Today’s Obsession: Plastic

Are you tired of looking at pictures of my teeth? Me too. So here’s to a new start on this blog. My head is full of so many things each day… things I read, hear, see, dream about… and some of them might actually be worth reporting. Like today’s latest obsession: plastic. If you think the photos of my teeth are unpleasant, look at this one:


This is what happens to much of the plastic that we throw away each day. And here is a heartbreaking article, if the picture is not enough to convince you of the problem: Plastic Ocean.

So okay, what can we do? One blogger calling herself EnviroWoman is drawing attention to the problem by vowing to live plastic-free for a year. She chronicles her successes and failures in her blog, appropriately titled, Living Plastic Free in 2007. Now, I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment, but I’m glad for her trail-blazing efforts as she discovers ways that each of us can eliminate some of the plastic from our lives.

For instance, did you know that the company, Lush, sells hair shampoo in solid bars (as well as deodorants, lotions, and other personal care products besides soap?) You can mail order their products (although I always wonder about the trade off between environmentally friendly products and the amount of fuel it takes to deliver them) or if you are fortunate enough to live near a Lush store (there’s one on Powell Street in downtown San Francisco) you can get them right from the source.

In addition to avoiding plastic, we can also look for products made from recycled plastic, like the Preserve toothbrush from Recycline. This 100% recycled toothbrush is made from used Stony Field Farms yogurt containers and is also 100% recyclable. When the bristles wear out, you can either toss it in your recycle bin, if you have recycling of #5 plastic where you live, or you can send it back to Recycline in a postage-paid envelope. (They suggest waiting until you have an envelope full of toothbrushes to send back.)

What else can I do? Well, my mail-ordered prescription refills come in a gray plastic bag. If I did a little walking, I could have my prescriptions filled at a Kaiser pharmacy about a mile from my house and go pick them up. I can’t do anything about the containers themselves, as I’ve been told refilling prescription bottles is illegal in this area. But I can at least eliminate the plastic bag.

So far, I’ve only discussed non-food items. When it comes to food, the task becomes trickier for me. I don’t like to cook.

Michael’s home. Time to watch another Thin Man movie and eat ice cream. More thoughts on plastic and anything else that obsesses me tomorrow.

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