5 plastic confessions

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Five ways how plastic still sneaks into my daily life. Any suggestions for plastic-free alternatives are super welcome. πŸ™‚ Besides all this, I try to be positive and be proud of any plastic bans I make.

Cool system

Good morning Gerda! Good morning airconditioning. It’s summer in Beijing and without some kind of cooling system, it’s suffering. I am not big fan of airco as it gave me some kind of flu, and I know it takes a lot of energy. Buying a fan seems not optional either as most of them are made of plastic. Might be some kinda old-school solution? Our great-great-grandmothers and fathers survived summers too!

Toothpaste

An experiment with baking-soda and water wasn’t a great success. So until now, I haven’t found a good solution for this. Although I think compromising doesn’t really count, I am the lucky owner of a wooden toothbrush. These daily tools appear in large amounts in the plastic ocean soups. Get a wooden one too! And may this be the last plastic toothbrush you trow out. πŸ™‚ Toothbrush

Clothes

My adorable sleeping suit isn’t as innocent as it seems. The label tells me the truth: it’s polyester. Another product made of plastic. It’s not just the evil production process. Researchers have discovered that every time clothing made from synthetic plastic fibers is washed, tiny strands of the garments are removed in the washing machine and may ultimately enter the ocean. I try to get pure materials, though it’s another dilemma involving budget and priorities.

Vinyl

While I am rushing around in the morning, mister Morrissey or other music legends, provide some mellow morning melodies from the recordplayer. I can’t get enough of vinylrecords, but maybe I should! Some research made me only realise now, that one of my most favourite things in life, is made of plastic! β€œVinyl was first invented in 1920 by scientists who wanted to develop a material that would help to manufacture everyday products that were easier to make, more durable, and cheaper than what was available. Today, Vinyl has become the second largest manufactured and sold plastic resin in the entire world.” And the ironic thing is, that I am actually working to produce more of them as I work for a record company. Oh no!

Pen

How to get words on paper, without plastic involved? Maybe we should go back to feather and ink. There would be so many benefits: the feathers are compostable, and break down more quickly than any other kind of pen. Most of all it’s beautiful, every little note will look like a piece of art. Hmm, the chase for the quill pen is on!

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About Author

Gerda

Homemade pumpkin soup, any cooking by her sister Annemieke, hard rubbish, exotic markets, traintrips, obscure records and a million other things make Gerda very happy. The opposite counts for pollution and unfair treatment of our planet. Therefore Plastic-Free Tuesday is one of those things that Gerda happily included in her never ending to-live-for-list. She is a fulltime treehugger with an extra mission on Tuesdays. And that again makes her very, very happy. Gerda is a real nomad, she has been living in many different countries. At the moment, she's in southern Europe working with refugee projects. Gerda is in charge of developing the offline PFT reusable bag campaign for which she sews bags out of donated, second-hand fabric. She also writes blogs, designs social media content, and helps developing our communication strategy.

3 Comments

  1. We listen to a lot of vinyl records, as my husband and I are both classical musicians. I am not too worried about this, as almost all of the records are bought used and would have ended up in the landfill anyway. And the sound quality is so much better.

    I know there are fountain pens on Life Without Plastic (or ebay) if that’s something you’re looking for!

  2. Marlies

    Hi Gerda!

    Tooth paste expirimenting in full action here too πŸ™‚ I am currently on a tbsp of coconut oil, a tsp of baking soda, and a few drops of essential mint oil, and a few drops of almond oil, which in retrospect are unneccesary. Next batch I am sticking to the coconut oil, BS and mint oil. Only BS I find too agressive.. I quite like it so far! Why was it not a succes for you btw? Also, did you already consider Chiara’s option on the blog a while back btw ? I personally find xylitol a bit of a problematic ingredient so far, what do you think?

    On the Vinyl, I always thought that were old records only! I didn’t know that new vinyl still existed!

    For writing, use a nice sharp pencil?? πŸ™‚ or indeed get a metal quill, that would be cool. Doubt whether you’ll find ink without plastic involved though.. e.g. plastic cap for a bottle of ink? πŸ™‚

    On clothes.. tricky.. second hand only?? at least no new plastic! There are some cool brands which use recycled plastics (‘Alternative Apparel’ I saw on Instagram today!), or are against plastic generally (MOVMT, super cool brand I think). Unfortunately both of these are in the US.. So for Europe or Asia less of an option (unless you can visit Stockholm easily :-)). And of course it depends on what you think of ordering online..

    Finally.. Airco.. truly hated it in Beijing. And I really can’t stand heat, I go knock out.. Yet, at home we never turned it on precisely for the reasons you say… I’d just suffer, be practical with windows open/closed, curtains open/closed, or I’d go to a public place to enjoy some cool air there, e.g. take my laptop to a bar/cafe.. A good way to cool down is to swim in one of the public pools (Chaoyang!) and keep in the shade outside. A really good way is also to regularly have cold water/ keep icecubes on the inside of your wrists! Maybe even ankles, also in the neck, anywhere where your arteries are exposed. Good luck with BJ weather, don’t miss it much!! πŸ˜‰

    xoxo Marlies

  3. I should get myself a wooden toothbrush. I make my own toothpaste from a mixture of mostly baking soda, a bit of salt, stevia, and some-variety-of-flavor extract (vanilla, peppermint, etc.) to make it a paste. I actually don’t hate it and I’m very picky about flavors. Give it a try πŸ™‚

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