The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first plastic bag.

Dear Reader,

I have decided to cut down on my plastic usage. Here’s why:

1. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It exists. This is not good.

2. Endocrine disruptors can leach out of household items like tupperware or plastic bags. This is not good. For more info, check out this fabulous article on endocrine disruptors.

3. Making a conscious effort to reduce my plastic usage will force me to reevaluate the impact I am personally having on the earth. This will be good.

Over the past week, as I brainstormed how to structure this project, one thing became clear: plastic is in everything. When the idea for this project first came to me, I thought that I could take it on without much major disruption of my daily routine. “I’ll just get better at remembering to take my cloth bags to the grocery store!” I told myself cheerfully. “I’ll buy more things in bulk! It will be easy peasy lemon squeezy!”

Boy, is my face red. Turns out that while I was thinking this thought, I was brushing my hair with my plastic hairbrush after washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner that came from plastic bottles in a shower with a plastic shower curtain. Don’t even get me started on the plastic computer and plastic cellphone that I rely on to participate in life in the twenty-first century.

So. I’m not going to be able to completely eliminate plastic from my daily life. In consultation with a committee of experts (i.e. my boyfriend), I have decided to create a system of points that I can allot toward my plastic usage each week. The number of points per week will take into account items that I use every day (like my computer and cellphone) and will allow for a small number of discretionary plastic items. For those of you interested in my point system, you can check back next week when I will post what I’ve worked out. For those of you who have lives/normal interests and attention spans, we go back to the larger point…

My goal is this: to reduce, to educate myself and others, and to have a good time doing it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and you can tune in next week to see if I’ve made any progress.