There are a few things on my mind, so here they are…
1. Why are organic products [products that people put loads of time and effort into creating to be clean, healthy and beneficial] put into chemical/petrol plastic. It just mind boggles me.. the most with food and cosmetics.But a bit less with clothes and items like pillows. I just don’t understand it. I really am irritated with ‘Organic’ food being in tin cans. Like 99% of all tin cans are lined with BPA! Ek! If your interested in more about BPA and the harm it does, read this.
2. Why do our fruits and veggies have to be covered or wrapped in plastic. I mean, most of them are grow in dirt. Yet heaven forbid if they were to have someone touch the actual plant after it has been plucked .. and get there germs on it. Why can we not just wash or rinse our plants instead when we get them home. I was reading that this one co-op in the UK decide to not wrap there cucumbers anymore and it ended up saving them 8 tonnes of shrink wrap per year! wow! so then our food could be cheaper because plastic does cost and our food would be healthier and probably be fresher since they did not have to be individual wrapped which must take some time and extra transportation. The photo above is from a store in Norway, I am always so upset here when I see bell peppers (paprika) in plastic.
3. Bad Design! I Just can not get over this one. I think that it is because I am in the design community. Ever since I have gotten on my big kick (the stuff on this blog), I have had such a hard time continuing with my normal ways. I have a design blog, and have always been posting the next great big thing. This cool new product and must have new design item, now I have no want to encourage useless consumerism. I just want to promote local and natural. I have been in the business of selling things since high school. My first job out of High school was in marketing and design.. so it is like all I know sometimes. But I just can not feel right about this anymore, no more pointless consumerism. My blog has moved more toward design of houses. How they look. There are no details on how they are made or what they are made of. I also like the natural look in house design. I read this great article ‘Design for Disassembly’ over @Issue the other day, check it out here if you are more interested in better environmental design.
4. Bea over at ‘Zero Waste Home‘ recently has a comment about how basically she was intensive to those who do not know the dangers for plastic and pollution. Bea is a great inspiration to me, her family is doing such an amazing thing! Bea had written a post about the garbage they had collect over 6 months (it was not much at all!), but she was irritated about people giving her kids food she did not want them to have due to the chemicals in it. Here is what she said when she was tallying what was in her bin…
4 snack wrappers and 3 bubble gums given to my kids without my knowledge: Those probably are the most irritating to me. The Fiber One bar contained 23 ingredients, including high maltose corn syrup. Ugh. The Teddy Grahams contained 19 ingredients, including partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil and high fructose corn syrup. Double Ugh. As for bubble gums, they are simply plastic. Triple Ugh. I do not yet blame my eight and ten year-old children for succumbing to temptation and accepting the empty calories. For now, I blame the ignorant adults who buy and feed harmful and wasteful junk not only to their children but also to others.
I completely agree with her, if I had kids and they are being handed bad food- I am sure I would not be a happy momma. In reply to her statement in the comments one said, “Perhaps a bit of compassion and understanding for those unlike you could help people hear your true message more clearly.” Ok, so I get that I guess. But it is at this point so hard to not understand or remember that people don’t know. I find that if i am telling someone they get very skeptical and upset, like if I were telling them their religion was wrong. People don’t want to hear that what they think is normal is harming them. See Bea’s reply here.
I recently had a friend say that she was extremely aware about the dangers of plastic and BPA, but just did not see a way around it. She used shopping for produce as an example, and said you know it came in plastic, you know it was shipped in and then you have to baggie it to take ti home – completely unavoidable. I was so sad by this. I told her that we have reusable cloth drawstring bag that we shop for our produce in. I would like to think that it mad an impact, but I worry it was just brushed off.
I find that now I know the dangers of plastic and the other pollution that we are creating, and how it is harming the earth – that I just can’t stop trying to eliminate the useless things out of my life. I have been going room by room and evaluating what we can live without or what we can find a better version of. I dont plan to live without make-up, so find a good source for my makeup. The same with hair products and more. My mind is constantly racing to see what I can do.
5. Today we have gone through our pantry. All the food that we never use and has been there for the last year is going away now – we either need to find it new homes, toss it if it is too old or use it. Being an Expat, many friends move away often. Since you are not allowed to take your food with you, I tend to be gifted food when they move. But my cabinets being full of food I really don’t like/use has been bothering me. We are in a 50m² (540ft²) apartment, I don’t need my space being wasted. We have also removed all of our plastic kitchen utensils and storage containers. And being on a roll, we have moved the microwave out of the kitchen. We lived a year and half without one, then when a friend moved away we were given one. It takes up valuable counter space and I have been watching – we only use it maybe 2 times a month. So it has been relocated, no we will see how long it takes for us to use it – and we have made it abit hard to use 🙂 we will have to get it, plug it and and then use it, so no more super convenience.
6. We have set up a new challenge for ourselves. We have been slowly working over the past months to eliminate plastic from our house. More and more now, I find my self telling the store clerk (event at the organic market) that I don’t allow plastic in my house – which always is followed by odd looks. I am not sure if people are just shocked and confused or unsure of how it is possible. I have even had a lady a the butchers become very cross with me about how I needed to take the plastic. So I feel we have eliminated the majority of what we ‘think we can’, so starting on May 1 we will be saving all of our plastic for the whole month. (We have paper, compost, glass, metal and electronics recycling in place here in Stavanger and we do have plastic too, but we want to avoid it due to the impact it has on the earth) We have bought a new container for our compost to make it ‘easier’ and have gotten our recycling area in order. We will have a can for all the plastic in the corner. Compost and ‘all other trash’ bins under the sink. Then our paper, metal, glass, batteries, and bottles are in another area. We will be having some soda bottles, which will be returned to the store since Norway has a great reuse program for soda bottles and beer cans. I am going to go into more detail about this challenge soon in another post. There is also a second part of the challenge where we will be keeping tack of every penny that goes to food, and what food. But again, more in the next post!
7. Food waste! When 1/3 of the food most people buys go to the landfills as food waste, it is just sad to think about. First off, there are many around the world without food, but we think we can trash millions of pounds of it. No only that, but when food waste it not composted it make methane. I am so glad we have a city compost system here in Stavanger. If your city doesn’t, seriously consider getting a worm compost or starting one in your year. When we move (someday!) and have a garden, I will keep my compost for myself then!
What things are brewing in your head about your food, waste or consumption?