The Chicago Tribune had a feature story on Saturday about a reporter's effort to (sort of) live for a week without plastic. This story topic is becoming popular everywhere, it seems. As usual, the reporter doesn't really make much of an effort to live entirely without plastic. That would require giving up electricity and plumbing, healthcare and automobiles. No, the focus is on giving up packaging and disposable diapers -- and even then, reporter Trine Tsouderos discovers that living without plastics in 2008 isn't easy (or perhaps even desireable). The story is labeled "A consumer watch special report," which seems a bit of a stretch. I guess it's "special" because Tsouderos subjected her husband and children to the pseudo no-plastic lifestyle for a whole week. The story itself is OK, but my favorite part are the reader comments. Most are submitted anonymously, but I think I recognize a few of the authors based on their comments and writing style. Someone with the pen name "2nd Amendment" from Sycamore, Ill., writes: "To be honest, I simply do not understand the fear of plastic? What in the world is wrong with it? Ooo... It doesn't degrade in a landfill. So what? Most things don't. What, in a few years are you expecting the landfills to become a nice pile of fluff to turn into a vegetable garden? Folks would do well to learn some real science and forget about the latest pop-culture, carbon footprint, pseudo-science that is seems to pass as fact these days." "Reality" from Winfield, Ill., adds: "another stupid article. To go without plastic you'd have to live in a cave or tree. There is lots of plastic in every building. You couldn't drive a car, ride a bus/plane, or ride a bike. You'd have no food since it's used in the equipment to grow and harvest food and transport, refrigerate, etc. Get real!" Someone who calls themselves "American" wrote: "I see a lot of articles like this lately, trying to live plastic free, trying to buy nothing for a year, trying to eat locally for a year, and they all end up sounding like a variation on obsessive-compulsive disorder." There are also interesting debates among the readers about the pros and cons of plastics packaging, what living plastic-free really means, and whether the debate should actually be about America's overconsumption habit. As a result, the reader comments add depth to the story, and I encourage you to check them out.
Reader comments are the best
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