The Year of Living Minimally – Week Thirty-five

My mission to reduce plastic is continuing. It’s growing. And it’s frustrating as hell.


Yes, ditch the plastic straws. That should be easy. Refuse a straw in a restaurant. Don’t even let your server bring you a straw. I usually ask for a glass of water, no ice, no straw, please. Simple. But the problem is so much bigger than straws.

This article says that ocean garbage is now twice the size of Texas. There is so much crap plastic in our oceans that sea life is dying. Humans have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of plastic since the 1950s. That’s equal in size to 1 billion elephants.

Plastic is everywhere. Every one of us should be using a refillable water container and a refillable coffee/tea container. No more Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups! No more Dasani water bottles! (Oh, and did you read the story about microscopic plastic particles actually in the water in the water bottles?) More bad news here.

It’s impossible to not get things in plastic. Buy organic chicken at the market. It’s not wrapped in paper. I tend to pick up easy-to-prepare meals from Trader Joe’s – usually from their frozen food aisle. Garlic naan. Kung Pao chicken. Frozen strawberries for the morning. All in plastic bags. And I’ve been putting them in the trash. I’m ashamed of myself.

So I am now trying (I really am) to separate what goes into my trash bag. We don’t compost (we probably should, my sisters both do), but maybe if I rinse out the plastic bags after I open them, I can find a place to bring them. Because I’m sick about the plastic. Our poor, poor planet.