I have always been someone who cares about the environment, from that time eleven-year-old me cried after school because we learned that the polar bears are headed toward extinction, to the common sight of undergrad me agonizing over which clay pots to fire. ("If I put this piece of bad art in the kiln, these clay molecules will be converted to a permanent material and it will never again be dirt -- only bad art forever!!")
I have only read the first few chapters of this book, but I just can't shut up about it. Though a part of my eco-conscious brain was already awake to the fact that everything we buy, consume, and encounter all day everyday is indeed plastic, I had quieted that voice for a long time out of convenience and comfort. Everything you buy is wrapped in plastic and probably made with plastic too.
In short - plastic is a problem for several reasons:
- the process of producing plastic is toxic to us and the environment
- plastic objects leach a ton of barely regulated, toxic chemicals into our bodies
- plastic never decomposes
- plastic waste is making its way into the world's oceans
Beth Terry states, "Why create disposable containers and packaging out of a material meant to last forever?"
Image by the Plastic Free Ocean Campaign
I suspect that a lot of people stop right there. My dad stops listening right there. Most of my friends and family stop listening right there. It's a normal reaction. Why do people tend to stop caring and dismiss the conversation about change? If you really do believe how bad the plastic problem has become, then guilt follows. Being overwhelmed follows that. That's a lot of discomfort! Heck, my library's copy of "Plastic Free" is ironically covered in plastic. Boo, Library.
I can't change how other people think or believe or act, but I do know that I can make a lot of changes in my own life to lessen my impact on the environment. I can also start blogging about how I make my artwork more eco-friendly. I have already been doing that for years. "Recycled materials" is often written in the tag of the artwork that I share with you on this blog, but why has it never been something that I explained or championed? I'm going to start doing that.
I can share and re-share this crazy post I wrote on Earth Day last year: "Happy Earth Day: Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact as an Artist".
Lastly, I will be sharing any new resources or developments of my own story here.
If any like-minded readers have any suggestions or resources they would like to share, please leave them in the comments below!