I write and then I schedule. So, I might write something and have it automatically set to post on a certain day/time. This post was scheduled (or so I thought) for April 13th, so it might seem a little off now. However, I still thought I would share this since there’s still a few relevant days left.
I came across a challenge leading up to Earth Day. The challenge asks that you go plastic free for an entire week (April 14 – April 20). There are 6 total steps to the challenge and you can read more about it here.
Given the toxicity of plastic, I think this is a great idea and it also benefits the earth/our environment. However, as I tweeted last week, OMG plastic is in EVERYTHING. So, I couldn’t sleep the other night and instead I mentally reviewed my daily plastic ‘consumption’ given an average day. Here is what I think it involves:
1. Wake up around 6AM. Brush teeth with a toothebrush made out of plastic (I’m assuming) and squeeze my toothepaste out of a tube with some plastic packaging. Wow, I’m off to a great start!
2. Walk my dog. Unlike some of the people in our neighborhood, we actually pick up our dog’s poop. And what do we use to pick it up? A plastic bag. If anyone can offer alternatives, I’m all ears.
3. Come back from walking the dog and pour myself a cup of coffee. The coffee grinds come packaged in plastic. Add some milk to my coffee from a plastic milk jug.
4. Jump in the shower. On a typical day, I use shampoo, conditioner, face wash and body wash. All of these products are packaged in plastic. After the shower, there’s face lotion and body lotion – again packaged in plastic. Wow, it is about 7AM and look how much plastic I’ve used.
5. Get dressed. Most likely the buttons on my pants and/or sweater are made of plastic. Same if I’m wearing a jacket.
6. Grab lunch bag. Usually, there a plastic tupperware container housing my salad for lunch. I have been meaning to switch my tupperware to glass containers. However, even the glass containers have plastic lids! Sometimes, I might have yogurt for breakfast – which comes in a plastic cup/container. If I happen to grab a granola bar – woah, more plastic wrappers! Hmmm…
7. Drive to work. I’m pretty sure that there is a lot of plastic in my car. I just don’t want to analyze it all. Even if I could ride my bike to work, wouldn’t my bike helmut be made from some sort of plastic material? As you can see, I am making a lot of assumptions regarding the composite makeup of these items/products. Further analysis might reveal that I’m way off, but I don’t have time for that!
8. Arrive at work around 8:30 AM. Looking at my work desk, I am fairly confident that not too much plasic is in use. Perhaps the tape dispenser and my phone are of plastic material? Oh and I do have some binders, file folder holders and maybe the outer material of my computer is plastic?
9. Work, work, work – all day long. I’m sure that there are countless items that I use or come into contact with during a normal work that contain plastic. For example, when I wash my hands after using the restroom, I pretty certain that the soap comes out of a plastic soap dispenser. Some of my paper clips are plastic and not metal.
10. Work out after work! If I’m taking my workout indoors, it might involve using a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, free weights, circuit weight machines, bosu ball, etc. Plastic, plastic, plastic!
Okay, I have basically gone through my daily agenda from 6am until 7pm. I am not going any further because clearly I have come into contact and used way too much plastic. And I’m sure I am missing quite a few items. So, I’m confused about how to go about a challenge like this and weigh the plastic I used? I plan to look up the hastag #plasticsucks on Twitter and see how others are approaching this challenge. Has anyone else attempted to cut back on plastics? Also, I’m serious about the question I posed in point #2…