I have made numerous attempts throughout my life to go “plastic free”, but ultimately I’ve settled for plastic conscious. The threat of plastic inundates every single aspect of our lives. Most people think in terms of shopping bags, water bottles, and coffee cups. But a truly plastic free lifestyle is much more complicated than that.
I wear contacts. They come individually wrapped in small plastic wells. The contacts themselves are plastic. They are made to be worn for a month, and then thrown away. I have a pair of glasses, which I have argued with myself, would save me a lot of plastic, and money. But I spend a lot of time outside, running a high risk of losing them, scratching them or breaking them. Besides, my glasses frames are plastic, and the lenses are polycarbonate.
I also wear clothes, though I would not be considered fashionable. A pair of jean shorts and a tank top is all I need. Both have synthetic fibers woven into them. So do my running shorts and sports bras. I could stop washing my clothes, or stop wearing clothes all together, but that seems impractical.
I have medium length, thick hair. Hair that requires ties, clips and pins to keep it under control, especially in the humidity of South Florida. All of these are plastic, easily lost, and potentially hazardous to animals and the environment. I am almost convinced to cut off my hair, but am struggling with the potential loss of identity.
When I took inventory of the plastic in my life, it became overwhelming to try and eliminate it all. I am an indebt graduate student. Even if I had the time to go looking for plastic free products, I don’t have the money to buy them. I do what I can, but I’ve had to settle for a plastic conscious lifestyle. At this stage in my life, it is the best I can do.