Who Cares About the Stupid Planet Anyway?

32 comments

I can’t imagine that anyone would seriously say this. It sounds damn ridiculous. However. Everywhere that I look in books and media, I am seeing the devastating effects of plastics on our environment. It’s pretty damn hard to ignore. At least that’s what I thought.

You see, I’ve been noticing more and more that all around me the plastic problem doesn’t seem to exist at all. No one seems aware or seems to care, at least in my part of this country. How could one care when they offer to put a pack of gum into a plastic bag? I mean, what the fuck.

My daughter and I went into the drug store last night– Walgreens, I’m talking to you– and we bought a few things for a party I was having. We carried everything up to the register in our arms. The items weren’t heavy, so we were more than capable. While I’m putting my membership number into the system, my cashier starts bagging everything. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I say. “We don’t need bags.”

Her reply: I already put them in. Oh yeah, I forgot that you’re one of those people.”

Now, to be clear, she didn’t say that in a disrespectful way, and I’m not trying to disrespect her here. I’m just using that comment to illustrate a point and a larger problem. She sees me as a type of person. The type of person that cares about the environment. This is a great compliment, and a label that I’m proud to carry. But why the hell does she see me as different from her or any other customer? Why the hell isn’t she the same type? Or the guy behind me, why isn’t he that type? Why do I stand out for not wanting plastic bags for items that we easily carried in our arms to the register?

I’m freaking upset people. When I told her that some states charge for the use of plastic bags and some are riding themselves of plastic bags altogether, she was genuinely surprised. Can it be that she is genuinely ignorant? Yes.

See, what I have to remember is that my reality isn’t going to mirror everyone’s reality. The articles and books that I’ve been reading, documentaries that I’ve been watching are not going to be on everyone’s feed or bookshelf.

A prime example of not knowing what you don’t know: About a week ago, one of my blogger friends Cheila over at Pink for Days mentioned in a post that the tiny little plastic beads in most body exfoliators is one of the biggest threats to clean water. These beads are extremely difficult to clean up. It’s not a plastic bottle that you see floating in the water and can easily lift out. I was shocked. I had never thought of that. Congress has actually passed a Microbead-Free Waters Act, signed by Obama, which is to ultimately phase out the use of them in face/body washes, and toothpastes, etc. Manufacturing is to end by July of this month and the selling of such products by July of next year.

I am a lover of exfoliators. As a matter of fact, about a month ago, I thought I had discovered the very best one on the market. It leaves my skin otherworldly, alien-technology smooth. I want to tell everyone the name of it, but that would be wrong, I think. My point is, I had no idea. My point is also that I’m super bummed about having to give up my body buffer (as the glossy mags like to call it). Well, they are probably busy working on a new formula. I will go back to using good old olive oil and brown sugar for my scrubs.

Now I don’t intend to sit on a high horse here and look down on everyone who uses plastic. I’m also an earth-abusing scumbag. The 3 bags of potato chips that I bought were made of plastic, and so was the bottle of juice. I could’ve made juice at home and fed my guests homemade hummus and carrots, but I didn’t. I did the easy thing. I’m a scoundrel. We all are, just some more than others.

I just want to do my part to spread the message that in our daily lives, we can do a lot to alter the life course of our planet. Imagine if someone walked into our homes and dumped trash on the floor. Imagine if the put their dirty boot on our sofa. Imagine if they went to shower and it lasted for 2 hours. You would be livid. I would be livid. We’d do something. We’d make them clean it up, probably with force if it came to that. We’d never let them shower at our house again. Probably wouldn’t let them into our house again.

You know what I’m getting at, Dear Reader. The earth is our home. I sigh as I’m saying this because I’m angry, but I’m also sad. I’m sad that we haven’t done better.

But I want to leave you with a bit of good news. Before I hit publish on this post, I decided to step away from it and run to that same store for a loaf of bread. The same cashier as last night was there. When I got to the register with my one loaf of bread, she said to me, “I know you don’t want a bag right? I remember your face. No bags for you.”

A sigh of relief. Maybe she won’t stop using plastic as much, but somewhere in her mind is the issue. I am somewhere in her brain speaking to her, and maybe with time that little whisper will get louder.

Could we all just raise our voices a little bit? Can we make some changes and tell people the reasons for those changes as we make them. Advertise it. Advocate for it. Encourage it. Our planet, our home, needs our voices to speak.

Here’s to our beautiful Mother Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32 comments on “Who Cares About the Stupid Planet Anyway?”

  1. I’m a new follower, but I have to say I do like what I see. I saw you linked on another person’s blog and decided to follow, I hope you don’t mind and I hope it’s okay I comment.
    Of course, I think a lot of companies are motivated to use plastic bags, simply because of their cost – i.e. profit motive. So, that is not going to change without legislative action, unfortunately.
    One thing to take comfort in is this: plastic bags are recyclable. I use them and keep a bag at home to put spares in, so I can re-use them. Then they get to a point where they can no longer be used, I toss them in the recycle bin that the city picks up a couple times per month to be recycled.
    Granted, there are a lot of plastics that can’t be reused or recycled, and there needs to be more of an effort to address those things, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Welcome and I’m so happy you’ve found me here. You’ll notice that there’s a lot of comments on this site. I love the interaction. I’m also happy to hear that you like what you see. I try to post on lots of different things. A bit all over the place, like myself.

