But I like my plastic bottles…

I’m sucking a little at this whole “save the planet thing”. It’s not that I’m not on-board team “we’re headed for destruction”. I’m fully willing to believe scientists and my own eyes.

Record global temperatures keep happening, month after month, year after year. The needle is creeping upward and this is not a good thing, uninformed northern politicians’ bizarre rants on the coming days of new beachfront properties notwithstanding.

Other signs include: diminishing artic sea ice; rising ocean temperatures (particularly dire in Australia); increasing air temperatures over the oceans, which feeds heavy precipitation and increasingly severe cyclones and hurricanes; rising global sea levels; increasing humidity, which causes more warming; and reduced snow cover and early melts. If you haven’t seen a glacier yet, plan on it sooner rather than later; they’re disappearing at fantastic rate. *

And let’s not get started on species extinctions and rising greenhouse gases. It all becomes overwhelming and the only thing that helps is tequila. Which doesn’t actually help but you’ll forget about your problems for an evening and build some embarrassingly enjoyable memories.

We are in trouble and much depends on the big players, the participants at the higher levels of the consumer-based capitalism that is hastening our march to disaster. Big changes have to occur. We need to fundamentally alter our way of life. I’m not particularly optimistic. Too many seem to favour the shortsighted acquisition of money and stuff, forgetting entirely that they can’t take it with them.

Which is not to say little players and smaller actions don’t matter. Each and every one of us needs to do our part.

Keep calm and carry on.

In the spirit of every person counts, I try to do my bit. I pack my groceries in reusable bags most of the time. I load up on fruits and veggies using reusable produce bags, again most of the time. But sometimes I need plastic bags for the garbage cans. And sometimes, I forget.

Plastic is a big problem. Plastic, that once-hailed wonder product turns out to be death for the planet. Plastic waste has infiltrated the ecosystem at every level. We can’t escape it. The landfills are full and so are the oceans. So are the fish that live in the oceans. Yes, it’s recyclable to an extent but our production and use far exceeds our recycling capacity.

Plastic is petrochemical product, which is also problematic. Oil has definitely become a problem industry. That and cows. Who knew something with such sweet eyes could cause such a problem? Of course, it’s not really their fault. Our tendency to gluttony is definitely partially to blame. If a little is good, more must be better. We’ve lived by that motto for a long time. Perhaps we’ll die by it.

I’m down with reducing my meat consumption and driving less. I’m not much of a carnivore anyway and I like to stay at home. But then we come to pop.

I like diet Pepsi. I’m probably borderline addicted, at least psychologically. I like the way it tastes. I like that it has no calories. I like the bubbles. I do not like the guilt I feel every time I toss an empty plastic bottle into a blue bag to end up god knows where.

The obvious solution would be to move to cans. Aluminum is a better choice than plastic though overconsumption is still a green-living no-no. There’s just one problem.

I don’t like pop from cans. With a bottle I can have a sip and seal it right back up. Fizz for hours. The pop in the can goes flat very shortly after you open it. Flat pop tastes odd and makes me grumpy.

I do love my first world problems.

In a perfect world, Pepsi Co would produce an aluminum bottle (okay, in a perfect world there’d be no pop; no one really needs it and if I think about the amount of pollution involved in the production and shipping of the absolutely unnecessary, my head starts to hurt) but so far they haven’t responded to my queries on that matter.

I’m trying to do my part. But I’m definitely not one-hundred percent. I tell myself it doesn’t matter. I tell myself that any reduction is a win. I tell myself I’m only one person and is drinking diet Pepsi from plastic bottles really so bad? I do good things. I practice the three Rs. I rarely buy anything new. I don’t drive a lot. My house is full of recycled/donated furniture. And excluding tissues and toilet paper, I have single-use nothing in my house.

Single use products are pretty evil.  

But I don’t feel particularly righteous. What I feel mostly is guilt. And I hate feeling guilty. Which means no more icky choices when there’s a better alternative available. Time to suck it up, put on some kick-ass, ethically sourced and produced boots and do what needs to be done.

But if Pepsi brings out an aluminum bottle, I’ll probably be first in line. Despite its utterly superfluous nature, my sense of sacrifice only extends so far.

Are you trying to green your life?

Citation: “Ten Signs of Global Warming.”

9 thoughts on “But I like my plastic bottles…

  1. Having workable alternatives is so important. I get plastic bags at the grocery store because I don’t know what else to use as garbage bags. When there aren’t good alternatives, most people aren’t going to prioritize the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really good post Em. I also feel guilty about products that I use, same as you, pop bottles in the summer and plastic bags if I forget my bag. Most councils in the UK recycle up to a point, but lots still gets sent to landfill in developing countries.

        In the UK are we don’t produce as much carbon as we used to, but our carbon foot print has barely changed because we import those carbon intense goods from other countries. We’ve shifted the carbon production to them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would say that I minimally try to green my life. It’s not that I don’t care but for whatever reason it’s not my top priority or passion like other hot topics. I don’t litter. We recycle and reuse and upcycle but part of the issue is that I think it’s a little haphazard. For instance many places ban plastic bags but what are the majority of consumer products housed in? Or the whole paper straw thing- which I’ve heard are not necessarily better for the environment. I’ve looked into solar paneling but it is cost prohibitive here in Florida with a huge insurance hike. So, while I’d like to be more green- the powers that be feel a little restrictive in cost and ease of use. Which in my opinion means that the general public at large can’t or won’t be bothered. Plus- those paper straws really suck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve sealed it for me. I’m a Pepsi over Coke kind of person. You’re officially part of the very exclusive Golden club!

    A few years ago, when I was going back home after a full day of work + visiting my mother at the hospital, I walked into Walgreens and saw Coke in an aluminium bottle. I was stunned. Naturally, i bought it. It was just such a novelty thing to me. The next day I found out that I was the last one to discover that. Others already knew. For a few weeks I was able to see those bottles here and there (not very often). I don’t know if they disappeared since then or what, but I have not seen them since.

    Liked by 1 person

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