Collection of plastic clutter in kitchen sinkI was always a half-hearted environmentalist. I mean, I had girlfriends who were all into the green thing, but I mostly did all those ecologically friendly things when they didn’t really pose that big of a change in my own lifestyle. One of the things that I was ambivalent about was plastics. Sure, I’ve heard how they could be harmful, how they contain chemicals that can be detrimental to your health, how they can clog sewers and affect the respiratory system of marine organisms. But the convenience that plastics offered, as containers, as bags and as a material for me offset all purported negative environmental effects that they had. My room was filled with plastics. Plastic cups, plates and utensils filled my cupboard and sink. I had plastic bags for garbage, for leftover food for my dogs, as well as for stuff I really didn’t know what to do with. Vases, chairs and tables were all made of plastic. It was a part of my personal space as much as it was a part of my life.

Gradually, the “bad plastic” mentality began to sink in. There really was no single pivotal point. I think it started with a couple of articles from writers I really admired which detailed the negative health effects of plastic particles. Then there were those videos showing sea turtles and sea birds mired in plastic, gasping for air as the thin layer of synthetic material clogged their airway. Bit by bit, I became increasingly conscious of the plastics in my surroundings. I began to make a subconscious inventory, of how much and of which kind of plastics I had. I began to think of ways to whittle down the plastics in my home. The plastic plates were eventually replaced with ceramic ones. The plastic cups with glass, the plastic utensils with stainless steel. Bit by bit, I identified, and then replaced plastic furnishings in my home. My indoor tomato plant now resides in a glass vase.  I started bringing my own bag when I went shopping.

Simple things. I began being wary about plastics being in close proximity to anything I drank or ate. It wasn’t paranoia. It was more of awareness. Fully eliminating plastics from one’s life in today’s modern world is difficult. Still, the awareness I had has led to a significant reduction of the role plastic plays in my life and has led me to become more aware, and actually be more comfortable in my plastic-free green home.

Here are some resources to replace common plastic items with BPA free versions or non-plastic alternatives:

What do you do to reduce the plastics in your green home?


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