Day 142 / 365

About a month ago my husfriend and I went down to the Profecture De La Police to get me my cart de sejour (visa to stay in France), this was our third and final time visiting the officials due to our privileged-ass selves having missed our previous two meetings due to a certain someone’s forgetfulness and a nine-month move to The States. In celebration of us achieving, through the grace of our bloodlines, this leave to stay (which people far more deserving than me work years and sometimes a lifetime to receive) we took ourselves out to share a beer and a few pâtisseries from a boulangerie nearby.

The French are pushers of proper eating. You get called out for eating on the go with a condescending “bonne appetite” - and perhaps rightfully so - it’s not healthy to eat while in full stride, but it is a habit us North American’s have nomal-a-fied, and I’ve yet to shake off. 

We took our pâtisseries to-go and as we wandered down the road munching as we went, I realized how much sh*t we’d just used unnecessarily, all to hold two palm-sized sugar blasters which we could have easily carried in our mouths like a dog rather than a doggy bag. Inside a paper bag, under the lid of a little box, lay our treats, and with it, a paper napkin and two evil plastic forks.

I stared at them and they at me. 

No one had asked us if we wanted utensils and I can't imagine why someone would think we'd need them, but they'd been tucked in there in good will, by someone thinking they were doing us a favour. All parties completely unaware of the pains these little-pointed pieces of plastic cause mama earth and her inhabitants. 

The biggest environmental impact of disposables happens before you buy the product in its creation, but unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Typically, disposable cutlery is made from a type of plastic known as polystyrene 1, more commonly known as Styrofoam, a product which is difficult to recycle. In fact, even if you are thoughtful enough to put it in the recycling bin, it will most likely end up in the landfill anyways as most municipalities don’t offer Styrofoam recycling. In the US, only 6% of all plastic waste is recycled, an incredibly low number considering how much is carefully sorted to be included. 

For daily things, a travel sporks and utility knives, should shovel your food in your mouth just fine. Or your hands, they work wonders too. You can keep them in your purse, glove compartment box, or on your keychain. 

For birthday parties and picnics and such, if you can't use the cutlery from your home, there are biodegradable options available, but they still use energy and water; however, to make 2 compostable forks (made of PLA derived from corn) using the same energy used to make 1 polystyrene fork.


[Parties / Picnics]

sources: 1, 2