A Plastic Fast

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (catholicclimatemovement.global) has released its Lenten Calendar 2021 that is focused on concrete actions we can take each week to improve the planet as well as ourselves. 

Lent is a time of preparation for Easter and the celebration of the Paschal Mystery. During this time of fasting and renewal, we will embark upon a journey of ecological conversion through reflection, repentance, and renewal. Together.

For Week 5 of Lent, we are asked to fast from plastics:

Fast from single-use plastic this week. If possible, avoid plastics altogether. Think about how you can reduce your plastic intake.Read this fact sheet from Greenpeace to learn how plastic pollution is affecting creation and how we can do better together.

Start by walking about your home and noting where you are using single-use plastics. When you go shopping, look for food and other items that come in cans, bottles, or cardboard. Buy bulk whenever possible to minimize the use of containers! (Seattle area stores with great bulk sections: PCC, Ballard Market, Whole Foods and tiny scoopmarketplace.com which delivers bulk items to your door using minimal packaging!) Avoid shrink wrap and plastic containers. And in case you hadn’t noticed, you can bring your own grocery bags to most stores again. 

Of course, when you are forced to use a plastic container, think of a way to reuse that plastic: Plastic tubs & bags make good leftover containers and you if you have a dog or cat, picking up their waste is a good way to repurpose a plastic bag. Note that while most curb-side recycling programs don’t take plastic bags, many grocery markets have plastic bag recycling bins.

In the Pacific Northwest, a nice company named Ridwell will pick up all your plastic film (e.g. plastic grocery bags, bubble wrap, bread & produce bags, outer packaging, plastic wrap, ziplock bags, etc.) plus other hard to recycle items like batteries, light bulbs, and clothing scraps right from doorstep for a fee. Live in their service area of greater Seattle area and Portland, Oregon and want a free trial link? I have 3 free trials to give; if you want one, please leave me a message. (Note: I don’t get anything for the referrals.)

Read more in my prior articles about plastics and alternatives. 

You can download the Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Laudato Si Lent Calendar. Next week we will fast from silence. 

Working together, we can help take care of our common home. 

Paul Litwin

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