on plastic and awareness…

With an early morning orthodontist appointment that sent me running as soon as my feet hit the floor, I have yet to slow down. I have 90 mins between appointments when I thought I would stitch, but alas here I am doing a blog post. I should be meditating which would make everything fall into place…ah meditation guilt!

What got me thinking about a blog post was an errand to the superstore to stock up on things like dishwasher soap and shampoo. Normally I avoid the chain supermarkets but sometimes one has to just stock up. While there I got a huge size of gallon ziplock bags. I also picked up a box of hand wipes. As soon as I was home and unpacking I got so disturbed with myself that out of habit I bought these things.

You see in the past year I have become educated as to the glut of plastic garbage that floats out to sea, drifting aimlessly in a stew of other forgotten necessities; strangling fish, killing coral, and what remains often ends up on the beaches of beautiful places we all hope to visit one day. I believe I am more upset about this than any other chaos or disaster affecting our planet, probably because if we each did more than our part we might be able to affect change. So what am I doing about it?!

As most of us who have done any work on ourselves know, half of the problem is awareness. Once we are aware of something that needs to be changed, or a bad habit to be broken, that is half the battle. So I wonder why when I am so outraged do I continue to buy the products that offend? I justify it by saying, well I recycle, but isn’t the problem with the product itself and not with the conscientious recycler? Isn’t the problem that these kinds of single use plastics are being made in the first place? Isn’t the problem that so many people are throwing their trash on the streets rather than in a garbage can two feet away? What ever happened to simple human decency? Well that is a subject for another day.

So note to self. Stop buying the offending products, even if I do recycle. Why contribute to the problem? And you might wonder WTH this has to do with art making? Well, a lot! Since I finished the Defining Moments series I am between projects. I am designing a number of narrative pieces because it turns out I do have an opinion, on a lot of different subjects!

For the past couple of weeks I have been doing battle royale with a new piece of work about the masses moving out of California to other states. Last year 46,000 more left, than came in. Mostly people leave because it is so expensive to live here, but in my research of 6 friends moving out of state, all but one initially came from somewhere else. Only one native has left. Yes we are a hearty lot!

Today the initial layers are ready for the needle. It has been a duel between the work and me, with lots of cloth bias with which to contend. More than once I have wanted to pitch it in the trash. It still has trash (er, recycle) potential but I am hoping the needle will make it behave.

OK, ok…now I will meditate! Only because I no longer have time to stitch!


5 Responses to “on plastic and awareness…”

  1. Cindy Kelleher says:

    An interesting blog. What we do with our Earth is deplorable, and yet it continues. It’s good that you are aware and are doing something about it. I had no idea so many people have left my home state, me being one of them. What is truly amazing and awesome is that all the different situations in your life stimulate your creative side and you are able to speak to it through your art.

  2. Martha Ginn says:

    Amen, and thanks for the reminder. I limit use of the plastic bags for produce and have some large ones for the checker to put my groceries in–but I have a pang of guilt when I leave them in the car! I promise to do better. And I will more often wash and re-use the “essential” kitchen bags.

    • TallGirl says:

      Martha, plastic bags are now illegal in CA. Although somehow take out food bags are exempt. We use cloth and bags recycled from plastic bottles that we keep in the car. It is mind boggling though how different states have different rules. NM for example didn’t have recycling containers at Whole Foods, when I was last there!

    • tallgirl says:

      It is good Martha that you are recycling your grocery bags. In CA plastic bags are now illegal; however take out restaurants are somehow exempted. We use cloth bags for grocery shopping, including some made from recycling plastic water bottles. Baby steps.

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