What a croc!

I’m still on a major kick about plastic free clothing and have become an obsessive label reader. Did you know, for example, that the run of the mill plaid shirt is now most often polyester blended. What I’ve found is that the trendier/larger the brand- as per perusing the local surf shops- the cheaper the material. No surprise really, but somehow still. Draped in plastic we are.

Doing some last-minute filming, I had the great privilege of going to the dump the other day. A lovely garbage warrior agreed to take me to the open pit, that is, to the tip of the volcano where the trash is yet not buried. She drove her little car like a madwoman over the heaps of what used to be and, in the case of plastic, still is and will be. My stomach flipped out of fright, but also and odd excitement. Maybe its because trash is private; no one wants you snooping in their bin. But safely at the top of the mountain- which by the way used to be a lake- the region’s dirty little secrets are exposed.

I hope that everyone goes to the dump at least once in their life. It is revolting and endlessly fascinating.

Construction debris. A slab of red meat. Bags upon bags upon bags. Mattress. Plastic laundry hamper. Dead seagull. Croc. Sock. Pen. Stuffed toy. Croc. More bags. Wraps. Film. Croc… What is going on here! How many of those stupid plastic shoes can one population discard at any given time?!

Does everyone know the shoe I speak of? Gives you a spotted tan. Looks completely foolish…

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Has anyone ever studied whether plastic chemicals leach out and absorb into sweaty feet? Will I get an angry letter from the company?

A friend on mine told me that he went to tour factories in China. One factory, he said, was solely dedicated to making the plastic hanger for said type of shoe. It might look something like this:

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Reflect on that for a second. AN ENTIRE FACTORY! All that oil, energy, pollution, manpower…dedicated to the disposable hanger on a plastic shoe. This boggles my mind beyond many things, and I am so very often boggled. There you have it.

5 thoughts on “What a croc!

  1. when I’m looking for 100% cotton shirts, jeans, etc. I go to a second-hand shop. So much more likely to find something there than in the stores. so frustrating all this polyester!

    amazing a whole factory for hangers. so sad. I was checking out our local “no-plastic” website here in Ottawa and they blogged about all the plastic gift cards – so happy that there IS an alternative!

    http://www.sustainablecards.com/

    what a croc indeed! love it!

  2. Hi, My name is Diana – I live on Bowen Island, and work in North Van in an alternate school for at risk youth (mostly anxiety/depression stuff). I came across your web/bllog and am super interested in your plastic free reality. I’d love to get you to come and talk on Bowen and/or at school. Is this something that you do? love to chat sometime….Diana

  3. My Mum used to take us to the dump to go “treasure hunting” when my brothers and I were little. Was a bit embarrassing when I got a bit older, especially when friends were with me, but have to admit there were some good scores. Lots of people used to treasure hunt at this town’s dump back then though. Not anymore though, now it’s more drive up to a cliff and dump over into a huge hole – I’m sure they did it on purpose to stop people prying.

  4. I bought a nice, secondhand cotton shirt with wooden buttons a few years ago and the wooden buttons are still going strong. I’m so used to plastic buttons that I couldn’t imagine wood lasting so long.

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