Posted by: David McKay | January 5, 2012

Eliminating Plastic, One Piece at a Time…

Think about what you buy on a regular basis.  Does it come wrapped in plastic?  Is it made of plastic?

Make a list.  Or just pick one of those regular things.

Now, give it some thought.  Really get in there and investigate the item.  Where does it come from?  How is it made?  Who made it?  How does it get to you?  Are there alternative products that you could buy instead?  Where do they come from and how are they made…

I am going to write a short list of things that involve plastic, that I no longer have to think about:

  1. Bags.  I use bags made out of old t-shirts.  I love them!
  2. Coffee filters.  Although the ones I used to use came in a cardboard box, I now use a filter made of hemp.  It requires a little extra work from me — to clean out and compost the grounds — but I am okay with that.
  3. Milk.  No plastic jugs.  The cardboard 1/2 gallon containers have those plastic screw-top lids now that annoy me.  There is a company that sells their milk in glass, which I love, but they still use a plastic lid.  This morning, we got our first container of milk from the organic dairy farm up the road.  The milk was still warm and we met the cow that produced it.  Ha ha!  No more plastic.
  4. Deodorant.  Last spring, I used the last of my store-bought deodorant.  No more plastic containers.  Now, I have a homemade deodorant made out of all-natural ingredients that works great.  It’s in a glass jar.  I love it!

I will stop there for the moment.  The list could be quite large, but it is good to not be overwhelmed.

I am taking this one step at a time.  It is a process.  Slowly, I am weening myself off of plastic.  I won’t tell you that I am plastic free — far from it.  But, I am working on it.

Not everyone has the good fortune to live down the road from an organic dairy farm — I understand that.

But isn’t there something you can do to make a change in your own life?  Start a garden on the roof of your apartment building or a planter box in your window so you don’t have to buy herbs in plastic packaging; get a reusable coffee mug so you don’t buy to-go cups with throw-away plastic lids on them; walk to work one day a week, or ride your bicycle…

Pick one thing and see where it leads…

When you start to make a change, the idea that you really can change does not seem so farfetched.

I suspect as you take on this challenge that what you may have originally seen as difficult will, in fact, make your life simpler.  As it happens, Beth Terry over at “My Plastic-free Life” is taking a simple-living challenge that she just mentioned today.  Maybe go over there and see what that is all about.

It would be very easy for me to just say, “To hell with it, what does it matter?  How can one person make a difference against such insurmountable odds as the corrupt politicians and the corporations that dictate how we live our lives?”

But, I won’t.  I have some say in how I live my life.  Nobody said it was easy.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.




  1. I am going to post “Responsibility is not convenient – it’s necessary.” on my FB wall and give you the credit. That is a truly locally made T-shirt in the making.
    I have a T’shirt that reads as follows:
    “Vermont Fresh Network: Farm & Chef Partnerships”
    “Localicious: Vermont Fresh Network”

    Doesn’t that sound amazing? I have 4 of them somehow.
    Anyway. . .
    Made in: Dominican Republic


    • That’s my catch-phrase! Should I trademark it or what? I have a friend who silk screens — maybe I should get some t-shirts started.

      Anyway, thanks for reading.

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