I’m old enough to remember toys that were made from metal. They were the good ones. We always looked down on plastic toys because they were typically made from other countries and we had a sense that they were somewhat of a lesser quality.
Of course, these days, it’s very, very difficult to find toys made from metal unless you happen upon a good yard sale. Plastic is all the rage; painted colours are bring and brilliant and the variations in quality come from the manufacturer, not a particular country.
A few years ago, I started creating Paper.li stories for a number of the lists that I have attached to my Twitter account and it’s turned out to be one of the better decisions that I’ve made. Using the power of those who are on the list, they often become great researchers and I learn so much from what they’ve shared and what Paper.li has collected and published.
One such story happened today as shared by Caitlyne Brewer. It’s not an easy one to read and the pictures are not easy ones to look at.
The article is part of a multi-year program to raise awareness about the use of plastics and, particularly, single-use plastics.
It made me sick just reading it.
Plastics, however, are everywhere. You can’t get away from some of them. I’m thinking of the can that I use to get gasoline for the lawn mower, for example.
But the single-use ones can be addressed and we have tried our best.
- we don’t buy water; over the years I have a collection of water bottles from conferences
- if we happen to eat out, particularly at fast food restaurants, we won’t use plastic lids or straws for drinks
- we have refillable coffee mugs
- we do use material shopping bags and have no shame using a Shopper’s Drug Mart branded bag at No Frills
- I take great pride in my wife getting angry when buying a single product and going over the counter when asked if she wanted a bag for it. My response typically is “No, unless you have to give me one”
- we pick up things at our favourite beaches and Jaimie and I will do our best picking up at the side of the road during our walks
- every other Friday is recycling day around here and we’re good contributors
I know that many schools are now raising awareness by having students keep a record of how many plastic things they use during a week. We tried it on ourselves and were disgusted with how often we were exposed to plastics in a single day.
Regularly, we’ll read stories like the above and it sustains us as we try to do the best. It’s become a mindset and something that we look for.
But, we know that we’re just a drop in the bucket.