Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holidays, Choices, and an Attitude of less-Plastitude

Happy New Year!

I won't say that I made any "new" plastic resolutions, since my relationship with plastic has been evolving. Having survived exams, I've gone back to attempting to limit my plastic to 3 items of non-reusable stuff per day. I admire the 1-a-day users, but I found that it was so extreme as to be depressing, and I felt constantly guilty. But I will continue to moderate my usage with the hopes of decreasing it back down to 1-a-day at some point.

Still, I win some and I lose some. Today, for example, I haven't used any plastic at all yet! I managed to make a good choice and quell the urge to go to Taco Bell, where sauce packets and forks are made of plastic. Although, I'm planning a trip to the grocery store that will probably require the purchase of at least a little plastic. Last night, I used a truly unacceptable number of little plastic straws. Oops. But I keep trying.

I found that the holidays were a time of plastic victory. I took my plasti-phobia with me to the Midwest, where I celebrated Christmas in my dad's hometown of Canton, OH. My relatives didn't seem too annoyed with my campaign to use real dishwasher dishes instead of the plastic alternatives. I tried to do extra dishes to moderate the work it creates. And my cousin Sherri even used a canvas bag instead of plastic to carry food! It's amazing how interested people get when you explain how really really horrible plastic is for the world. I find the petroleum argument ever more useful in this time of oil-craziness.

Here is a picture of a big stack of beautiful dishwasher plates:

On a less happy note, today I took drycleaning for the first time since I started my plastic awareness. I don't wear a lot of dry-clean-only clothes, and I tend to store them up for awhile before dropping off. Anyway, I tried to convince them to take my bag and use it to cover the clothes instead of putting one of their plastic sheaths on it, but it was no use. I tried all of my best arguments but they fell on deaf ears. I could probably try the really expensive dry cleaner down the street, but I don't think I can afford her. Does anyone know of a plastic-free dry cleaner in DC? Preferrably one that a grad student can afford?

May 2009 be filled with plastic-free days and plastic-free decisions.

1 comment:

FreshlyUrban said...

Wow, I'm impressed you took the no-plastic fight to the midwest. I'm from Kansas and have hilarious conversations with my mom where I do thing like explain what organic food is...she tries. The rest of my family basically think I'm nuts but I digress....

I know of an organic dry cleaner but it's in Silver Spring--I think if you go to any less conventional dry cleaners you'll easily be able to get them to go bag-free.