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December 25, 2010

Wanna Hang Out With Me?

 

Invite me to your party. I’ll be the one who heads straight into your kitchen, opens the cupboard, and takes out a glass to use instead of plastic. I’ll rummage through your drawers for reusable silverware. Or I’ll take out the little bamboo set I carry in my purse. Your guests will find me charming.

Bring me homemade Christmas cookies in a plastic bag, and I’ll dump them out into another container and thrust your bag back at you, making you swear to reuse it. You’ll thank me for pointing out your mistake.

Or leave me treats in a plastic Ziploc bag on my desk chair at work, and I’ll regift them to a co-worker instead of bringing them home. Maybe you’ll never find out unless you see the link to this post on Facebook.

Arrive at my parents’ house with an abundance of groceries to cook a holiday dinner, and watch how I thank you by taking pictures of all your plastic bags and containers and posting them on my blog.

Threaten to mail me a Christmas present, and listen to me go off in a scenario that might (purely hypothetically) go something like this:

Dad: I forgot to get to the post office to send you and your brother your gifts.

Me: Dad! Don’t send me anything!

Dad: Why? You want me to wait and give it to you when you come to visit?

Me: No! Don’t give me anything. Why? What did you get me? Is there plastic in it?

Dad: It’s books. But forget it.

Me: Anyway, I didn’t get anything for you.

Dad: Screw you. Don’t come visit.

Me: My visit IS your gift.

I’m fun. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with me? But seriously, there’s a balance, you know? A balance between being a dick about things wrapped in plastic, to paraphrase Colin Beavan in the No Impact Movie, and a kind person who appreciates the efforts people make to connect and share. There’s the me that is hesitant to hurt my friends’ feelings and then there’s the me that thinks, “Come on people. I’ve been doing this for over three years. I really, really, really don’t want your freakin’ plastic!”

It’s Christmas Eve. I wish I had a nicer post to write. I just got back from a friend’s party, and it was great. She had all reusables and cloth bandana napkins and there was barely any plastic in sight. And yet, as always, I was on guard, just in case. How I sometimes wish for the old days when I could go to a party and just have mindless fun with my friends, not thinking or caring about our capital “I” Impact. How I wish I could be excited when my dad tells me he’s sending me a gift, or feel the thrill of sending him something without worrying about how it will be packaged.

Those mindless days are over. I can’t go back to not knowing about how my actions affect the planet. But WE are the planet. And what does it matter if I save a few plastic cups and alienate everyone I know? How does that help the planet in the long run? This is not a new topic. I’ve written about it before and will probably keep wrestling with the balance between environmental convictions and personal relationships for the rest of my life.

It’s a few days after the solstice. The days are short, and the lack of sunlight puts me in a brooding mood. Sometimes I wonder if I’d like Christmas better if it came in July instead of December. But then I remember that the whole point of Christmas is celebrating the birth of the light. We’re coming out of the darkness. I’m excited and freaked out by the plans and challenges coming up in 2011 and by how much more there is for me to learn and share. If I’m a pain in your butt, it’s nothing personal. Just the growing pains of a being who’s not yet fully formed. A work in progress… as are you. Right?



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56 comments
Michelle
Michelle

It would be a relief to have you visit. If your ever thinking of a trip to Europe, I´m in a beautiful spot on the West Coast of Portugal. Oh, to not be the only "weirdo" I mean it, if you come get in touch. :-)

Angie
Angie

I had to revisit this. By far one of my favorites you have written so far.

Alyson
Alyson

No, you probably would have outstayed your welcome pretty quickly in my house. I wished to be encouraged for the efforts I've done so far not critised for not doing enough! Whilst I value you for the information you've imparted so far, I don't fancy you nosying through my cupboards, tut-tutting.

Jack
Jack

I want to thank you for this post. I identify with this so so much, and it's of enormous help to have super-powered voices publicly chewing on this problem too. Know that lots of people are listening out here, and we'd all have you to our parties. (Those of us who HAVE parties...)

