We’re reading aloud this week from “The Ear, the Eye and the Arm” by Nancy Farmer, set in Zimbabwe in 2194, a hundred years after plastic has been banned. Down-and-out miners live in old toxic landfill sites, burrowing down to excavate plastic cups and vinyl duckies.

This book, and several other topical discussions, articles and DVDs we’ve experienced lately, has led us to start thinking anew about deplasticking our lives. This can easily seem overwhelming. For instance, we know that if we grow more of our own food, we won’t have to buy as much in plastic bags and bottles. But to water our plants we need a hose — made of vinyl — and a hose fitting, packaged in plastic. Everything seems to lead to plastic.

But progress is progress, so I’m going to try to focus on one or two new things a week where we can make small bits of progress. This week it’s sprouts. I’m making an effort to keep growing sprouts regularly, rather than buying them in plastic clamshell containers. I order organic sprouting seed from Mumm’s every year or two. This year I’ll order extra large sizes to avoid even the little bit of plastic in the smaller ziploc pouches. In the photo is my current batch of China Red Radish sprouts, happily growing in a canning jar on a kitchen ledge.


4 thoughts on “Deplasticking

  • June 11, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Wow! Very interesting–I might have to pick up that book!

    Plastics have bothered me for some time now, and I do try to get away with as little plastic as I can…but it is not easy in today’s world.

    I was never so happy as when I read that San Franscisco banned plastic shopping bags! I hope other big cities follow suit and then the rest of us. Me I send mine to recycling as often as I can…but not often enough (the kids use them to line their bedroom and bathroom trash cans.)

  • June 11, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks Brit, I’ve heard great things about the Klean Kanteens. If we ever need canteens in the future we’ll look at buying some of those.

  • June 16, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation. Plastic is a pet peeve of mine, yet in this day and age avoiding it feels nearly impossible.

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