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Plastic Obsession

I spent about an hour yesterday reading about and watching the Vice Magazine documentary/news report TOXIC: Garbage Island. If you haven’t watched it: It’s a first-person account of a trip into the Pacific Garbage Patch. Reporters from VBS.TV along with researchers and volunteers go out and analyze the waters. A three-week trip there and back. It’s beautifully done, but fairly depressing.

The samples that they look at are saturated with tiny plastic particles. The conditions are actually worse that they expected, they said. I sat there watching and felt terrible. And helpless. And angry. At the end of my work day I went downstairs. It seemed like everything I touched was made of plastic. I cooked dinner. There was plastic wrap on my air-chilled chicken. The frozen broccoli I made came in a plastic bag. The sweet potatoes came in a plastic mesh bag. I put my kids to sleep. Their toothpaste was in a plastic tube. The toilet paper was wrapped in plastic. The light switch on the wall was plastic, too. I went downstairs and got ready to leave to meet friends for coffee. My ATM card is plastic. Most of the components in my car are, too. At the diner even the little chocolate mints by the front door were wrapped in, you guessed it, plastic.

I’m still so upset about what I saw on the video and what I see in my own environment, I don’t know what to write. Which is why this blog is late today. I feel like I should do something to change what’s going on. I’ll be exploring this in future blogs. For now, I’m logging out to make dinner. I’ve got a late conference call with an exec on the West Coast, and I hate the feeling of being at my desk from 9 to 9. Taking my fingers away from my plastic mouse and keyboard, removing my plastic headset, and turning off my plastic monitor. And realizing, after looking around my office, that it’s no wonder that we’re in such dire straights.

Have you seen the Vice video? How did you feel after watching it? Will you be making any changes in your life? I’d like to know I’m not alone…

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