Last week, I mentioned reading Plastic Purge by Michael SanClements. His book really delved into the history of plastics and gave some great advice for reducing plastics in our daily life. This week, I’ve been reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck, written by Rick Smith & Bruce Lourie. I am only half way through the book but again I am shocked at the amount of harmful chemicals we come in contact with daily and how they negatively affect our health and the environment.
An interesting exercise SanClements encouraged was to describe a normal day. This helps demonstrate the amount of chemicals in our environment in a very clear way. Here’s an example of my daily plastic life:
- Wake up to plastic cell phone alarm clock, plugged into a plastic wall outlet.
- Turn on plastic light switch plate in my bedroom.
- Get into shower with plastic shower curtain and use shampoo and body wash from plastic bottles.
- Eat cereal from a plastic lined bag.
- Brush teeth with plastic tooth brush.
- Turn on plastic computer and begin blogging while seated on my plastic foam filled chair.
- Enjoy coffee in ceramic mug (yay!) made from coffee grounds from a metal container with a plastic lid.
- Begin preparations for my freezer meals, including removing vegetables from their plastic bags and chopping them using my plastic handled knife.
- Feed my dog Polly from her plastic lined food bag into her plastic food bowls.
- Portion my freezer meals into plastic containers and store in my freezer next to many other plastic containers and bottles.
- Take Polly for a walk; use plastic poo bags for when she goes.
- Grab TexMex for dinner; enjoy chips and salsa in reusable plastic baskets. Drink a glass of water from a plastic cup.
so. much. plastic.
It’s frightening how much plastic we come into contact with daily.
The authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck complete experiments on themselves, testing the levels of different chemicals in their blood and urine. They try to reduce their levels of these chemicals before the study and then spend two days completing regular daily tasks to a bit of an extreme level and send their samples to be tested. It’s wild to learn that they actually altered the amount of chemicals in their bodies, but also it’s encouraging. This means that if we are aware of the chemicals in plastics in our lives, we can try to reduce them and in effect, improve our health. In our current society, we really must motivate ourselves to make the change, because chemical companies are not considering our best interest or that of our environment.
Dealing with the chemical companies of today is a bit like dealing with the cigarette industry. It’s madness that chemicals are put on the market and basically considered harmless until proven otherwise. This is a huge problem, because plastics tend to slowly cause health problems. In the past, for example, water became contaminated, people drank it, and many became sick. There was a very evident cause of illness, and it was quickly made right. However, in today’s society, there is a silent killer that no one recognizes. We come in contact with nasty chemicals that aren’t visible, and eventually people get cancers and diseases and we have no idea why. I think there’s a connection and we should do something to make a change!
What are your thoughts on a plastic free lifestyle? Do you think plastics are something we should be concerned about in our society today?? What are some ways we can reduce plastics in our daily lives?