My friends Jay and Chantal, owners of the online shop Life Without Plastic, are brand new book authors! Their book, Life Without Plastic, was just released today, and I’m very honored to have been asked to write the foreword. Here’s what I wrote:
Ten years ago, I read an article about ocean plastic pollution – a problem I’d never heard of — and saw the shocking image that changed my life. The photo revealed the decayed carcass of a baby albatross who’d starved with a belly full of plastic, plastic it had been fed by its mother who mistook lighters and toothbrushes and bottle caps floating in the ocean for food. My heart broke as I realized that my personal choices could be causing harm to creatures thousands of miles away, and that very day, I embarked on a mission to see if it would be possible to live without plastic. I created a blog to report on my progress eliminating everyday plastics: disposables like single-use bottles, bags, cups, straws, food wrappers, shampoo containers, lip balm and toothpaste tubes, and yes toothbrushes, but also durable plastic items like food storage containers and ice trays that I no longer wanted in contact with what I was going to put in my mouth.
Finding a Tupperware replacement proved difficult. All of the stainless steel containers I had tried were fine for short-term use in the refrigerator, but they weren’t airtight or leakproof, so I couldn’t store food in the freezer long-term or use them to carry soup for lunch without worrying about making a mess in my backpack. A year later, I finally found Life Without Plastic, an online shop offering an ingenious series of airtight and watertight stainless steel containers that could solve my problem. I emailed the owners for a sample to review, and that’s how I met Jay Sinha and Chantal Plamondon, authors of this book and dear friends.
Of course, all relationships have their ups and downs, and ours started out a little less than perfect. When I finally received my beautiful new Life Without Plastic container, I was dismayed to discover that the container itself came wrapped in a thin plastic bag inside the box. I thanked them for the container but mentioned that I wished it had come without plastic packaging. I honestly didn’t expect my message to do much good, so I was delighted when they responded, agreeing that the plastic wrap wasn’t great and that they would try to phase it out. And then, they actually went to work doing just that. Life Without Plastic is one of the few for-profit companies whose main purpose for existing is to combat the plastic pollution problem, and Jay and Chantal are some of the most ethical business people I have met during my plastic-free journey.
In 2012, I included profiles of plastic-free heroes Jay Sinha and Chantal Plamondon in my own book, Plastic-Free. And today, I am thrilled to introduce their book, Life Without Plastic, the newest addition to a growing body of literature on plastic pollution and actions individuals can take to reduce plastic in their own lives. Unlike other practical how-to books, Jay and Chantal discuss the topic from the point of view of business owners who have seen aspects of the supply chain that are hidden from most of us ordinary consumers. And they provide the most up to date information on the problem, as well as details on different types of plastics and related toxicity issues and the pros and cons of various alternatives. I hope you will read and enjoy this book, and most of all, put it to use. All of us can be part of the solution to plastic pollution!
Get the book. Read the book. Pass it on!