Taina Uitto was disgusted by plastic long before she learned the full horror of its lasting legacy. “Every time I used a bag or threw out a wrapper, my conscience spoke to me,” she says, which is why she went plastic-free and started her blog, Plastic Manners.
Uitto admits it was daunting at first and says she was fearful about all the things she’d have to give up, but getting over the fear was the hardest part. Living plastic-free isn’t always easy, and she says there are times that her “single refusals feel insignificant,” but the project has had its humorous moments. She once tracked down the owner of a store to get permission to shovel soil into a wheelbarrow instead of purchasing the dirt in a plastic bag.
Although her year without plastic is over, Uitto's project is still going strong. Skeptics have told her that to be truly plastic-free, she’d have to move to an island and become more self-sufficient; so, on March 1, 2011, she bought land on an island. “We’re in a collective consumption coma. Through my project I’ve learned that convenience is not what makes life colorful.”