As some of you know I am reading Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry. Although I haven’t finished reading the book, I have already decided to start eliminating my plastic consumption as much as possible. I am still in the midst of collecting one week of disposable plastic trash that I consumed. This experiment will allow me to see exactly where my disposable plastic trash is coming from and consciously make new decisions based on my discoveries.
Beth Terry states that the average American generates between 88-120 pounds of plastic waste annually. She also states that recycling plastic is actually “downcycling” both helpful and harmful. Not all plastic is recyclable and much of the plastic that we think we are recycling actually goes into landfills.
I recently learned that the “recycling” symbol (SPI Resin Codes) on the bottom of plastic containers which contains a number only shows what type of plastic that the container is, not that it is recyclable.
From what I’m learning it seems as if only plastic with the SPI Resin Codes 1 and 2 are easily recyclable although there are some centers dedicated to recycling SPI Resin Codes 5. I’ve said before in this article that the true definition of a minimalist lifestyle is what serves you in the most effective and essential way which I believe also includes low environmental impact. What we do daily does effect the environment.
It is not enough to just know about global warming, plastic ocean pollution, sweatshops, and that we have an environmental carbon footprint. At some point it would only make sense to learn more about how the choices that we make every day effect our lives, the next generation, and the planet.
Buying organic locally grown food, shopping vintage and thrift stores, making your own toxic free cosmetics and household cleaners, using henna, cassia, and indigo to dye and condition your hair, as well as living a minimalist lifestyle are all glamorously green ways to live your life. So what’s wrong with plastic? Plastic is extremely toxic to create and it’s entire lifespan pollutes our lives and environment. Plastic is one of those amazing inventions that has gone overboard. It is a part of our every day appliances and electronics, yet excessively used for one time use needs to package convenience foods, drink bottles, supplements, cosmetics, packing supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.
Using plastic for one time use products produces more waste than our environment or recycling centers can handle even if you try to reuse some of them.
Plastic never goes “away” and can not biodegrade. For example nothing can really be done with the plastic wrapping around the fresh flowers in most grocery stores. I am learning so much reading Plastic Free! Just as I’ve been sharing my experience decluttering my home to live a minimalist lifestyle, I will also share my experience to reach a new goal of living a plastic free lifestyle.
Minimalism was the beginning environmentalism is up next!
(Image by stateofkerala.in)