Tiffany Norton
Tiffany Norton

Not much of a party-goer, but I am a teacher, and there's plenty of food-sharing, lunches, snacks, birthday treats, etc. in the teacher's lounge. I have made a project out of declining any kind of disposable anything. I am sure I annoy the crap out of my coworkers. I always show up to the lunch table without my own gear, and then say, incredulously, "oh - disposable plastic plates? Oh, I can't use those! Oh, let me go and get my own stuff." Just to make a point that I EXPECTED that we would be given washable stuff, and that it is STILL worth it to me to go back to my desk and get my reusable stuff. I always bring a few extra sets of dishes and try to offer them to my coworkers. I also wash my stuff right there in the teacher's lounge instead of using the sink in my classroom. Does it have any impact? It might not look like it at first, but everyone EXPECTS me to act like this, and it makes them think twice. At least I can say that no one brings treats on styrofoam plates anymore, and when someone chooses biodegradable plastic, they always make a point to make it publicly known, like to make me proud. And still, I bring my thrift store plates... Baby steps, baby steps. You can come hang out with me any time. I'd love to have your critique both in my workshop and at school. I would be honored!

ECline
ECline

Anna Fay - I am with you. I'm currently visiting family, and it pains me to see their use of plastic and, well, it isn't disregard for the planet, but more unawareness of the consequences of what they do. I try to help, but even I hear myself and feel that I sound a little preachy. For instance, my mother uses a small plastic grocery bag under the sink for trash, and then she ties that off and puts the little bag in a larger trash bag. Completely unnecessary, but she says that it makes it easier for her. She says while I'm here, we can try to just use the big trash can. I've made a few comments here and there, and her recent response to me was, "Well I saw you do something wasteful. You put so much peanut butter on the plate, and it just gets thrown away." She was referring to my son's snack. I think she was just looking for something. I smiled and agreed with her. I'm willing to listen to new ideas, and I hope my family is too.

Kate
Kate

I have similar issues (although not just around plastic...'Gee, ground beef sloppy joes sound really, umm...thank you for making them for the family party. Yeah, maybe I'll have some in a little bit...yeah, you're right, I am pregnant and I should eat something.' *gag..gag..cows that ate other cows ewwww!...gag*). Your comment asking whether it is worth it to save a few plastic cups while alienating everyone you know is spot on. That is a tension I live with right now as my parents think I have either gone crazy or been brainwashed by Al Gore. They are completely overwhelmed with how to relate to this new Katie who won't eat fast food and tells the kid that the general rule is not to put plastic in her mouth (even plastic kiddie-ware and cups and things). I understand it is overwhelming for them, and I try to be sensitive so we end up compromising when it's not the end of the world (chances are drinking cold water out of a reusable plastic cup at someone's house is not likely to cause bpa to leach and give my child menses onset at age 5, although if there's a shot glass in a cabinet somewhere, I'll give her 'shots' to drink instead. Last night at a party she did 5 shots of cranberry juice. :-)

Anna Fay
Anna Fay

I work at Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and eat a pretty darn near 100% organic diet.. because of what I know from the time I have worked there. Scary stuff, kind of similar to chemicals in plastic! I have also been studying plastic for the past year as well. My interest first drawn by the Pacific Garbage Patch and an interview of Captain Charles Moore on The Colbert Report... I wrote a paper on it, which turned into an even bigger paper on plastic. My life has changed and I feel amazing! My Dad says he "believes me" and "knows I'm right" and is pretty kind about my life choices. My mother on the other hand seems to giggle at it and continues to consume plastic like a regular American (Plastic grocery bags & juice in plastic!! She got me organic lettuce grown in mexico and packaged in a plastic bag)-ugh. Claiming she hasn't always been this way and that the thing's I'm {me} "in to" she did when she was younger.. and that it was "nothing new." Her and my boyfriend have said that the way I feel like I'm trying to help them comes off as "pretentious" and that I dont make the best first impressions because plastic seems to always come up these days (IT IS EVERYWHERE!!) Haha.. so yeah... How do you handle life when everyone seems to hate talking to you and when all your loved ones are mindlessly killing themselves? Love the thread, I am pleased to know there are people going through the same societal difficulties. Could we have a thread on how to positively affect people in a way they dont get offended? I love helping people and education.. hoping to save le world a bit here. :) Beth & you all--friends, a revolution! Thank you and lets keep up the good work! xxoo Anna Fay

