How Hard IS a Day of No Plastic?

It seemed like everyone I’ve ever met sent me the A.J. Jacob’s article “Trying to Live a Day Without Plastic” when it came out in the New York Times a little over a week ago. I love that people thought of me when they saw an article that might as well have been entitled “Stunt Author’s Wacky Plastic Experiment!”

What also struck me as funny is the fact that I had done a similar experiment during our family’s Year of No Garbage. It turns out I am neither the first nor the last to do so, because I am told Susan Freinkel also did a ‘day of no plastic’ for her 2011 book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story (now next on my reading list!)

My Day of No Plastic: no piece of cake

The point of all these plastic-less days is not the idea that we should somehow, literally figure out how to live without plastic in our contemporary society, but rather to illustrate how very saturated we are with this material in every aspect of our lives. Anyone who tries this experiment is guaranteed to be genuinely astounded at how ubiquitous plastic really is and how quickly avoiding plastic immobilizes even the most basic aspects of daily life. Brushing your teeth, driving your car, getting dressed, eating food- in this day and age there is virtually nothing you can do that is not touched by the toxic and wasteful material plastic.

He’s got that “Oh shit, I’m surrounded” look, doesn’t he?

It reminds me of the old myth about the frog who stays in a pot of water because the temperature rises so gradually that before he knows it, he’s boiling to death. When you try to do a day of no plastic you quickly realize that we’re the frogs and what we’re being boiled to death in? Is plastic.

It begs the question: is this what we want? Did we ask for this plastic apocalypse, on some level, and if we did can we take it back? Is it possible to undo what has been done? How do we turn the stove off so we can be happy frogs again?

It seems to me that articles like Jacob’s are one of the places where we start. We start by beginning the conversation. Information leads to action. Of course, I’d love to think my upcoming book is part of that conversation as well. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, please pre-order a copy of Year of No Garbage, because – well-— because this conversation is important, and the more information and momentum we have on this issue, the better. If you’d rather check it out of your local library, awesome. Maybe ask the librarian if they are planning to order a copy.

And speaking of which, if I haven’t mentioned it lately, thank you for being one of my readers. Without you guys I couldn’t be the Wacky Stunt Author that I am today, trying to save the world by torturing my family. Stay tuned! There is lots more to come.

And from one froggie to another—don’t let the stove water get you down. We got this.

2 thoughts on “How Hard IS a Day of No Plastic?

  1. If I tried a day without plastic I’d be blind. My glasses and contacts are plastic. But I did just replace a bunch of stuff in my kitchen after your last post. 😬. I can’t believe we had a plastic pitcher for so long!

    This also reminds me of this but it’s being used as a “look how needed we are” advertisement:

    1. I WAS blind- no glasses in plastic frames for me! Good thing I couldn’t drive the car anyway. So glad to hear some plastic made its way out of your kitchen- hooray! And I’m so glad you shared that commercial from YouTube – 😮 – the public service message of which is very clearly: without petroleum, no one will ever have sex again.

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