Sunday, September 28, 2008

The dialectics of the plastic diet.

There are certain things I will not budge on, say, using throwaway plastic utensils. If caught without my own metal utensils I'll use my fingers. And then there are others that I will budge on, say, buying these local extremely delicious pistachios that only come in plastic ziplock bags(!), see:

At least the ziplock bags are reusable...and the justifying begins.
This is where the dialectics comes in. How do I make my decisions....what's the process....? Kerry and I made the rules that we play by, and continue to make them as we go along, so there is not real set process. Really this is a very personal process, the process of deciding what plastic I will not allow in my life and what plastic I can justify--all under the overarching umbrella of no new plastic/one piece of plastic a day. Which is where the dialectics comes in, i.e. point, counter-point, synthesis of points, constantly going on in my head around plastic.

So, today for example: I went to my local Farmer's Market and walked away plastic free. Then I had to drive by a different farmer's market on my way to a fall festival and knew I could get my beloved pistachios at that FM, but I also knew that my buying these pistachios would involve plastic. I bought two bag! I don't get to that FM very often, and they are good pistachios(!) and they are local. So, I justified this in my head. Now, on to the fall festival. It was hot today over 90 out in the desert where the festival was (not particularly fall-like but whatever) so I got thirsty... Well, I had my trusty collapsible cup, ta-da, but none of the vendors would let me use my own cup to buy their ice-tea or smoothie in. "Health code violation" something or another, they weren't budging. I searched for a water fountain to fill my depleted Sigg to no avail. I was ready to go thirsty because I would not use a disposable plastic cup-and yet just earlier I bought not one, but two bags of pistachios in plastic without any real guilt...hum. Finally, I saw some kids filling styrofoam cups of water at one of the vendor stands and I knew that as an adult I could get them to give me water--they wouldn't question me. So I filled my water bottle surreptitiously, health code violation and all. But sales of cold drinks were lost on me.
It just gets me wondering though, about some of my choices, and how non-straight forward this plastic reductionist life is sometimes. It would be more straight forward if I just lied to you and said I only use one piece a day and that I put my foot down on all new plastic (period). But let's face it I'm human and so this process is human too, and somedays it's just weird.


plasticfreenyc said...

thanks for your honesty. it's true, there is nothing straightforward about this plastic diet! there are times i am supremely stubborn about not using plastic and times i am supremely stupid.

i got coffee yesterday at a diner (with dulcie!!!) and it never occurred to me to say no straw and my coffee came with 2 straws! so annoying. but life goes on, and you have to balance living plastic-free with living.

there is always soooo much room for improvement though which is kind of fun.

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