Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Christmas Plasticking

So Christmas shopping is a challenge when you don't want to buy plastic. I will full-on admit that I stepped into Lindt chocolates yesterday and forgot all of my plastic-averse ways. I bought two bags of truffles, each individually wrapped in plastic. I know. Terrible! But SO delicious.

On the plus side, I really limited the number of bags I used and almost all were paper.

Today, I remembered to take my reusable shopping bag to the bookstore. It really helped with carrying the books home! And hopefully balanced out my intense plastic waste yesterday when my mom and I stopped for a shopping treat of Thai food in the mall food court....served up on plastic.

Having emerged from exams, I'm bracing for re-entry into the plastic-reductionist's world. I know that my own work in just a few months has touched other people - friends and roommates and even my parents - who now tell me about the plastic they are reducing. Even if these people (and, honestly, even if I) cannot fully eliminate plastic, being conscious and at least reducing is a step in the right direction.

I think my revised goal (based on the October intensity) will be 3 or fewer pieces of plastic per day. I know that's not likely to satisfy the plastic blogosphere, but I used to be a teacher, and we like to set attainable goals. If that starts to feel too easy, I can push it down. The one piece per day thing was not attainable for me without elimination of meat and dairy and somewhat unhealthy obsessions and feelings of guilt. I will try again at 3. Starting on January 1.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out from Under the Rock

I haven't posted in awhile, and there are a few reasons for that. First, I've been incredibly busy. It's the end of the semester, and apparently I have to actually write papers and stuff. Who knew? Plus my two jobs. Plus trying to find a real job for after graduation. It's a tricky time. Second, with the holidays, there have been lots of things to do besides go eat turkey and attend holiday festivities. And third, well, I haven't been doing a very good un-plastic job.

In part my plastic woes stem from reason #1 above. I know my plastic-blogging colleagues would be ashamed because the "I'm too busy" argument is their least favorite. I agree -- you make time for what you want to have time to do. However, there is a point after which I truly do have to decide between using the occasional plastic and finishing my work for school. School wins. I've decided to try again once I'm done with my exams. Maybe one day I'll be superhuman enough to do both at the same time, but for now I'm just taking it one day at a time.

On an unrelated note, I've been having quite an existential crisis lately. The more my friends get engaged, married, and become parents, the more my life choices become apparent. It's not that I don't respect the formation of families -- I do! -- and I hope to have one too one day. It's just that I'm so not there yet. I'm happy with where I am in life. It's just that the difference becomes more apparent when I really think about the reality of their life vs. the reality of mine. I wonder sometimes what it's like to let a tiny human be the center of your life. Although, I guess 50,000 small (and medium sized and almost grown) humans already are the center of mine (the students of DCPS).

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So, my plastic-free trial month ended last week. It went pretty well. I had a lot of plastic-free days. Most of my days involved just one or maybe two pieces. People ask me for my best stories from the month, but I feel like my stories weren't that exciting. I got into a rhythm and made good choices. Being plastic free requires just an ounce of planning ahead, a good bit of self-control, and a slightly larger bag to carry around the necessary tupperware, fork, and spoon that can pretty much get you out of any situation.

I will admit, I've been considering my options for the past week. While considering, I've let myself use more plastic. I went to Taco Bell and used their evil little tiny sauce packets. I picked up a piece of pie, encased as it was in plastic. It's tempting to just say, "This was a good experiment" and go back to living "normally." But then I'm reminded of Kerry and Erin's early posts about how we know, on some deep level, that easy, one-time use plastic is bad -- not just because of data and facts about fishies but also because of the way it makes us feel. It's a slippery slope from plastic-encased food to plastic choices, which was the original reason I got into this.

I've revised my goals. I'm going to limit my use to 2 or 3 pieces per day. This provides a little extra room because sometimes it's good to be able to buy meat or cheese. And because sometimes I still forget to ask for no straw. I'll be trying this for the rest of November and then I'll revisit my plan again. Maybe I'll find that this is too lenient and need to go back. I'll keep you posted.

I invite you to try yourself -- doesn't have to be a stark plastic diet, but try limiting just one form of plastic in your life. Let me know how it goes. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doin' ok

I'm doing pretty well this week. I've gotten much better about being firm regarding straws. Other than straws, plastic is pretty easy to avoid. I do really miss cheese. I searched the grocery store but found absolutely no cheese wrapped in anything but plastic. Couldn't we use foil? Paper?

