Long Term Plastic

Here’s the link for the discussion board. Outline your results, talk to your classmates about plastics, what you use in your family, how you can cut back, etc.


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1. Break your plastics into different groups:

A. Long term plastics: tv, pc, furniture, reusable water bottles, etc.

B. Short term plastics: one-use bottles, bags, caps, disposable items.

2. Take partial inventory of these#B plastic things in different rooms…you can go crazy with this if you’re bored, or you can just look around and see how much you have. Write these down (separate by room).

3. List

A. items you could readily do without (explain why/how)

B. items that you would have to make a strong effort to remove and replace (explain why/how)

C. items that it’s just not possible to get rid of (explain why/how).

4. I’d like to give you a personal challenge. Talk to your family about items from 3.A. and see if you would all be willing to give these up for a specific amount of time…maybe a month. (If you’re successful and you’ve found workarounds that are perfectly fine…then you’ve made a difference…maybe they can all still with it?

At the same time, consider items in 3.B. Choose 3 that you would want to try to give up and trying something else. These will be more difficult…but not impossible. Likely you’ll be looking for alternative products that will take a little getting used to… Now, see if folks in your family are on board with choosing a few of their own 3 items. They may not be….but that’s ok…we’ll start them off easy with the items in 3A. A positive outcome thereafter a month maybe encouraging them to make more changes… While at it…as anyone in your household why it would be too difficult to give up certain items. Don’t just…this is actually our dilemma today. Recycling these items is great, but if we gave them up, we wouldn’t need to recycle. Why can’t humans give up these things? Think about that and the psychology of it all. This is why we need to study humans as well as the environment.

Let’s talk about all of this on Thursday.

I will tell you, I understand the struggles in a household with others in it. I try, but not everyone (particularly my 76-year-old mother) is not willing to make changes — not too easily anyway. So, some are my own. For instance:

I now use silicon reusable zip-baggies rather than plastic Ziplocs. I use bar shampoo and conditioner (that took me a really long time to get used to), I use toothpaste bites rather than buying tubes of toothpaste –odd, but perfectly fine, actually. I never buy plastic straws, I have reusable metal ones and I have reusable metal travel coffee cup and plastic water bottle. These are just some of the changes that I have actively tried to make a conscious effort to change from single-use plastic to … not. But I still have a ton of plastic around me in my life…

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