      I do agree that plastics are recyclable and that’s a good thing. I think the issue with relying on this method alone is that companies won’t care change because consumers keep using them. A huge number of people don’t recycle their bags, so it’s best to not depend on the few who do. Often when people reuse plastic bags, they end up eventually in the trash since they use them to put trash in (from my experience) or just aren’t near recycling when they leave home with them. Recycling plants have a huge carbon footprint and depending on them less would help the environment. Those are just some of my ideas.
      I know that I can also be way better at helping this problem. It’s a big problem. Slowly but surely, right? Thanks for reading and commenting. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL…I work in the oil & gas industry…MUCH bigger carbon footprint, but they have certainly made many strides (albeit forced) in the past several years.
        Truthfully, I’m looking to change my job and it has a lot to do with environmentalism…

        Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s good (: I always reuse the crap out of any plastic bags we get and I told my boyfriend I didn’t want us buying cases of water bottles, but instead filtering our tap water to drink that!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s amazing how people classify you because of ur beliefs. I get it a lot as well bc I shop at a health and organic food store. I just more local food over something that has been brought In. I don’t use plastic but reusable grocery bags. we have a store that if u use your own grocery bags u get points. I love this post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is infuriating! I’m also one of “those people” and I do try to use as little plastic as possible. Just yesterday I was standing in front of an aisle at the supermarket feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of plastic bottles in front of me. You’re not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooooooo! I could SO join you in this rant Lyz! I echo all of your sentiments/frustrations! Don’t EVEN get me started on how deeply engrained consumerism — by U.S. multi-million dollor corporations — is “conveniently” fed to us and we… just go along, hardly thinking TWICE about… say, what goes into all of our landfills then eventually into our water-systems, aquafiers, rivers, and oceans, i.e. the very water us humans MUST HAVE to survive and thrive!

    Shout it LOUD SISTA!!! (holds up his shot-glass to salute the Lady Lyz!) ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m one of “those people” that won’t litter even if it’s a little plastic candy wrap and anytime someone will tell me “girl just throw it down you scared?” I’m like no I just don’t see why you have to throw trash down on the ground when trash cans and recycling bins were made for that. My sisters would always laugh at me because I just won’t litter and I wish they wouldn’t either but what can I do besides making sure I’m not a part of a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the exact same way. I can’t believe that people just throw crap on the ground. Also, you can yell at them and chase them down the street while swinging a broomstick at them.

      Like

  6. I’m constantly thinking about this. I could do so much more, but we are used to a certain level of comfort and no sacrifices. Here in Portugal, about 2 years ago, they passed a law which made free plastic bags forbidden. You would either change to paper or charge the customer 10 cents for a plastic bag. Then they began selling big, reusable bags and eventually started to charge for the paper ones as well. You’re supposed to use your own, reusable bag. Which we do. We keep to big ones in the car and always use the same. Great article. I need to do more and make some life chances. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s crazy to me that where I live, these ideas and solutions are nonexistent. So glad to hear that Portugal is on board. In America, all of the state’s want to do their own thing. It needs to be a federal issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the problem with States. They all have some sort of micro culture and own ideas. Damn, that must be a hard country to govern. Especially when the president needs a f*cking brain transplant. So sad those do not exist yet

        Like

        1. It’s definitely got it’s challenges. You are so right about micro cultures. It seems that humans will always find ways to connect through developing cultures. Two villages side by side will have their own culture. A huge country like ours? Many many πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes. Oh, I forgot to mention. Here in Portugal we are also encouraged to separate your trash and take everything into the designated bin. Even cooking oil and batteries, we have places for those. You’re kind of looked down upon if you don’t recycle. And older and more polluting cars can’t be taking into the city center. There’s always campaigns, telling people to turn of the lights when living a room or closing the tap while brushing their teeth. We’re not a better country, we’re just obliged by European Union regulations

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Wow, that’s really beautiful. We do have garbage pick up for trash and recycling and yard waste, but to separate cooking oils, that’s something I never heard of. We like to sneer at nonrecyclers as well. Some places will fine you for not recycling but again there’s a lot of inconsistency. This is all very encouraging news to hear that Europe is doing better.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. We definitely have more regulations. Even when it comes to food additives and cosmetics. There are many components or additives that are permitted elsewhere and restricted or forbidding by the European Union

              Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m also one of Those People but I also used to be That Cashier.

    As a teen working weekends on a supermarket checkout, I was mildly annoyed by the people that brought their own bags. I thought they were holier than thou. And it meant that they couldn’t start packing until they had unloaded their trolley and that slowed me down.

    I learnt after that the plastic is Evil and when I did my own shopping I would always take my own bags. It was just ignorance.

    We have a 5p charge for plastic bags now and they’re not visible at the checkout – you have to ask for them. It has made a huge difference! I rarely see anyone use plastic bags now.

    But I’m still usually overwhelming pessimistic about it. These little changes mean nothing when we’re still deforesting our planet and pumping it full of carbon emissions. Trump scares the hell out of me. I really do think my generation is witnessing the end of the world…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, a lot of the times it’s ignorance. I used to sort of chuckle at “tree huggers” as well. But what a great example you proven that people can turn around.

      You’re right that with deforestation (being Haitian I’ve seen the first hand consequences) and carbon, bags alone won’t solve the problem. A lot of people are overwhelmed, so you aren’t alone. We just have to keep doing our individual best and keep spreading the word. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

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