Kaizen / Plastics

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ah hah! found it: these are the articles I read, apparently 2 years ago almost to the day, about Kaizen:




This concept has been especially on my mind as I contemplate a personal goal: giving up plastics. I had my "arrow in the heart" moment about plastics when reading The World Without Us a few weeks ago, but  I found it so overwhelming I haven't quite been able to figure out what to do... or maybe, what to do first.  Usually for me the place to start is with the end goal-- and here I have some difficulty: is it no  plastics in my house whatsoever (what about those laptop lunch boxes I bought last year?)? Now, or in 5 years? How realistic is that, really?

I think to  be effective and let this effort take me where it will, I need to simply begin at the beginning: the end will come when it does.

Some immediate things I think I can start with:

  • Not buying any new non-recycled plastic
    The most immediate/obvious barrier to this one is toys, but we buy mostly wooden, the exceptions being green toys and legos.  I guess the question  is, do  I continue to make an exception for legos?
  • And what about packaging? I have bought some flour-sack like bags to replace plastic produce bags at the farmer's market, but I only have 3 and I think I will need more. I need to count the next time I'm at the market, and figure out a system (I LOVE designing systems!) 
    • That's packaging I can control. But there is also the packaging of health and beauty products.... Not so simple. Buy in bulk and decant to glass?
    • Kitty litter packaging
    • Yogurt containers
  • Sandwich bags. I saw this tutorial, and I think some wax paper, cheese paper, and oil cloth are also in our future. 
I once pitched a company on a non/very-low plastic CE product, and also a recycled plastics version  (think MAJOR product). They laughed at the ideas as being too high end, to recherche, etc. I wonder how long it will be before these are a product suite who's time has come... 10 years? 5 years? I'm betting on the latter. 

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