No Plastic Nancy: Edition 1

Bucks County Audubon Society

I think you should know a bit about me first. I am one of the teacher-naturalists with Bucks County Audubon at Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center. I am also on the Environmental Advocacy Committee. 

I am really just one of those jacks of all trades and masters of none. But what is important for you to know here is that I have always loved critters and birds and the great outdoors. I have loved them from the time I was a child growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, playing in creeks and training my pet duck Tweeter to sit. And when I went to college, I got two and a half degrees: violin performance, psychology, and last but not least, one half of a degree in environmental studies. I am like a cat with 9 lives. But for our purposes here, we will talk about environmental studies. 

I don’t like to admit this to many people, but I dropped out of that program after becoming highly discouraged about all of the environmental disasters I was learning about. I won’t list them all here, because you can guess, and besides, I really don’t want to depress you. Also, I want to try to focus on just one environmental disaster here: plastics.  

I tried briefly during those years to reduce, re-use and recycle. Those were the days before anyone thought of “REFUSE”. We thought recycling was the main answer back then, which it is clearly NOT. But back then, I was a part of a newly formed group called “Recycle Missoula” and I designed their first logo. I don’t think they are using it now. But for a while, they did.

Skip 30 years. I got older. I quit trying to wash and re-use all of my plastic bags. I had a son, and he grew up after I blinked a couple of times. But in so many ways, not much has changed. People still don’t  “believe in “climate change and recycling still doesn’t quite work, and to add the word “REFUSE” to our list of practices in order to save our Planet Earth really isn’t very impressive in this age of micro-chips and the internet. So I am still feeling discouraged. More than ever. 

Yet I am trying again now. I am turning over a new leaf, I am holding yet onto hope. “Why?” You may ask? Because that is the only conscionable choice. And I am older now, and I care more, and it is staring me in the face more. And I want to make amends for EVER, EVER quitting. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic, of all things. Yes, I am trying again with my plastics. 

What I am going to do, is I am going to do it gently. I am going to ease my way into it. I am going to nurture myself along. I am going to keep a journal. I am going to make it fun. I am going to give myself little affirmations. I am going to take one step at a time. And I am NOT going to do it alone. Not this time, no! I am going to share this journey with YOU. 

So here’s the plan: The very first thing we are going to do is just go to a store that sells in bulk. We will find out about the store online. We will call them first if necessary. And then, when we go, we will bring at least one jar and some bags. For an example, I am bringing a glass peanut butter jar carefully and lovingly cleaned. And I will also bring my cloth shopping bags that my sister-in-law sewed for me ages ago.

They have been sitting in the car for way too long. I never remembered to use them. I always went into the store without them. But not this time! You will see. This time I will actually bring them into the store. And furthermore, I will buy something. I will let you know how it goes.  

Nancy Brown, Guest Writer

Wish me luck! 

Your friend in Less-Plastic-Ness, 

Nancy 

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