Thursday, 21 February 2013

How to reduce plastic use - The Midway Trailer

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.

- Meryl Streep 

I watched The Midway trailer video about "plastic beach" today (as embedded below).  It made me think about my plastic use and also made me wish that humans made the time to use their empathy in order to fight for a good cause. Such as cutting down on plastic use due to the terrible consequences of which only one example is shown in the trailer. GO ON WATCH IT!

This video prompted me to re-post the link on my facebook wall and to start thinking about my plastic use, again.  A small project that I have already started is trying to REALLY cut down on my plastic use.

I mean I call myself environmentally aware and friendly - I shop mainly at the farmers market on Saturdays, try to cook all of our meals from scratch, use a bread machine, carry reusable bags with me, never throw away a plastic bag after the first use, have reusable water bottles etc.  But then I started reading about buying in bulk (a switchover we haven't done YET) and how that could help cut down on plastic use.  This led me onto thinking about other throw-away plastic goods I have like my razor blades and pads that I use during my "time of the month" (for want of a better phrase).  So here are some more ideas below on how to cut down on plastic use:

1) Razors

I found some great articles about favourite one is here.  Basically safety razors don't involve any plastic and should be able to be used until the day you die...unless you leave to someone else of course.  The razor is replaceable in it, but apparently it lasts longer than the throw-away blades and you can get a cleaner and sharpening tools to make them last longer too.  There are for sale in antique stores and on eBay - I just searched for safety razor and loads came up.  Just think about how much plastic is used for each throw-away razor top or disposable razor.  And YES, men AND women can use these razors (ok, I'm really not sure how I will get on with delicate areas...*cough* but I will see)

2) Period Pads

Yes, tampons and pads aren't all exactly biodegradable...I know I've seen one or two floating in the sea along with the disposable nappies.  What are the alternatives?  The tampons that are 100% cotton will eventually break down into the earth - however with modern day tampons there are a lot of plastic extras such as the packaging (now for each individual one) and the applicators too.  Most pads have plastic in them and therefore take 1000s of years to decompose.  Solutions:  using tampons or pads that are designed for the eco conscious such as NatraCare.  Or one can purchase a mooncup - which although made of plastic is a "menstrual cup" that should last a lifetime.  What is it?  It's a little plastic goblet shaped cup that fits in the same space a tampon would go and it collects the menstrual blood.  It has to be emptied, washed and boiled in between uses.  Lip So Facto has a much better and well researched review here.  OK, they aren't going to be for everyone, but it is a small way to save the planet.

I have some more ideas but the clock is a tick-tocking and I need to finish my research for my essay. More on this soon...

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