Plastic Makes it Possible
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

September 18, 2012

I enter the supermarket and take a left; fruits and vegetables. I watched a documentary a couple weeks ago called “Bag It” in which Jeb Berrier discusses the growing concerns of plastic bags, packaging, and how most of it is indeed not recycled, but down cycled if that, and where it ends up ultimately.

Most of us have been exposed to the plastic issue before and have an idea about the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean for instance. I do see a growing number of cities banning the plastic bag and people taking their own bags to the stores in an effort to consume less; this always gives me hope. After watching the documentary though, as informed on the subject as I may have thought I was, I suddenly find myself trying to avoid plastic wherever possible, whenever possible, and at all costs. I thought I was a responsible individual successfully bring my own bag shopping 70% of the time, but I have found this is of course not enough.

I always appreciate a documentary that puts an important issue to the viewer and is backed by factual information, and often jaw dropping statistics. I also find many good documentaries go further to present an issue as a challenge to the public. Since we have created these problems, then we must certainly be capable of solving them. This is indeed a difficult truth in which I have an even more difficult time turning a blind eye towards. It is a challenge to me as an individual; I believe a challenge to our communities, and certainly to our way of life. Shopping prior to this event was easier as I now find myself more aware of packaging, especially that of single serving packing such as a juice box. Plastic is indeed everywhere! I desperately wanted a coffee this morning, but couldn’t bring myself to commit to a single serving plastic cup. I settled for water from my canteen instead.

As I move through the fruits of this supermarket, I use small bags I’ve saved and can reuse. I avoid vegetables that are wrapped in plastic as well as those mushrooms one sees on Styrofoam; one can get those as individuals in paper bags. This of course goes on. I find as a byproduct, I am eating healthier as a result of this new habit as those cookies I want to devour, unfortunately come wrapped in plastic as well. The local farmers market however on Thursdays, has been significantly helpful in avoiding plastic altogether.

It is an uphill challenge that has risen in a place where there was no hill before. If asked if I would prefer ignorance to the issue, I would say,

“Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s just not as exciting.”

I encourage you to follow the link and watch the trailer. The full documentary can be found on Netflixs or perhaps at your local video store. Another interesting site on current bans of plastic bags around the world can be found at Reuse This Bag. Find out the specifics regarding the plastic issue and accept the challenge.

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