J.B. Iler wrote:Thank you to everyone.
I think a huge benefit of the challenge of going plastic free is seeing the ubiquity of plastic so we can start dealing with it. I agree that using plastic that's here is necessary and ideal.
If problem solving is our focus, identifying the problems first will help. These are my thoughts:
1. Making more new plastic is a problem.
2. Plastic disposal is a problem.
3. Plastic recycling and reuse is not done well yet.
If we further break the problems down into more manageable issues, then we can identify how we can improve. Many approaches with varying impacts! Personal changes are great but big problems call for bigger solutions.
What would you say are the problems?
I think you have outlined the problems well! I also think that like everything else out there, solving the problems starts with individual consumers. If we stop using/purchasing products with plastic, the manufacturers will get the hint and we'll see less virgin plastics and/or more comprehensive recycle programs. Unfortunately, there's not the ground swell of people demanding less plastic as of yet. We all know the problem....but on top of the non-availability for alternatives, it's inconvenient to do anything about it for most people.
I'm a BIG believer in leading by example. Whether they say it or not, people notice things. I get comments/compliments all the time on my grocery bags (I sewed them myself out of scrap fabrics I had) and I tell folks how awesome they are. My neighbors have wondered why we don't set out our trash cans or recycle bins but once every couple of weeks. This isn't part of the discussion, but the way we maintain our yard/gardens (which are pretty darn lush) gets a lot of inquiries from our neighbors and I tell them that we don't use chemicals...hmmm...i guess that COULD be part of this discussion as a lot of the chemicals come in plastic...okay, cool...back on track. 8 )
We are planting seeds all the time.....but sometimes the germination isn't as high as we want it to be. However, I believe the seeds that do flourish will grow and spread.
For all of us trying to make a difference, we will keep at it. When someone notices how wonderful something we've done is, we quietly explain. I always add in my cost savings and how much better things are (i.e. nice to know I'm helping the environment, I have more energy to get through my day, my skin feels better, we get more flowers/birds/butterflies, etc). People want to know what's in it for them here, right now....just like the manufacturers and recycling programs.
LOVE this conversation! Thank you for starting it! 8 )