Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Not really, although neighboring Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is going to outlaw plastic bags very soon.  The fly in the poop, though is the plastic bags they have in handy reach all around for their dogs to place their poop into--they have smart dogs and phones so they don't know what to provide the dogs to place their poop into. What a conundrum for the poor beasts!

I could give up the other plastic, charge cards, but alas.

But shouldn't giving up something refer to food and drink as these have their basis in the Catholic Church's age old tradition of fasting as it is properly meant, not eating or drinking?  There is symbolism in being hungry and thirsty as it relates to God and Jesus' fast of 40 days and 40 nights in the desert.

I have no problem with helping preserve our environment from trash and preventing plastic bags from going into the ocean and creating havoc for marine life, but do we have to make it a Lenten observance? NO! NO! NO! but that's just my humble opinion.

The Church of England's Lent challenge: give up plastic



TJM said...

Well since they have given up the Christian Faith, why not plastic?

ByzRC said...

Seems more appropriate for Earth Day then for the Great Fast.

Larry Si said...

10 Plastics it is easy (and wise) to give up right away.

1. Plastic Bags (this is the most obvious one… obviously!)
Most people are already making the switch over to material bags that are reusable. Many countries and shops are also banning or discontinuing the use of plastic bags altogether.
2.Plastic Straws
Yes, these little plastic juice transportation devices are terrible! They are scattered everywhere… Like at the beach, filling up landfills and all those other places they should never be! If you are super conscious of drinking from a container (because ew! germs) then invest in a reusable straw.
Yup, these tiny (hence the word micro) balls of toxic plastic simply wash down the drain into our water sources and then poison our ocean fish which eventually poisons us. You can find them in almost every exfoliating face scrub on the shelf and even in your toothpaste, imagine how your poor enamel must feel? They are in a variety of other beauty products too.If you are unsure if a product contains them the label will list them as either polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate. Happy and natural alternatives are salt, oats or even bicarbonate soda (mix with a bit of honey for the best results)
4.Plastic Toothbrushes (oops, we are guilty here)
This is one example of plastic we didn’t even think about until today. Toothbrushes are a part of our daily lives so we feel a little guilty for never thinking about it while starring ourselves down in the mirror. Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative!
5.Plastic Water Bottles (bottled water is anywhere from 300 to 2000 times as expensive as tap water...)
This is another obvious one. Reusable glass bottles are in fashion and nearly every shop has a section where you can find fun bottles. If you just have to have ‘filtered’ water, fit a filter onto your tap or buy one of those fancy water jugs that have a built-in filter.
6.Coffee Capsules
Yes, you read that right! If you invested in an expensive coffee system that makes use of a capsule that only has one serving we are sorry to tell you that they are really bad for the environment! It’s true, the capsules are not recyclable. Coffee grounds are great for the environment, they enrich the soil and make a great compost! They are also pretty perfect as a body scrub so owning a French press is a much better option.
7.Disposable Razors
We understand that razor blades are ridiculously expensive but owning a lifelong razor is better for the environment because it lasts. If that isn’t an option then embracing body hair is your next best option, plus it’s November so let it grow!
8.Takeaway Coffee Cups
Most coffee shops will let you take a reusable mug for your daily hot drink. You need only ask and they will tell you what size is just right for your regular cuppa! They may even sell mugs for you to use. If you don’t ask then you will never know. And if they say no, then write a strongly worded but well thought-out letter to management explaining why you would like to use a reusable mug. If you get a snotty reply or none at all then you are probably better off supporting a different company.
9.Plastic Cutlery
The plastic knives don’t work and neither do the forks so it is better to avoid them. Most places are starting to supply wooden alternatives anyway so this could be another request to make from your local deli or take away if they don’t have any.
10.Shower Gels
Bars of soap do an equally good job and nowadays there are so many divine soap shops you can find every kind of soap you could imagine. Just remember to check the ingredients of mass-produced soaps as they too can contain microbeads. The shower gel comes in a bottle whereas soap is wrapped in a small amount of paper.If you cannot give up shower gel, stores like Lush offer a bottle recycling programme that gives you a free face mask when you return the empty packaging. They also offer solid bubble bath and shampoo.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The item from which one abstains (or gives up entirely) is not the heart of the discipline. Rather, fasting reveals the things that control us. If that fast is from plastic and that fast helps one lay aside that which stands between him/her and God, then it is a good thing.

It is also good for the planet.

rcg said...

Plastic bags are annoying so that is a good thing. Dog walkers can bring a pail and garden spade then rinse it away back home. Most of the above reply is good. The micro beads was an absurd idea anyway. The coast of China and all connecting oceans is a mess due to plastics.

ByzRC said...

Fr. MJK -

Fair point. Thank you.

TJM said...


How do you know what’s good for the “planet?” What a pompous statement.

Anonymous said...

Gee, how could we POSSIBLY know what is good for the planet?

Maybe we could know this by discovering that dumping toxic effluent into rivers and streams that leads to death and disfigurement. It also can cause rivers to catch on fire, which is unpleasant. (Cuyahoga River, Ohio)

Maybe we could know this by discovering that building houses on a covered-over trash dump that produces dangerous levels of methane leads to dangerous gas levels in those homes that threaten the health of the residents.

Maybe we could know this by coming to understand that contour plowing helps preserve the nutrient rich topsoil on farms that is needed to grow crops.

Maybe we could find the remains of plastic bottles and bags in the stomachs of sea turtles and other marine creatures that mistook them for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods.

Maybe we could come to understand the dangers of asbestos and take action to protect the workers who use the material, maybe we could remove asbestos from buildings, and maybe we could find better ways to use asbestos in a manner that does not pose a risk to humans.

What's good for the people, the plants, the animals, and the inanimate gifts God has given us is good for the planet.

Thanks for asking that insightful question, TJM. I'm sure you were not the only one who did not know the answer, so you have helped the OTHER TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD who did not know the answer to learn something today.

TJM said...


How does plastic fit into your construct?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe we could find the remains of PLASTIC BOTTLES AND BAGS (caps added) in the stomachs of sea turtles and other marine creatures that mistook them for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods."