Monday, June 8, 2009

Take the Plastic Challenge

Litter is a problem in many countries, and Haiti is no exception. There’s little waste management infrastructure in our area, and often the best you can do is sweep your trash (plastic, metal, paper, whatever) into a small pile and burn it. As you can imagine, this presents its own challenges. A better strategy here is to either recycle your own consumer byproducts (using cans and bottles as planting containers, refilling the same bag of flour in the market) or avoiding waste altogether (choosing a refillable glass soda bottle over a plastic one). I know trash management is a large and complex issue, but becoming aware of how much we participate in the problem is an important step in finding a creative solution.

We were talking about this with a few of our fellow MCCers, and decided to step it up a notch. The challenge is simple:

No new plastic for one month.

No wrappers, no bottles, no lids. No see-through windows in cardboard boxes. No plastic buttons on clothing. No new flip-flops. I don’t even know if this will be possible, but trying will at least help us become aware of how much plastic we have in our day-to-day lives.

Why plastic? Even those advertised as “biodegradable” often don’t break down for decades, making our temporary containers a rather permanent part of our environment. Anybody for a vacation to the Pacific Trash Vortex?

Since I assume you’re all already doing things like foregoing Styrofoam, recycling, and using cloth shopping bags, I invite you to participate in No-Plastic June. You can keep the plastic you already have around the house, but don't purchase any new plastic for one month.

Then tell us about it! We’ll be posting here about our attempts to be plastic-free, so please feel free to leave comments about your own challenges and successes.

(text by Sharon T)

1 comment:

Jessica Thommarson said...

i heard an interview with a lady on npr last year who was trying to live permanently plastic-free. she got to the point where she had to make her own bed sheets b/c apparently you can't buy them anywhere without some kind of plastic wrap around them. just goes to show how much we DON'T realize that plastic is everywhere.

(i hate litter, but i haven't gotten to the i hate plastic part of my life yet - but i love you guys and i think it's awesome you're trying to go plastic-free for a month!)


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