Friday, November 21, 2008

Thoughts on: Acceptable exceptions to the plastic diet

Becoming more adept at eliminating unnecessary plastic from my life has been a process. Much of what previously was necessary, no longer is so. Anyone who has tried this plastic diet thing knows this process well. It's fun! I must say I am pretty good at not acquiring plastic these days :) This has led me to think more about acceptable vs. unacceptable exceptions to the plastic diet or acquiring new plastic. I have decided, for me, an unacceptable exception is something along the lines of the following scenario…
It is 7:00 pm and I am on my way home. I have not used one-time use disposable plastic all day! That means I could make a quick stop and pick up a bag of those peanut butter M&M's
that I am craving even though this means buying plastic. I think to myself 'this is okay because you haven't used your one piece of plastic for the day'.
I guess the reason this is unacceptable is because it is indulgent and in a way it is going out of my way to use my one piece of plastic for the day even though I don't need to use it. I have fought the urge and won more than I have lost on this, but sometimes we all need a little chocolate indulgence at the end of the day!
An acceptable exception is this…
Someone else buys and brings a food that comes in plastic, lets say pretzels, to a meeting, potluck, etc. Then at the end of the get together the person says ‘Does anyone want to take the rest of these pretzels home?’ And I (because I can't buy any crunchy carbs because they alllll come in plastic) step right up, palm open. I inherit the pretzels and the plastic bag they came in.

This is acceptable to me because the item involving plastic packaging has already been bought by someone else. The damage is done. I still won't buy such a thing so I am making a difference on my front. Accepting someone else’s food-plastic (or other plastic) doesn't do any more harm, the harm was already done when it was bought/manufactured. But this plastic is now mine and I do have to deal with taking care of it—booo—to the plastic heap with you!

P.S. I inherited ¼ of a bag of pretzel chip things last night-very exciting. The plastic diet really helps you redefine what is necessary and what is indulgence. Who knew pretzels were indulgence. Well, I know now.

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