I was pondering plastic recently, as any green-minded person is likely to do. Specifically I was pondering how to bring less of it into my house because there’s already way too much of it out there. I asked a big question – could I keep from buying anything that was put in, wrapped in or made of plastic ever again. With the bulk of my shopping being food and household items and with my tendency to shop at natural food stores – you would hope this might be possible. But is it? As I walked through my house looking here and there I really started to realize how difficult this would be.
I was getting low on toothpaste and the cap to my toothpaste was made of plastic. No toothpaste. I’ve done the salt or baking soda thing before and I really don’t care for it. I like my Weleda Toothpaste. My Preserve toothbrush is made of 100% post-consumer recycled content. It was once a yogurt cup or three. But it would still be plastic. Would completely recycled plastic be OK? Obviously it’s a greener choice than others out there. The one time I tried a recycled wood handled toothbrush wasn’t a success – the sizing was all wrong and I couldn’t get to my wisdom teeth way in the back. While in the bathroom I noticed that all my products, though among the purest you can find, had some amount of plastic in their packaging. The glass bottle and jars of my preferred organic face products – Suki – all had caps that were plastic and some had plastic pumps. The Aubrey Organics shampoo and conditioner both come in plastic bottles with plastic caps. I’ve done the no shampooing thing in my time too – it was a no go for me even after getting past the recommended transition time. Even if I tried the alternatives like vinegar rinses – the vinegar bottle would most likely come with a plastic cap or plastic film lined metal cap. I find the little plastic bottle cap rings on the beach all the time – they’re one of the most prominent pieces of plastic trash on my local beaches. They annoy me. So does the prevalence of plastic in my bathroom.
From the bathroom I thought about medicines. As an herbalist, I use a lot of herbs, which I can thankfully get in bulk. But I also use tinctures, and though they come in nice little glass bottles with glass and rubber droppers – they also come wrapped in a protective seal of plastic. That’s not a bad thing – them being obviously sealed – but the plastic is. I’m not set up to make all my own tinctures at this point. I would need a press and a good source for organic grain alcohol. Would the press or grain alcohol come packaged with some amount of plastic? Then there’s my capsules that I need to take for various health conditions. They come in plastic bottles and wrapped in a plastic seal. Some may come in a glass bottle but the lid will have that darned plastic ring again. It would be loads of work to make all the capsules on my own – even with a capsule maker – oh, my capsule maker is made of plastic. Darn. Well it wouldn’t be NEW plastic.
Then there’s the food stuff. There is a local glass bottled milk – but that comes with a plastic ring and lid. So that would leave cartons of milk with old fashioned openings – you know, the kind like we had on the little milk cartons when we were kids, the ones that NEVER want to open right?! My milk alternatives that I use would be out as well. None of then come without some sort of plastic on them. Would that leave me having to make soy, almond and rice milks from scratch? Yikes! I’d be so busy I wouldn’t have time to blog about it (while typing on my plastic encased laptop). I would have to forgo anything packaged for the most part. No cans of anything, they all have linings and most of those contain toxic BPA anyway. No jars of anything – those plastic lid rings again. Not many boxes of anything either – inside those boxes there usually resides a plastic bag. Even some veggies would be out if they were held together with one of those annoying sticky plastic tapes that have organic printed repeatedly on them. The cats would be out of luck. Their raw food comes frozen, made by a local company, and sealed in plastic bags. Obviously there is a good purpose to this but if I wouldn’t be buying anything with plastic? Poor kitties.
I dare you, just take a look in your pantry and see how much food comes with an escort of plastic. I did – it wasn’t pretty.
So after much consideration I figured that it wouldn’t be currently feasible or practical to try and never buy anything with plastic ever again. I like to be clean, well fed and I won’t let my kitties suffer starvation or a low quality chow.
So if you want to cut even more plastic out of her your life, what’s a girl to do? I want to DO something.
I’ll share some more thoughts and solutions soon. Stay tuned.