My Resolve to Avoid Plastic—and How I Sometimes Choose to Fail

Recently I bought a facial cleanser in plastic packaging. I didn’t want the packaging, but I did want the exfoliating cleanser.

I had been using a bamboo washcloth to clean and exfoliate my face in the mornings, but my skin was looking rather dry, and I worried that by scrubbing my face, I was further damaging my already-stretched-out middle-aged skin.

So I bought the Aveda product again. I really can’t stand this kind of crimped packaging (and its sharp edges!), but this product has worked well for me, and I know I can take it to the Aveda store to recycle it.

For the next few weeks I’ll be obsessively examining my nose and cheeks to see if the cleanser is REALLY doing a better job than the bamboo washcloth (which I will relegate to scrubbing my calves).

I suspect it doesn’t really matter which one I use, and that if I want to dramatically improve the look of my skin, I need to do chemical peels or microdermabrasion or laser treatment.

Lighten Up, Perhaps?

I still feel guilty and want to explain all the things I do to reduce plastic use: carry utensils and a water bottle and cloth bags with me, buy clothes and furniture second-hand.

But still, I’m no Beth Terry (see My Plastic-Free Life for hard-core tips on eliminating almost all plastic use).

Plastic Smog

Why do I write about this? Because there is a lot of trash on the streets of Kansas City, and when it washes into the storm drains, it ends up in the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Our oceans are filling up with trash that breaks down into “plastic smog” and drifts down from the surface to the depths. So I try to minimize my contribution to that trash flow.