Saturday Success #1: Saving the Planet

Well, as promised to follow up my Friday Fails post, here’s a Saturday Success. success

I had a few science successes this week, like collecting some decent AFM images, learning purrr, or posting on this blog and tweeting (two of my outreach-related goals). But what I’m most proud of, is my recent decision to try reducing my plastic use and the waste I generate.

It gives me so much anxiety and makes me feel very helpless and sad to think about the future of our planet. I got into science because I was awed by the intricacy and beauty of life, and the idea of complex ecosystems like oceans and rainforests collapsing breaks my heart. Every time I take out the trash or throw away plastic/styrofoam it gives me a little stab of guilt, so I decided it was time to take some action. Currently we’re only at week 1 of the great plastic purge of 2018, but I’m quite proud that I’ve stopped using paper towels, ziploc bags, and plastic straws and lids. Honestly it was super easy and I don’t miss any of these. I also bought milk in a glass jug from the local dairy (super hippy / 50s… which may be the only place those two descriptors ever overlap), and actually turned around and went home when I realized I forgot my reusable grocery bags. I also brought said reusable bags to Walmart, which is a major accomplishment, because Walmart uses those turn-table bag holders, which are the fucking worst Walmart bagging

I mean seriously, who thought it was a good idea to eliminate any place at the checkout to stand items you’re waiting to bag or anywhere to put reusable bags for those of us trying to save the whales. I’m sure some designer thought it was brilliant and he would revolutionize grocery bagging by making sure everyone who visits the store forgets at least one bag when they leave, but really, grocery bagging is one of those things that does not need revolutionizing. But I didn’t want that stab of guilt for adding another 10 plastic bags to the ocean, so I stood at the checkout at Walmart, and put my reusable bags on the floor and then had the cashier hand me each item as I bent down and put it in the bags… and that’s my Saturday Success.

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