Beth Terry didn’t just give up plastic bags. She has attempted to give up all plastic. For the past five years, since 2007, Terry has strived to bring absolutely no new plastic into her life. She comes to Port Townsend at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 to speak of her experience at the Cotton Building at 607 Water St. The event is free.
“Bringing Beth Terry to town seems like a natural thing to do considering that the city’s plastic bag ban went into effect this month,” said Kathie Meyer, outreach coordinator for the Port Townsend Food Co-op. “And she has graciously waived her speaking fee to come here.”
It was one day, while laid up from surgery, that Terry became personally affected by a photo of a baby albatross carcass, dead from being fed plastic bits by its mother. It was then she decided, if something were to be done about the effects of plastic on the global environment, she had to start with herself.
Since her “plastic awakening,” Terry went from personally generating almost four pounds of plastic waste per month (yes, she weighed it) to a little over two pounds per year. The average American, she says, generates between 88 and 120 pounds per year.
To keep herself on track, Terry started a blog (www.myplasticfreelife.com) which grew into a book titled Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Her book combines useful information about plastic-free alternatives with personal stories and the occasional rant.
“I didn’t write this book to tell anyone what to do, but as an invitation to join me in this journey of personal and ecological discovery. Sure, in all honesty I do want to inspire you and your friends and family to use less plastic. But more than that, to learn what it is about plastic that makes it the symbol of what Captain Charles Moore (discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) calls the ‘crisis of our civilization,’ and figure out ways to get out from under the thumb of plastic addiction,” Terry writes in her book’s introduction.
Terry walks her talk in every area of her life. She made sure that her book was as plastic-free as possible too. “Most books are full of plastic,” she writes. “So we’ve stripped things down. The jacket is uncoated, the thread is made of cotton, and the boards and spine are exposed. Our printer even managed to find a plastic-free glue to use. With all that in mind, we assure you that if the book’s not 100% free of plastic, it’s as close as can be!”
Beth Terry’s book is for sale and signing at her presentation. Her appearance is presented with the cooperation and sponsorship of the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Program, Old Consulate Inn, Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend Public Library, and Jude Rubin, aka the “Plastic Bag Monster.”
For more information, call 385-2831, ext. 309.