboard boxes. (I love those pods.)
· To wash my hair with vinegar and soda – though I do find it an effective drain cleaner.
· Buy that cheap brand of toilet tissue just because it’s wrapped in paper.
· Pay twice as much for milk by buying it in half-gallon cartons instead of plastic jugs. (I suspect those cartons are plasticized anyway.)
· Cease buying cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc., because the carton is plastic.
· Switch from my favorite brand of soap because of the plastic wrapper.