Archives for posts with tag: environmentalism

RemiI’m walking my dog in the park. It’s lovely. I’m listening to the birds singing, enjoying the sun on my face. Suddenly I feel a tug on the lead behind me. I turn to observe my cute puppy, hunched over, looking at me with guilty eyes as she squeezes out a poo. I spy the poo bag dispenser. My mind time travels.

I wonder, what will future species think of us? Archaeological digs will uncover masses of plastic waste, poo bags included. Seeing as it takes the average plastic bag 200-400 years to beak down, and landfills create a kind of compacted, rubbish fossilizing system – what’ll they think of all the perfectly preserved dog poo’s?

As a responsible dog walker I must be prepared for said poop. ‘Dog-Poo-Shoe’ is a major faux pas in most western cultures, not to mention protecting public health, (I don’t want to blind a child!) But what does one do whilst attempting to save ones planet? Plastic poo-bags are obviously a no-no, because as we all know: plastic NEVER EVER BIODEGRADES!

Scouring the internet, my only option seems to be a huge and claw like contraption. Not at all practical for a day frolicking in the park. What I need is a good old fashioned poop-a-scoopa. They looked like an egg box, you scooped the poop and hey presto! Where did they go?

Alternatives? Recycled paper bags do the job. I save them up after shopping trips. The checkout chick looks at me funny because EVERY loose vegetable is in one. Whatever. This method isn’t suitable for all dogs, but for my puppy, the 3.5kg love-child of Sweep and a Jack Russell, they suffice. Sometimes I find an empty re-usable coffee cup. This used to make me crazy. It now makes a great poop-scoop. The other day I even used a large leaf. How bloody biodegradable of me.

However damn imaginative I have to be, however crazy things get, I will prevail. It will NOT be my dogs poo on the examination table of the future.

Have you ever tried to live your life without plastic? Me neither, but I’m about to have a good crack! Inspired by American writer and activist Beth Terry I am taking the issue of problematic throwaway plastics into my own hands, beginning with ME!

The challenge reads like this: I will not purchase any new plastics for a month.  This means single use throw-away plastics including shopping bags, food wrappers, coffee cup lids, straws, water bottles, etc.

Our lives are so entangled in the stuff that the prospect of a plastic-free lifestyle seems daunting. Just looking around my own home and counting up the products packaged in it is a real shocker!

Before this year I will admit that I had never thought about where my rubbish was going after the rubbish men took it away. I recycled religiously and anything extra just got whisked away and ‘disappeared’, out of sight, out of mind. Having been awakened to the fact that this plastic isn’t going anywhere (for the next 500 years anyway) I have started to look at the way I live my life in a whole new light, hence this project.

Knowing that every piece of plastic rubbish that I have ever thrown away is still lurking around somewhere means that I now have to take personal responsibility for the waste I create. This means changing habits and finding alternatives, of which there are plenty.

Throughout the month I will retain any plastic that I use. This includes anything which I have purchased myself and any plastic I have been involved in the use of. For example, if my husband comes home with a tub of ice cream and I just cant control myself, I will assume responsibility for the plastic tub.

I’m not going to beat myself up over it, as its inevitable that I will encounter some setbacks. This project is not about feeling guilty and frustrated. Rather it is about finding solutions and having fun trying to beat this plastic addiction.

For more info on my project, including an art and design comp checkout: http://www.miab.net.au