Whiskas
Whiskas

I do all that stuff at parties, but I still have lots of mindless fun!

Jen
Jen

The problem with getting really in to environmental issues is that it's easy to cross over into mental illness. I was recently in a mom's group with this woman who ONLY talked about organic food. It got to be so ridiculous that you could tell people were avoiding her. I think she got it and stopped coming to the group. It's not like the rest of us are anti-organic and in fact, I do try to buy organic, but this woman was totally out of control. It's easy to get so worried about the planet or health that you risk becoming completely unbearable.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

ECline, those are hard decisions to make. I hear the same story from a lot of parents. For myself, I regift or donate the plastic presents I receive. But I guess it's harder with kids. Others have addressed this issue in the comments here. Maybe I should think about writing a blog post on it to generate more discussion.

ECline
ECline

You inspire me. I am only beginning on my journey, but am committed to reducing our waste and eliminating plastic as much as possible. Tell me this...what do I do with the gifts we were given? I am kicking myself for not telling parents in advance to PLEASE not buy our toddler son plastic monstosities. We just received this massive plastic train set, and I was planning on buying a used, wooden one later for his birthday. What do I do? Ask for the receipt to return it? Donate it? I would donate, but struggle with the thought that it will end up in the trash anyway. Or keep it and use it for generations to come? Ugh. Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.

Elizabet
Elizabet

I adore you, too! I'm about to give up plastic, for the month of January (50%) and February (90%) — but I'm leaving myself that 10% for the sake of sanity and toilet paper. Thank you for being such an inspiration! <3

Molly de Vries
Molly de Vries

Beth, You are a beautiful pain in the butt. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have very similar experiences. I felt like a qrinch when my town ( Mill Valley) had to have thier anualy snow festival ( beautiful Idea). When I saw that a huge truck with a few strongs guys dumping the ice out of small plastic bags into the snow machine. I could not believe every body wasn't running over there screaming STOP "We don't need this snow to celebrate." I think there must of been more than 150 bags of ice, not even mentioning the energy to make the fricken ice.

Hilde
Hilde

We don´t use disposable things for parties here in Germany, it would almost considered as an offense to your guests. Wrapping and storing is quite another thing, but I actually received a gift by mail wrapped in paper and sent in a tin tied up with string! During the last twenty years or so, I cuold watch disposable cups, plates etc creeping in our daily life by american companies like Starbucks, McDonalds and so on. I remember the first time I went to the USA about fourty years ago, I saw all the people in the street eating and drinking out of paper cups and plates. I said to my husband that nobody here would ever be drinking coffee out of a paper cup in the street instead of sitting down with a proper china cup. How wrong I was!

Andrea
Andrea

I know how you feel. I went to my son's friend's birthday party and when I saw the balloons, all I could think was, "Worldwide helium shortage!" It's really hard to enjoy yourself when you know/care too much.

Emily
Emily

Beth - I have been following your blog for a couple of years and because of you I am so much more informed and make better choices. In my neighborhood there are people that don't even recycle (basic eco 101 as far as I'm concerned) - at work people grab styrofoam trays to hold their styrofoam plates (totally unnecessary). However, I have noticed that with my efforts that people do notice and I do see people changing their ways after they see what I do. It must hurt that you have so obviously changed your life and are now living your life to eliminate plastic usage and those closest to you have not completely followed suit. I think it is important to realize that giving back a bag or taking pictures ect... will do the opposite of what you really want to happen. I think you have shown us it is possible to live without - but you didn't do it overnight and you really need to reach people at the level of understanding in which they are at or else they just won't hear you. Take care.