This morning I found myself at Starbuck's without my trusty thermos. I had left it at work by accident. But coffee was a must, so I went ahead with a paper cup. I think the cups are coated by plastic, but that can just be my 1 piece for today. I adamantly requested NO LID, and they complied. All in all, it worked out.

Last night, I was out to dinner and found myself without tupperware for the leftovers. So the question -- leave the perfectly delicious taco for waste or borrow my friend Monica's dirty tupperware from lunch? I obviously took the second option. I think it'll be fine. She's pretty healthy.

In general, this week has been much better than last week, despite the fact that I've been getting meals with a number of friends in an attempt to balance the work and the life. I'm not always successful at the crazy balancing act, but I've really enjoyed my social outings this week.

All in all, I think the plastic-free thing just takes planning and practice.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Plastic Plastic Everywhere

I've been a little out of touch this week. As my friends at can attest, that sometimes means you've been overusing plastic.

It started out well. Tuesday was a one-piece of plastic day. Wednesday was a plastic-free day. Then Thursday hit. Out at a restaurant, I definitely got some dirty looks from the wait staff when I requested no straws. I was only partially successful in avoiding them. Friday, I indulged myself and got some buffalo sauce with a sandwich from, dare I say it, Burger King. That comes in plastic. "It's ok," I told myself. "It's just my one piece for the day." But then I went to an Obama fundraiser and ordered some nachos. They came with the guacamole and sour cream in separate plastic cups. Who knew? I didn't even think to ask for no plastic on my food. Oops. Then I met a friend at Good Eats (see previous post) and although I carefully selected plastic-free options, she picked up extra plasticware for me. Plus, even though we were eating in, they put our food in a plastic bag! I was confused because they had trays but for some reason gave us a bag. So, yikes, six pieces of plastic in just one day?! Ugh.

I went apple/pumpkin picking yesterday -- quality from-the-farm delicious apples! Seriously, these things are so sweet and tasty. When I got home I was so tired that a nap turned into an all-night-sleep. Unfortunately, I'd gotten some of my precious pre-Plastic-Diet chicken out to thaw but never woke up to my nap alarm. $10 worth of chicken and some plastic wasted. I was sad.

Things are looking up, though. I feel newly committed to the cause. I even went grocery shopping tonight and mostly avoided plastic. The only pieces of plastic I picked up were: lids on a box of walnuts and a box of cous cous and a little plastic around the edge of my oatmeal box. I basically just buy canned food and fresh produce on this Plastic Diet which leads to some pretty healthy meals. I'm pumped for the asparagus soup that I'm planning for tomorrow.

At the farm yesterday, they had plastic bags for the apples. I'd left in a hurry and hadn't grabbed a reusable bag from home but fortunately they had some reusable ones for sale there with the following Plastic Diet inspiration attached:

*14 plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car a mile
*380 BILLION plastic bags or wraps are thrown away in America each year
*Cities spend up to 17 cents per bag in disposal costs, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars


Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend in Plastic World

So, it's been a rough few days.

On Friday I forgot my fork and had to use plastic to eat my lunch. I thought I had a real fork with me, but I must have taken it out to wash it and forgotten to put it back in my bag. I managed to get through a happy hour with no unnecessary plastic, although I did collect some dirty looks from the bewildered staff. Later, I went out to dinner with my parents. Before we'd even ordered, I went to the restroom and when I returned there was a glass of water with an unwelcome plastic straw in it. I guess I need a sign that says "NO PLASTIC, PLEASE" to leave behind when I step away from the table.

On Saturday I managed to get through dinner ok but I definitely acquired at least one straw later on when I went out with some friends. All in all it could have been worse, but it could also have been better.

Sunday went a little better. I even realized that you can still eat crap food and avoid plastic -- I had a great emergency meal (left the house, realized I'd forgotten to eat, had little time, wouldn't be home for hours) at McDonald's without the use of plastic. They've really come a long way in using paper products instead of plastic.

Being plastic-free is so much easier when I stay home. But that's no fun! I will just have to be more assertive. And possibly make that sign....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yay for Potbelly's and Chipotle

Tonight I stopped for one of my favorite treats -- a Potbelly's Chicken Salad sandwich. I don't even have to cut this delight out of my life -- it comes wrapped in paper and placed in a paper bag. As long as I steer clear of the potato chips and cookies (which come in plastic bags), I'm safe! Yippee! Plus those "sides/desserts" aren't very good for me, so this is just one more reason to choose health.

