One of the things we talked about during the week on Iona as part of gbiona2010 was sustainability. And particularly our avoidable use of plastics. Clare Lissaman led a very interesting session on this, partly drawn from her experience on giving up (new) plastic for Lent. This is partly chronicled in her blog, unsurprisingly called Giving Up Plastic.Here are a few of her hard lessons:

I've been having quite a few "oh no...." moments over the last few weeks of giving up plastic.I finished up my Marmite. Cant buy a new jar as they have plastic lids....oh no.I used up my deodorant and toothpaste. Oh no. Can I find replacements without this space.My Freeview box appears to have broken. Can't replace it because it's made from plastic. Oh no. (Though my father pointed out it may just be the fuse - I still need to check though unless I can find the spare fuses I have somewhere in the house I may still be TV-less as any new fuses will come packaged in plastic.) So there's an interesting unintended consequence of giving up plastic, I appear to have given up TV as well. I'd love to say that I'm filling the time reading spiritually developing books (it is Lent after all) or even books and research about plastic, but that doesn't appear to have happened.

Thankfully there is some good news as well. For example, Gawker reports:

... California lawmakers have voted to ban single-use plastic bags at supermarket checkout stands.

Good thing too, as the average plastic bag is used for 12 minutes, and then lasts for a thousand years or more in landfill. Crazy.We need more positive stories on how we can give up on unnecessary plastic -- particularly in disposable packaging. Clare reported that Boden and/or People Tree now send out their catalogues in the post without a plastic wrapper. It can be done!I've probably got more to say here, but this will do for starters.

AuthorJonathan Clark