Plastic Proliferation: Maria’s greening # 4

Posted by on 06.19.07 | 2 Comments
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Plastic Proliferation: Greening Blog

“Trust is the decision to keep seeing the deeper path of life and committing ourselves to it, in active partnership with guidance. Trust is interaction. We are doing what we can do, Spirit is doing what it can do, and our lives are the amalgam of these energies.” –from Life’s Companion by Christina Baldwin

We are back from our travels to the desert. Watching my mother’s face light up seeing her great grandson for the first time was a joy and gift to us all. I am once again so grateful for the thoughtful, beautiful and forthright woman my daughter has grown into. She is an incredible parent to our grandson, Sammy, who I must shamelessly say is the most incredible little boy on the planet! I am deeply and profoundly grateful for my life and spurred to continue this dream of bringing mindfulness and simplicity into the light. I am also grateful to Joan, who sent in her comments on these blogs, and whose encouragement jump started me once again to continue writing no matter what.

Awareness was present as I watched the attendants on the plane dispense dozens of plastic cups and then collect them in large plastic bags. I was aware of the hundreds of covered plastic containers given out from numerous food venders at the airport. Even the smallest of orders went out on a large covered plastic take out container. I noticed the quantity of water bottles being sold and carried. I have vowed to travel with my thermal cup which can be taken empty through security.

When we stopped at a local deli and store to buy mom flowers (wrapped in plastic) and a half sandwich, once again the order came in a huge plastic container. After returning home I stopped at Costco to have my photos developed. Do you have any idea how many hundreds of plastic forks and spoons are thrown out from the various sample tastings at Costco? I don’t have the number but I know its huge.

So. . . I’ve become hypersensitive to plastic in all forms. A zero tolerance policy around accepting purchases in plastic has begun forming. I admit there are times when I forget to bring my string bags but more and more bringing my bags or simply carrying my purchases sans bags is becoming more my habit. I have begun using reusable plastic freezer containers to replace plastic wrap and storage bags.

Every year, Americans use enough plastic wrap

to cover all of Texas. Switch to recyclable aluminum foil

for safer, eco-friendlier food wrapping.” Ideal Bite

We are purchasing excellent bulk shampoo, conditioners, oils and creams to cut down on disposable or even recyclable plastic bottles. Here is another interesting and mindboggling quote from Ideal Bite:

“If everyone in the world lived like an Ameican, we’d

need 5 earths to support our highly consumptive


My greening mindfulness practice is focused on plastic at the moment. There will be more as I explore how we can contribute to the solution. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is the most dangerous plastic around due to cancer causing chemicals released.

“Blood samples of people near a PVC plant in

Louisiana had 3x the average levels of cancer

causing chemicals.” Be Safe Net

Look for the recycle symbol #3 or the letter V on products which designates PVC plastic. Non PVC plastics are easier to recycle. On a positive note, positive changes are happening such as Wal Mart’s packaging scorecard:

“Walmart unveiled a new safer chemicals policy to

phase out toxic chemicals in products and packaging

scorecard to rank suppliers on sustainable packaging.

Wal Mart gave PVC the worst possible rating as a

packaging material.” Be Safe Net

Practicing mindfulness means I must be awake enough to question each and every purchase and check items more carefully. Here are just a few of the many products that may contain PVC plastic:

Backpacks Handbags Luggage

Shoes fake xmas trees Mattress covers

Photo albums Shelving Strollers

Toys Drink containers Plastic utensils

Tablecloths Binders Clipboards

Paper clips Garden hoses Kids’ swimming pools

For information about safe alternatives, check out That website also lists a “toxipedia” with much more detailed information.

As the beginning quote states – trust is the decision to follow the deeper path with commitment. Again, I ask that you take the time to share what you are doing in your path toward voluntary simplicity and consumer discernment. Your comments are welcome. In the meantime, may you make greening mindfulness a part of your life.

Maria Wattier – dreamer, blogger, grandmother and sore gardener!




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