As I was contemplating the beauty that is a sandwich wrapped in paper, I thought of Chipotle and it's burritos wrapped in foil. Also an excellent choice. Totally recycleable and plastic-free!

At least this Plastic Diet won't force me to give up on those delicious treats!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blender Needed

So, I need a blender. Those of you who know me, know how much I love hummus. Sadly, the last of my plastic-wrapped hummus got prematurely trashed in a refrigerator purge. In any event, it'd probably be gone by now. Last night I attempted to make my own by smashing chickpeas with a fork. I added olive oil and some spices, but this is what I ended up with:Yikes. Not quite Cedar's:
I'm pretty sure that this is nothing a blender/food processor and a good recipe can't cure. Speaking of which, if you have a good recipe for hummus, PLEASE send it my way!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Third Day is NOT a Charm

So, Friday was a little rough. It all started when I was at a breakfast meeting and ordered some coffee. Given that it was a regular restaurant with "dishwasher cups," and given that it was early in the morning when my brain works significantly less well, I didn't remember to ask for "no plastic, please!" They brought my coffee with a plastic stirrer in it! 8:30 and I already had acquired plastic.

Later, I went to a meeting with some of my new team members. They offered me coffee and I thought it only polite to accept. Sadly, accepting brought with it a styrofoam cup.

Later, I went to Good Stuff Eatery with my old team from work. By the way, that place is AMAZING! It's the restaurant that Spike from Top Chef opened in DC -- it's at 3rd and Penn. It really is great. Anyway, I think I avoided plastic, but not without giving up a delicious milkshake. Sad. I even chose a beverage in a glass bottle so as to avoid the plastic-coated fountain drink cups. I think the turkey burger was wrapped in waxed paper -- it didn't seem too plastic-y. Here's hoping.

All in all, a tough day. It's really all about eating out -- restaurants are dangerous!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 2 and the Livin is Good

Today went pretty well. I went to the grocery store to get some food/drinks for watching the VP debate. I chose 1 piece of plastic - a bag of Tostitos - but that's it. I tried to get the kind that's mostly paper with just a tiny plastic window, but they didn't have any at Giant. Sadly, I had to buy the entire large plastic bag. I carefully avoided beverages with any plastic, though (even soda cans have plastic attaching each 6 pack). I also needed a new glass bottle (I've taken to adopting this over plastic Nalgenes) because the lid to my old iced tea bottle got lost. I chose Lipton instead of Nestea because they had no plastic seal around the edge (even though I think Nestea is tastier).

I've been staying close to home and hence have had no serious plastic incidents. I worry about tomorrow when I MUST eat 2 meals out. Maybe I'll have better stories then!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Read My Lips: No New Plastic!

So, Day 1 went pretty well. I cooked at home which made being plastic-free a lot easier. I think this plastic challenge will force me to cook more, which is objectively good. I even found a metal pen for class. I've also decided on a clarification of the rules: Plastic usage accrues to the day the non-reusable plastic is purchased. This is because I should use the plastic I already have -- it doesn't help the world for me not to use stuff I already have.

Plastic-Free is the Way to Be!

It's October 1st. That means that as of now, I only get to use one piece of new plastic per day. Modeled off of Kerry and Erin's rules, here's the game plan:

1. Use only one piece of non-reusable plastic/day for the month of October.
2. ANYTHING that is not reusable counts. A straw I didn't ask for (or asked not to have) counts. EXCEPT:
a) Medical Plastic. This includes Band-Aids, vials and tubing for injections, anything they decide to use on me in a doctor's office or hospital, and containers of prescriptions or vitamins.
b) Plastic I cannot see and legitimately do not believe to be part of a product before purchasing an item. See the entry on Kerry and Erin's blog about plastic IN one of their meals.
3. I will keep all non-reusable plastic until the end of the month. I will then recycle what is recycleable.
4. I reserve the right to revert to plastic abuse on November 1. We'll see how it goes. I may also modify my plastic diet to general mindfulness or to 2 or 3 items to make it more sustainable past October.

Watch here for stories of my trials and triumphs! Down with wasteful plastic!!

