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Plastic-Free February, Days 14 and 15

The two weeks of unusually cold weather we had a while back froze our ligustrums, killing off all the branches. Ligustrums are a well-adapted shrub in this area. They stay green as long as they’re alive and they can survive through the blazing hot summer on no water. They can handle freezing temperatures, to some extent. This cold snap was just too much for them.

Sunday afternoon was spent cutting the dead branches off the shrubs. They went from twenty feet to about four feet high. The exciting part of that is that no plastic was used!

I went through the tools in our shed and was pleasantly surprised to find that almost none of them are plastic. Certainly none of the larger tools are. The chipper is all metal. The axes and saws and clippers are metal and wood. Although we didn’t use them this weekend, the gardening tools – rakes, hoe, shovels, trowels, etc. – are all wood and metal.

Only when I get down to the smaller tools, like the tape measure and the screwdrivers, do I find much plastic.

I think this says something important about plastic. It’s tough and durable, unless you really work it hard. We’ve owned plastic tools in the past, but they can’t stand up to the yard work we do. When they broke, we looked at the cost of purchasing new tools frequently versus the cost of buying quality tools once every decade or so. A cost-benefit analysis showed that plastic-free was the way to go.

That was long before my plastic-free consciousness-raising month. Still, it feels good.

Image by anolobb, used with Creative Commons license.

3 comments
  1. Rick Chillot

    That’s a very good point about the limitations of plastic. The cynical among us might suggest that so many tools are made of/with plastic precisely because they don’t stand up to hard use–meaning you have to keep buying new ones!

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