Condo Blues
Condo Blues

You are welcome in my plastic free guest room anytime! I might even turn the heat up a bit from the frosty daytime temp of 58 for you :)

D.C.
D.C.

This is an issue I've been struggling with lately too. At parties I usually politely ask the host for a real glass and explaining why isn't usually necessary since they know me :D In the past I would have tried to bring reusable party cups and hide the plastic throwaways behind them, and guilt anyone I knew well into using them. While some of my friends still have those cups and use them at their parties, I know feel that's a bit overboard. People really don't like to be lectured and it often turns them off from what you're trying to tell them. I think asking for a real glass is enough food for thought. Making it gradual with gifts is hard too. I told my mom I was looking for a non-plastic xylophone for my daughter and she sent a plastic one because "it was cuter". I didn't freak out on her, but when she asked how M liked it, I did tell her I was sad that it was plastic. So for christmas Mom got M some wooden toys, but they came with an egregious amount of air packets. I decided to send the packets back to the recycling service of the company with a note expressing my grievances rather than telling my mom. Next time she wants to send something I'll ask her to put a note to the seller to not use plastic but it will baffle and confound her and she'll have to ask her boyfriend to help her figure out how. It's just harder for some people, *just like it used to be harder for us*. And I think that's the real thing to remember. I remember a time not so long ago where I wouldn't remember to tell the cashier I didn't need a bag until it was too late and then I'd be too embarrassed to give it back. I still struggle with getting enough to eat without buying some products in plastic. We just have to meet people where they're at, and try to help them go one step further, cause they're not going to go 50 steps at once.

SherryGreens
SherryGreens

Beth - thanks for paving the way. I am just starting my eco journey (about 2 months now) and I am continually trying to think of ways to reduce all my waste, including plastic. For me the one plastic that is hard to get rid of is the children's toys... However, my daughter did get a wooden castle this Christmas, picked especially for the non-plastic nature. But it was still wrapped in plastic. Right now I am really focusing on the packaging waste from food, and have big plans for my yard in the spring! Anyway, Merry Christmas!

Piper
Piper

This whole issue makes me really angry, but not for the reason you might expect. Why does it have to be SO HARD to make good choices? My family was unable to give me things without plastic. I was unable to give others things without plastic. I can't even go to a Sierra Club holiday party without there being plastic cups and silverware. It's absolutely impossible for people to do things without disposable plastic if they aren't aware and it's only slightly less impossible for people to do it if the ARE aware. Industry has made sure plastic is EVERYWHERE, even where we don't expect it. You'd be welcome at my house and I'd appreciate all your glares and stares.

Helen
Helen

I totally feel your pain and frustration--the holidays are crazy with excess and waste. I'll hang with ya anytime!

Ginny
Ginny

Keep up the good work Beth. You will always be welcome in my home.

The Green Cat
The Green Cat

Beth you are welcome here anytime (and you are also welcome to tell me what to do with any plastic that's in my house!) I feel your pain on trying to find the line between being a nag and reminding folks that this is how I live. Yesterday my boyfriend made bacon and said "I'm out of paper towels" and I nearly jumped for joy! I gave him several suggestions for draining the bacon without paper towels but he just said "Oh I'll make do now but I'll buy some when I go to the store later." It was all I could do to not shake him by the shoulders and say "You don't NEED those!" Hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

Diane MacEachern
Diane MacEachern

Merry Christmas, Beth - and I so hear you! Get this for irony: a friend gave me a beautiful bracelet made from recycled plastic, but it came in a throwaway plastic box!! Along with a note about how "eco" the bracelet was. Huh? Anyway, I "inoculate" people when I go anywhere: "I'm just warning you, I don't eat meat" or whatever. I also inoculate people before they visit: "Hey, you know me - I'm trying to be totally eco. So no paper towels around here..." It's gotten to the point now where my dinner guests just automatically clean their plates into the compost bucket. I think the trick is not to take it personally - most people are not inconsiderate or thoughtless - they just haven't drunk the green kool-aid yet! Happy New Year, friend.