Plastic Binge

Ok, so I went on a last-minute plastic binge. I stocked up on some of the things that are going to be a real challenge for me, such as:
*gum (the cardboard is ok but the outer plastic wrap is a killer)
*paper towels and tissues (not sure what to do without these...I think from time to time I'll just have to buy them, though I can reduce my usage by using rags and handkerchiefs)
*shampoo (I know about the bar shampoo/conditioner at Lush, but I'm apprehensive)
*plastic pens (though I still have to find some non-plastic to write with tomorrow in class since my prof. banned plastic)
*Lean Pockets

Yesterday I had a last meal in the food court at Union Station. I LOVE the Indian food there. I wonder if they'd let me bring my own reusable plate...I may try it one of these days.

On the bright side, I refused a straw at dinner and carried my leftovers home wrapped in a napkin! I'm going to be ok!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Writing Utensils

Tonight I started preaching the gospel of un-plastic in my Fiscal Federalism class (which, by the way, is amazing -- if you go to GWU, you should definitely take it!! or anything Prof. Brunori teaches). The result? My professor banned plastic henceforth in class. This is great! Except, now I don't know what to write with...

Last weekend I saw some feather pens at Glen Echo park. Looks like fun, but the ink might be messy. I'll have to see if I can find a good metal pen somewhere. Or perhaps a pencil. But pencils have plastic erasers and require sharpeners, many of which are themselves plastic. Anybody have advice on un-plastic writing utensils?

Monday, September 22, 2008


I went to the grocery store tonight. It was an odd mix of stocking up on plastic before I go plastic-free and feeling motivated to try to avoid plastic.

Plus side:
*I got lots of canned food. It's amazing how much good stuff you can make out of things that come in cans.
* Salsa, one of my favorite foods, comes in glass jars. Without any plastic around the edge! (Why, oh why, can't hummus come in glass jars too?!)
*I took my own bags and my grocery cart. Giant actually gives you back 5 cents for each bag you DON'T use. That was nice! Plus I had a good conversation at the check-out about my attempts to reduce plastic use.
*I almost got a big bottle of olive oil in a plastic jar, but at the last minute I caught myself and switched it for a glass jar.
*I didn't use any new plastic bags for my produce.
*I enacted my lettuce plan by buying a whole head of lettuce, taking it home, washing it, tearing it up and storing it! Just like bagged lettuce but plastic free! My salad felt so much better knowing that it didn't come from a bag. Plus it tasted crisper.
*I found flavored rice in cardboard boxes. Very exciting! I used to always buy it in the plastic pouches.
*I bought cous cous that came in a cardboard box instead of in a plastic container. Except it's a LOT more expensive that way. But they were out of the plastic ones anyway, so my decision was pretty easy.
*I got the larger jar of cumin because it came in a glass jar instead of the cheaper, smaller (not even recyclable!) plastic jar.

Minus side:
*I caved and bought one last box of Swiffer wet cleaning pads. Not only made of plastic, but encased in hard, never-going-to-biodegrade plastic!
*I got some yogurt. I am going to miss yogurt. Although, I will say that it's pretty cool that they've stopped putting that extra plastic cap on top of the foil. Maybe if I just get a big thing of yogurt once in awhile it will be ok, because I can totally reuse those as tupperware!
*I got popsicles. I am really going to miss popsicles. I guess I could make them myself but they won't be as good. And it will be hard to make them only have 15 calories. On the plus side, ice cream sandwiches seem plastic-free. They come in cardboard and are wrapped in paper.
*I got meat. Ground turkey for my yummy soup and chicken to stock up on for when I'm not supposed to buy plastic. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get meat without plastic. I'm not sure I want meat without plastic. But I definitely can't get it even if I want it.

Convention Catastrophe

I went to the ICMA conference today in Richmond for my "Managing State and Local Governments" class. (ICMA, for the uninitiated in public policy world, is the International City/County Managers Association.) It was informative and fun...and a plastic MINEFIELD! Without even meaning to, I had 2 beverages in plastic containers. I brought them home to be sure I recycle them, but OOPS! I forgot my trusty water bottle, and it was all down hill from there. See the wreckage here:

I picked up a number of glossy brochures from vendors -- doubtless paper products slathered with plastic. I got a whole bunch of cool Census Bureau info, mostly on CD/DVDs and encased in, you guessed it, plastic. Although, at least the 2008 Statistical Abstract of the US was in a paper case. I picked up some stress balls (or school buses, worlds, road blocks...they really are creative!) that are without a doubt made of plastic. I do intend to use them to relieve my (often significant) stress, but I'm sure I could come up with a less plasticy way to relieve stress.

