Alec Howard's quest to live a zero-waste lifestyle sounds like an interesting experiment but not exactly an inspirational example ("No Crap," April 21). Memorizing bin numbers at the Co-op instead of writing them down on the little twisties probably doesn't impress many people as a viable life strategy. Howard admits that his quality of life suffers in the service of his "Zero Waste" goal. So how about aiming for that huge, middle-of-the-range space between mindless consumerism and martyrdom? He'd attain a large percentage of his goal while modeling behavior that a lot more people could get behind. Widespread common sense would help the earth out a lot more than the occasional purist.
If we went after the "low-hanging fruit" first, we could persuade a lot more people and make a lot of progress in the right direction. For instance, there are two things we could do that would have a hugely helpful impact, and they're both easy. One is to bring your own shopping bags into the store. A little personal retraining is not exactly a big sacrifice, folks. You'd reduce the alarming continents of plastic trash in the oceans, save wildlife, and reduce emissions.
The second easy blow we can strike against the plague of plastic waste in our oceans is to stop using so damn many single-use water bottles. If you must buy drinking water because your tap water isn't good for you, buy it in big, re-usable plastic bottles and decant it into small bottles that you can reuse over and over. Need a glass drinking bottle? Treat yourself to one of those fancy beverages and save the bottle. It's as easy as that!
For more lectures, pep talks, and even some interesting facts, check out my website at www.windwhistlers.com.
Martha Walden, Trinidad