Grace
Grace

It's a balance, isn't it? Learning to be vigilant about our own life and walk without turning away the very people we want to teach. I think one of the very best things about your mission is how you focus on yourself & your own plastic use---it's very inspiring to others, who then consider their own plastic footprint. Blessings to you in 2011. :)

Traci
Traci

Happy Holidays Beth! More people need you to visit and point out all of their shortcomings and environmental impacts. I've been so disgusted lately with the materiality/consumption habits of the average American. I'm so thankful for your site. I had or so I thought been an advocate of the environment that is until I discovered your site and become aware of a much greater impact. I can happily say that I've made a significant number of positive changes over the past several months and am planning even more over the upcoming year.

Carla
Carla

Very honest Beth~ And I appreciate you more then I can type in a few words~ You have inspired me so much and not only am I getting better at caring for our planet but I am spreading the word and sometimes being kind of annoying to my friends and family. But all in all they appreciate it and I share a lot of what you share with us and they are thrilled to discover so many sustainable options~ We are all growing wiser and more evoled. And let me just say one more time. I Appreciate you so much~ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year~ With love and respect~ ~~~Carla

LF
LF

Come on over - :)

sui
sui

Beth, I love you and I love this post. I definitely know how this feels... my family kind of gets annoyed at me for my sermons on plastic. I would definitely hang out with you. Happy Christmas, Beth :)

claire
claire

this is exactly what I go through every day. I'm so grateful for what avoiding plastic has done for my life, but at the same time I sometimes just want to feel normal (ha!), like I can do something without having to think about plastic. and my anti-plastic antics are just icing on the cake of my alienation of everyone I know. but it's a lifetime commitment, and I look forward to seeing it through. p.s. merry christmas!

Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate
Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate

It is hard to let it go and get a glimpse of that giant forest when gazing at a couple of trees. This brings to mind Jonathan Bloom of http://wastedfood.com being unable to leave the requisite 3 black eyed peas on his plate at a new year's celebration. I had to leave the living room this morning and hang out in the kitchen for an hour or so after my kids opened their repulsingly packaged toys from their father, (my husband) today. I knew I should be with my kids, but I was too pissed off to let it go. I work very hard to wrap all presents in endlessly reusable gift bags, and of course almost all my presents were from Goodwill. I bought my son a Japanese stuffed animal at a store and tried to buy the display one, (which was not in plastic) but the clerk wouldn't let me. We do what we can, and strengthening our communities will never happen if we present our messages with bitter vitriol. Sigh . . . . Merry plastics-free Christmas, Beth!!!!!! Katy Wolk-Stanley "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"

Lori Alper aka Groovy Green Livin
Lori Alper aka Groovy Green Livin

Love how you stick to your guns and continually share your passion. It helps all of us work-in-progresses figure out our own path. We are all a work in progress-that's what life is all about. Happy and a merry to you Beth!

A
A

Oh, this really hits home for me now. My dad confronted me on the phone a couple of days ago about how "ungrateful" I've been about how hard they're trying to conform to all of my expectations and demands. The final straw was my snapping at them for giving us some bags of chips as a gift. Turns out they've been resenting a lot of my convictions, including my vegetarianism (for the last 22 years?!) and especially how I constrict their ability to give my son gifts. My dad would really love to let him walk through the aisles of Toys R Us and let him pick whatever he wants. I was pretty hurt, not having realized the apparent burden all of this was for them. (Isn't it just the right thing to do to mak choices that are protecting the environment and the health of their grandchild AND them for that matter?) When it's just something you do in your life, it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Also, I never really held back my opinions with them. I felt free to speak more openly with them, since they're family. I guess that's something I've learned from this experience - that sometimes you might need to be _more_ gentle with family. And I've learned that apparently I'm a bitch. Something to work on in the new year. (I had dinner with them last week and I brought up receipts and BPA and I really think they thought, 'She is INSANE and here is another ridiculous thing we have to indulge.')