I haven't officially started the Plastic Diet yet, but it's on my mind every day.

I'm off to the grocery store now, and I'm already scared. Nothing but plastic in there!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lettuce Spinner

My most exciting birthday present was, oddly enough, a lettuce spinner. Granted, it is plastic (please hold your reactions). However, it will save lots of plastic use in the future and prevent me from using those plastic bags that fly away to the swirly Pacific Ocean mess.

My lettuce spinner: The Backstory.

I acquired a lettuce spinner because I will sorely miss my bagged lettuce on the plastic diet. I know it's not good for the world, and it's totally more expensive, but I'm more likely to eat salad if I buy lettuce in a bag. In my attempt to pre-plan for this mission, I decided that a lettuce spinner could help the cause. I will get heads of lettuce (no plastic there, just maybe a metal twist-tie), wash it, break it up, and store it in my own reusable container. That way salads will be easy but I won't be using the evil bagged lettuce. Yay for reusable plastic purchased in the service of averting future plastic!

Plastic Pets

Today I realized how hard it is to have pets without plastic.

I took a trip to the pet store because my cats have been clawing my chairs lately, and I figured one reason might be because their clawing post is kitten-sized. I got them a new clawing post -- which has carpet (undoubtedly partially plastic) and was wrapped in plastic tape (but only a short piece) with a paper/plastic tag for price.

While I was there, I picked up a giant tub of cat litter. Sadly, the big boxes come in plastic. Smaller ones are cardboard with a small plastic handle. But the big ones are plastic. Hard plastic. Ugh. Maybe if I take it back to the store next time and fill it up with litter, I can consider that reuse (they sell litter without a box, but it's not the kind I like...).

I also got a jar of litter deodorizer. Sadly, this came in a plastic jar. Why can't it be glass? I'm sure I could use baking soda and essential oils, but this lavender-scented litter deodorizer really helps.

Finally, I got them some cat toys. Two little tennis balls full of catnip, to be exact. I'm sure the rubber balls involve some kind of plastic. But worst of all, they were wrapped in plastic! ugh! On the bright side, my cats' favorite toys are t-shirts that I cut up into long strips that they can chase like strings. That's a cotton-based toy sure to please!

I hope that I will be able to provide for my felines in my life post-plastic!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Yummy Burrito...No Plastic!

On my way home from class today, I stopped at Baja Fresh to quell a grilled veggie burrito craving. I managed to avoid plastic even while enjoying this tasty treat! I think this was good practice for next month when I dive full force into the Plastic Diet.

I poured salsa (lots of it! I like it spicy!) directly on the burrito, avoiding those little plastic cups and their evil companions, the little plastic lids. I almost picked up a plastic fork and knife, but fortunately I had my bag from lunch with me, complete with the real fork and spoon I'd taken to work. Mission accomplished! 1 yummy burrito, 0 pieces of plastic. I did need 4 napkins because I made such a mess pouring the salsa straight on the burrito, so if you have to weigh the paper vs. plastic thing...I don't have a complete analysis. But paper biodegrades and is renewable and, well, plastic just isn't. Yay for a successful plastic-free meal. This is giving me hope.

Un-plastic Choices

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today about the differences between NYC and DC. While she advocated for the "honesty" that NYC folks have about a desire to make money, I have to say I'm on board with the public service inherent in DC life.

I do seek to have a mission-based life. I'm not 100% altruistic; I volunteered for 1 year, not my entire life, and I'm sure I'll need money to raise a family one day. But I do need my life to involve service, and I'm happiest when my job integrates that too.

Keeping this in mind will help me avoid plastic actions.

Plastic in Daily Life

I've been observing plastic for several weeks now. I'm feeling pretty scared of the Plastic Diet challenge. I think I'm going to try for October - and I'll just try to make it through that month on the "one piece a day" to see how it goes. Not quite as hard core as Kerry and Erin, but it's a start.

Anyway, today I noticed a couple of things:
1. Subway has plastic straws wrapped in plastic! Most places at least cover their hopelessly non-eco-friendly plastic straws in happy biodegradeable paper.

