Meet the Cartographers | Beth Terry of My Plastic Free Life

Cartographers are the people who write the maps. As it turns out, we need new maps. The world is changing and we have some very real problems that we need to overcome.

The new cartographers are a handful of people who are test driving new ways of living in order to find solutions to some of our biggest challenges.

Meet Beth Terry of My Plastic Free Life

Think we can't live without plastic? Think again. In 2007, Beth committed to stop buying any new plastic and began sharing her story in her blog.  The crazy thing? She's almost succeeded. 

Beth's goals big ones, but very clear:
  • To reduce the need for new plastic to be produced since petroleum is a non-renewable, polluting resource, and the production of plastic wreaks havoc on our eco-system.
  • To keep existing plastic out of our waterways and landfills where it can cause further harm.
  • To limit exposure to toxins that can leach from certain types of plastic.
  • To educate others about these issues so that her actions can have a farther-reaching impact than those of a single individual acting alone.
After discovering Beth's blog, I started to notice how much plastic I used--then threw in the recycle or trash bin--all before 12:00am.
  1. 52 oz cup with plastic lid with tea for my husband.
  2. 1 plastic bag for donut from Racetrack--also for John.
  3. Plastic lid from Starbuck's tall zen tea. 
  4. Plastic foam sandals and toe spacers for mani/pedi.  
  5. 6 plastic tasting spoons at Genghis grill because I couldn't remember which sauce I liked and last time I botched it with one I hated. 
  6. 1 plastic straw. 
When you consider that most of that stuff just sits around in landfills or slips into the ocean, it gets a little daunting--especially since for items 3-6 there was no recycle bin available. And here's the thing. I'm just one person, and that's my consumption over a 4 hour period.

I'm excited that people like Beth are out there figuring out the new ways of living. Because it is much easier to follow the map than to write it.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall