I aspire to a 'zero waste' lifestyle, but I'm not there yet. One major obstacle is plastic, a subject on which my mind wandered onto this blog a few posts back. Where I live in Bury, there's a great vegetable market, though very little of what it sells there seems to be locally produced (local readers please correct me if I'm wrong). When you take 'food miles' into account, as well as, you know, the actual cost, it still seems as if it's better to buy from my local Co-op, just across the road. I'll set aside for now the fact that every single time I shop there they ask me "do I have a Co-op Card?" (no) followed immediately by "are you interested in becoming a member?" (NO) for the sake of convenience (however advantageous corporate loyalty schemes may be, the idea just makes me feel ill) but I also have to balance this against the unsustainable obsession all supermarkets have with wrapping absolutely everything they sell in at least one layer of plastic. This annoys me greatly and I've been scrupulously dividing my waste according to Bury Council's recycling stipulations (Bury Council aspire to be a zero waste local authority themselves, which is great, though I don't know yet if that means what they think it means) but this obviously pales into semi-significance when weighed against the fact that recycling is a far from perfect substitute for just not producing waste to begin with.
This is all a mess of hipsterish mental hand-wringing, I suspect, until I can establish more of the actual facts, but in the meantime I have found the following (temporary) solution.
Behold, my bean bag sofas. These were one of the necessary indulgences I had to make when I moved into a totally unfurnished at last year. They're something I've always wanted - that's a lie, of course, I just like the idea, and they're much more portable, not to mention cheaper than more solid forms of furniture - so here they are, as tastefully modelled on a previous occasion by my two approving kittens.
Now, to the point. These bean bag sofas come with the pre-filled inner bags of 'beans' for you to stuff inside. These are adequate, but leave the eventual sofa shape a little more blobby than is really desirable. Thus, an obvious solution presented itself: plastic packaging, when not going into the recycling, goes straight into the sofa. There it will stay, away from the landfills and harm for the foreseeable future. And so I find myself sitting on own my waste. An entirely appropriate metaphor for our situation as human beings, when you think about it.