2. Classico tomato sauce has no extra plastic around the edge of its jar! Yay Classico! I still heard the pop and the lid popped up, so I know the canning process did its job, but it wasted no extra plastic! Yippee! Though I'm concerned about how to eat pasta on the Plastic Diet. Most pasta has that little plastic window or comes in a plastic bag to decrease total packaging. I'm going to have to look into this.

The grocery store is an incredibly scary place for a Plastic Dieter!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


One of the main things that considering the "Plastic Diet" brings up is food. How will I eat if I take the dive into the anti-plastic? This raises some seeming contradictions:

1. I have found that I am more likely to eat "healthy" food when I buy it packaged in a way that is conducive to my busy lifestyle. For example, I eat a lot more salad when I buy lettuce in a plastic bag. I choose a quick snack of cheese instead of a sugary cookie or fruit when I have yummy string cheese wrapped in, yes, plastic.

2. Food that arrives in easy-to-use packaging is usually shipped in from somewhere not local at all. That's actually less healthy.

Is it better to choose lettuce over not-lettuce if the price is plastic and shipped in from far away? I'm really not sure what the right answer is here. It's hard to be pumped about cooking when I roll home at 9:30 pm after a hard day. I've spent a lot of time trying to optimize for healthy, easy, quick solutions (like the aforementioned salad in a bag) but most of them involve plastic.

Maybe the answer involves being disciplined with buying plastic-free lettuce (no plastic bag of course!) and then washing it and storing it in a reusable container. If I do that as soon as I get home from the grocery store, it would be almost as convenient as bagged lettuce. Hmm. Now I really need a salad spinner -- but aren't those made out of plastic? Anyone know where I could get a non-plastic salad spinner?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Recently, I've become obsessed with my friend Kerry's blog. A few months ago she decided to start a crusade to dramatically reduce her plastic usage. Armed with a "plastic diet" buddy, Kerry limits her new plastic to one piece per day - as small as a stir in a drink or as large as piece of bubble wrap. She reuses plastic bags, carries her own containers everywhere, and makes intentional choices that allow for a plastic-free life -- including concocting her own deodorant and laundry detergent to avoid the plastic containers those items usually come in and choosing a piece of fruit over a cookie if the cookie comes wrapped up in plastic.

At first it seems a little extreme, but the arguments against plastic are really compelling. Those arguments include the facts that we waste fossil fuels on creating and transporting plastic and have produced a GIANT (twice the size of Texas!) swirling plastic garbage dump in the Pacific Ocean that is killing wildlife. Her trials and triumphs are on display at Awesome blog.

The plastic blog has gotten me thinking, not just about my own plastic consumption but about consumption in general. In a bigger sense, I want to rid myself not just of excessive physical plastic use but also of "plastic decisions" in life. I've decided that I need to refocus on voluntary simplicity, a concept that was once very important to me but has drifted on my list of priorities. And I could use a forum for working out assorted priorities...hence this blog.

Background: My first year out of college, I did a volunteer service program. One of the central elements of the program was voluntary simplicity. In part, we lived this out by earning $100/mo. (plus free room in an old convent and a food budget of $15/person/week). Even more importantly than the material simplicity, we intentionally made choices about how we spent our time and what we focused on. It was the intentionality that I most remember -- really choosing those things that were imporant and working forward. It involves accepting a lot of responsibility for life.

It's not that I don't have priorities anymore. It's just that much energy and prioritization has focused on my work in the years since my "simple" life. By solving for the ways to be most "productive" I have definitely accepted American on-the-go disposable plastic solutions to a lot of problems from food to entertainment. I find that I am not as intentional with life as I used to be, not always fully considering the global implications of my actions, whether it's picking up breakfast at Au Bon Pain in a plastic bag I don't really need or spending time with people that don't nourish my soul. For the love of all that is balanced and good for the earth, I really need to reexamine.

The thing about prioritizing is that some items have to end up on the middle or the bottom of the list. I'm still young (and single!) enough that it makes sense to expend the greatest amount of energy finding and investing in satisfying work. But that is not an excuse to eat unhealthy to-go food wrapped in unnecessary plastic on a regular basis!

I'm going to start like Kerry and Erin did by just noticing the plastic in my life. I'm also going to notice the situations I've created, intentionally or unintentionally, that don't follow my actual internal priorities -- let's call that active plastic. Here's to a less plastic life!