A blog post by library Eco-champion Dave
Raise your hand if you have grown up with plastic, e.g., Lego, IKEA tables, Styrofoam coffee cups and the like. This material is gradually replacing cardboard, wood, metal, glass, ceramic, natural fibres, etc. It’s even in chewing gum! Do you ever give it a second thought? Could you imagine living without it? One woman has and did, and writes about this iconoclastic stance in her new book: Plastic-free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too.
Beth Terry was a carefree plastic consumer until she learned about No Impact Man and saw what it can do to wildlife. Now she had a goal, started a blog and wrote this book. It gives you the lowdown on plastic: what’s in it, and the harm it can do—in short, why you might want to limit your use of it.
Plastic is a durable material, but is so often used for short term applications: It’s made to last forever but designed to be thrown away. (In effect, it’s overqualified). It is inexpensive but hard to recycle or compost, and so ends up buried in landfills or collecting elsewhere, like in the oceans.
The author’s big beef is with single-use plastic (not durable goods) but she does show how you can remove plastic from every part of your life.
This is a positive primer on how to live more sustainably. The author looks at plastic and asks, given the downside, how can we do without, or how can we do better. She also profiles other inspiring individuals who are also doing their bit for the common good.
Terry includes chapters on the major offenders, including plastic bags, food containers and beverage bottles. She gives the straight goods on recycling (it’s the last and least of the 3 Rs). There is information on natural fabrics, growing your own food, and saving money by making your own cleaners. Part of the problem is consumerism. The less you buy, the less packaging you have to deal with.
And, if the reader is overwhelmed by the scope of the problem, there is a chapter with advice to help you cope.
This is a book to inform, inspire and incite for every level of organic enthusiasm. Reading this book might add another R to your vocabulary: R for Refusing single use plastic!
Also check out the No Impact Man book and DVD at the library.