Cath
Cath

If you'd like a sunny and plastic-free Christmas, come to my place next year! I ran the dishwasher four times yesterday so we'd have enough plates, glasses and cutlery for the guests who turned up at various times all afternoon. My kids enjoyed using the Glass Dharma straws they found in their Christmas stockings. My guests had to be creative in taking their leftovers home as I had no plastic wrap or plastic bags to put the food in. We had a brilliant day. :) Cath in Australia

Sharon
Sharon

Your family has to catch up with you. You have been doing "plastic free" for three years and it's time this fact sunk in with your family. Thanks to your blog we were much more aware of waste and packaging this Christmas, and everyone chose a simple present without packaging (if at all). It felt great not to be weighed down with excessive stuff. A lot of what we did was to try to give a gift that was more experiential (such as a session with a life coach or an Oxfam shop gift voucher.) For the first time it seemed really, really stupid to have so much rubbish and unnecessary stuff at Christmas time. As you said We are the Planet. Great work Beth!

knutty knitter
knutty knitter

I have used exactly one plastic knife in my life. I don't intend to go there again but had no real alternative at the time. I do have plastic cups and we do use them - they are around 10 years old and counting. They seem to recycle fine through the dishwasher :) We simply don't have a culture of paper/plastic plates so it isn't an issue fortunately. I get no kudos from that because that is how it has always been! viv in nz

Denise Yribarren
Denise Yribarren

Merry Christmas Beth! I would be so honored if you would indeed visit me at home. On your website, You have a long list of plastic alternatives. I keep this list on my refrigerator to inspire me if I flounder. Sometimes one just needs a "second set of eyes" to point out a simple alternative in the use of plastic in the kitchen. Then you say to yourself: "why didn't I think of that?" This is what your website does for me! If you get as far as Phoenix, Az, the guest room is all yours. Gratefully, Denise

Lily
Lily

You can always hang out with me!!

Tracey
Tracey

As you know, you've got to communicate your message, or no one ever gets it. I remember having a garden party years ago, and someone there called someone coming over to stop by the dollar store for plastic cutlery, cups, plates and "real" ketchup and mustard. I refused to use them, and *OMG* did the dishes as needed. I had the horrors around here for years before I free-cycled the plates, cups and cutlery, along with those annoying disposable chopsticks and soy sauce packets that sneak over here behind my back.. I bought a set of stainless steel cups, side plates, bowls and main plates after that fiasco - 10 of each!!! - at the dollar store. I stock piled week by week, and they all fit snugly in a drawer and are indestructible and very portable. Do the offending parties hate me? Well, the buyer was embarrassed and the requester still thinks I'm a freak, but they still come to my garden parties. I say "Sorry, I realize I'm hard core" a lot. And you do have to drive your point home, I find. I told all of my relatives, in several different ways, over the past 6 months, that we don't want more crayons and markers for Xana (4 years old) because she has tons, and uses markers on non paper things, and they're plastic and we just donate them to her school anyhow. So Xana opens her first gift from my mother: A SET OF 8 PERMANENT MARKERS IN PLASTIC. True to my mother, they are second hand; she used one and put it back. (Poverty is a monster that etches stupid ideas into you, but that's a tangent.) Since being emphatic about no plastic, I seem to have inspired a demon encouraging my relatives to break the rule in novel, creative ways, such as by giving: ~ a bath tub colouring book *I kid you not* with a set of plastic "bath safe" markers... Satan's excuse = The book is God themed, and about gratitude. ~ a set of "bath crayons" with toxic everything: plastic, colour, sodium lauryl sulphate, petroleum fragrance - plus the plastic bath crayon holders and stand. This was sold on Craig's list prior to opening. ~ A set of colourful foam blocks that smelled awesomely toxic, it's amazing anyone would bring them home, let alone give them to the children to play with. This was sold on Craig's list prior to opening in 3 hours. The buyer was about to buy the exact item on her way home from work. Christmas and birthday conversations go like this: "Oh thanks, we brought the set you bought us before." "Oh, we don't actually need more, do you mind if we return it/donate it? (If they still give it to us, and I can get away with keeping it out of my children's hands, I sell it.)" "Oh, we are collecting money to add to Xana's wooden blocks/train set. Do you mind if we trade this in?" After years of this, some people still don't get it, some of the time. But some do, and I feel we've made a dent in the consumption of plastic in this family. My kids got a (reused from our food coop) cardboard box each of 4 kinds of home made, vegan cookies, plus second hand books from our housemate. I'm obnoxious by my own admission, and people still hang out with me. I'm sure a sweet, gracious and articulate person like yourself attracts the awe and admiration of 10 people to every one who gets ruffled. Blessings to you and yours this coming year. Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

