When my girls were still of the age where they played with dolls, sometimes I would pass by their door and hear amusing conversations.
One of my enduring favorites?
At age five, my youngest said this, in an apparent conversation between dolls of different material constructions:
Stop! I’m porcelain. You’re just plastic.
I laughed to myself. But I also thought it was fascinating. At age five, my girl believed there was something a little “better” about the beauty of the porcelain doll versus the plastic. And she was making that clear, in a conversation that amounted to assertion of social status and relative power.
What do you believe about plastic?
Often, we haven’t even entertained this question. We buy what we buy, because that’s what our favorite food, drink, or beauty product is packaged in. We have parties and throw away our plastic goods after the guests are gone, because, well, some of us grew to think that’s what you do.
Me? Been there, done that. And, in some cases, still do.
Even so, I love the idea of a plastic-free world. I also understand that it will take some doing to get there. After all, it took some doing to get here, where we are: having given up our “porcelain” status.
Challenges aside, I love the concept. After all, I know that food tastes better when it hasn’t been packaged in plastic. A party table looks more beautiful when it’s set with pottery or porcelain dishes. The feel of a glass in the hand, a silver spoon on the lips? Plastic just doesn’t compete. Becoming free of plastic—this uninspiring material—means taking a step towards beauty and depth. It can even mean greater health for us and our children.
One of my fond memories of my own childhood is when I’d go to my Aunt’s house. She’s the kind of person who sets trends through her artistic vision and personal confidence. Her table was always something to behold. It wasn’t fussy. But it was gorgeous. None of the silver was the same. Nor the teacups or plates. Nor the table linens. She bought it all separately, each piece for how she loved it. A lot of it was from small neighborhood shops. I don’t think she paid a great deal for these items that weren’t being sold in sets. But the effect was rich. And it stayed with me.
So I’m up for it. Exploring a life that’s more free of plastic. A life that even a five-year-old can understand as being a better deal. Starting with the spoons and the plates.
Want to learn more about being plastic-free? Join EcoChallenge’s Plastic-Free July. Get inspired. Tell your friends. Maybe take the challenge together. Have fun. (That’s my best way of getting anything done. 🙂 )