Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fantastic No-Plastic Friday the Fourteenth

Plastic is everywhere. It seems you can’t buy anything without it being wrapped, transported, displayed, packaged, repackaged, carried, and disposed in a new single-use disposable plastic item—a new plastic item for each stage of transport, display, packaging, etc… Plastic is so ubiquitous that we don’t even notice it.

Every now and then, a day comes along when must take a look at that which is normally invisible due to its over-familiarity. That day is coming in less than two weeks.
    Announcing: Fantastic No-Plastic Friday the Fourteenth.
On Fantastic No-Plastic Friday the Fourteenth (FNPF14) all participants reject any single-use disposable plastic item. Be it grocery bag, coffee cup and/or lid, sandwich plate, straw, or any of a million containers and decorations of any kind, just say, “no thanks, not today.”

During that one day, there will be ample reminders to think about plastic. Where does it come from? Where does it go? How did society live without so much of it 50 years ago, and without any of it 100 years ago? Does it ever biodegrade? Is it an appropriate use of 9% of our oil reserves? Can it really be successfully recycled? How much of the cost of everything goes into that plastic? How much would one of our ancestors have sacrificed to have an item as durable and long-lasting as a plastic Doggie Diner boat, used only once and only to transport a chili dog 12 feet from counter to table?

This may take a little planning (e.g. bringing your own cup, yesterday’s bag to re-use, or your home Tupperware for leftovers), may cause awkward moments, and may require us to postpone for one day some social interactions. Is that too much of a sacrifice for one day? Maybe. If plastics have inundated our lives as completely as I fear they have, we’ll learn on that one day that the idea of living within our sustainable means is hopelessly idealistic. But at least we’ll know.
    Friends, if just one person rejects single-use disposable plastic items they’ll think he’s really sick and they won’t serve him. If two people do it, in harmony, they’ll think they’re both eco-fags and neither of them will be served. But if three people do it, three (that’s right, three, as in every single reader of this blog) they’ll know it’s a movement. And that’s what it is, The Fantastic No-Plastic movement.*
I look forward with hope and fear for the upcoming Friday the Fourteenth, and the tiny sacrifices to be made on that day. Thank you for being a part of this movement.

*with thanks to Arlo Guthrie and Alice’s Restaurant


  1. Looks like I'll need to start stocking up on disposable African elephant ivory containers to replace the plastics I'd normally use on No-Plastic Friday the 14th...

  2. I'll try it for once! Wait, did I just fuck it up?