Amber
Amber

Right. We're ALL works in progress. And we're all struggling to balance. I don't think anyone ever gets it right. The best we can hope for is to get it BETTER. Merry Christmas!

greg
greg

oh yea, I forgot there was an opened bottle of wine so I freecycled it!! Now I have a plastic cork to try to recycle somewhere! g

greg
greg

I would love to know more people like you, Beth, and would have a plastic free, compostable party with everyone who thought like we do. I have a new baby girl and am amazed and horrified that everything for babies comes from China and is either cloth or plastic. I have tried returning so many gifts, Target told me no more returns. I hate it, you think my friends would realize how green I have become, but not preachy yet. My own Mom thinks I am nuts using G diapers and composting the wet ones. I just brought home some garbage bags from our local fire halls Christmas party and was horrified to find plastic knives forks, spoons, and salad tongs thrown out, along with aluminum cans, gift wrap etc. I still want to believe one person can make a difference but it is hard. Well lets hope for a better 2011 and better world. g

Ivy
Ivy

You'd be welcome at my parties! I'm having folks over today, and rather than resort to paper plates, I'm scrounging up all the plates I have and having some friends bring a few extra. A good deal of my friends already travel with a ren faire type plate & utensil get up, so nobody minds or thinks it's odd. What matters isn't if we have all matching, seasonal plates (disposable, of course, because who has room to store?) what matters is that we're all together, mismatched borrowed plates and all.

autumn
autumn

trust me. you would not enjoy coming to my place for a party, if i had ever were to have one. there is little plastic, little wood, no dead animal product, little electric, little water. little anything at all...but very much openness and heart and a very sweet ALIVE animal. we probably best meet outside and have a nice walk. xoxo

Issa
Issa

@andria Ooh, I love the idea of An Anti-Waste Consultant. Fantastic!

Jenn
Jenn

The only winter holiday I celebrate is my birthday. So, I found a nice set of silverware - 38 pieces! - that matches the set I have (1967 Oneida Community Plate "Silver Sands"). I was pretty disappointed when it arrived wrapped in piles of bubble wrap because the seller did not acknowledge my "do not use plastic packaging" request. :(

andria
andria

I love this! I think you should COME to my home and point out all the things that need changing especially over the holidays! An antiwaste consultant :) But realizing I'm very new so a big work in progress and with three young children everything takes forever, even change. My longterm goal is to raise 3 girls who think reduce, reuse, recycle is a norm, not just a goal.

Issa
Issa

I'd hang out with you! I haven't really gone to work on plastic, yet, but I'd appreciate your watchful eye. My thing is disposables in general, and I sometimes drive my friends crazy. For example, I don't let anyone bring disposable dishes to my get-togethers, so if it's a big gathering, we'll end up having to do dishes in the middle. It frustrates my friends, but it's definitely worth it to me not to be generating a big pile of trash.

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