Skip to content


January 12, 2009

Wondering what the connection between Oprah’s weight gain, using less plastic in your life, and those pesky New Year’s resolutions could possibly be?


First, for those who are new to this site . . . a brief introduction. Our world is drowning in unnecessary plastic usage. It is an immense ecological disaster that few people are aware of and that every one contributes to.

Our Raison d’être is information and transformation. For example did you know that:

  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.

  • Today, Americans generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.

  • An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

The truth is that this is a world wide problem!!!

Every year, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. 500,000,000,000. Five hundred followed by nine zeros. That’s a lot of bags. So many that over one million bags are being used every minute and they’re damaging our environment.

Ok, back to Oprah’s weight gain and the New Year’s resolutions that never seem to last more than a few weeks.

How this possibly to linked to using less plastic? Here how.

University studies have discovered that it takes approximately 6 to 9 months to change a habit, to change the brain’s pathways. No wonder people give up after a few weeks of trying to quit smoking, or dieting, or (yes!) trying to stop using plastic. No one ever told them that it takes times to change the brain’s pathways!

Our brains have enormous “plasticity,” meaning they can create new cells and pathways. But our brains create strong tendencies to do the same thing over and over.

The brain cells that fire together wire together. Meaning, they have a strong tendency to run the same program the next time. That’s why lasting change takes lots of practice; you’ve got to create a pathway to the new options.

When asked whether to use paper or plastic, I, like many others, have begun bringing reusable bags to shop. I am taking major steps to find ways to re-cycle and use less plastic on a daily basis, but the hardest thing remains remembering to bring my reusable bags to shop the next time. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve put the bags in the car, driven to the market, and walked into the store with the bags still in the car! (Argh!)

What’s the moral of all of this?

So many of us speed through life multi-tasking that we forget that our brains easily go into auto drive before we are even aware it. Whether you are trying to loose weight, stop smoking, or trying to change some other pattern of behavior . . . remember if you slip into the old bad habit you are trying to break, don’t beat up on yourself. Your brain needs to build up new patterns and that, as science is proving, takes time. So, forgive yourself, move on, and try again!

Oprah, you slipped, that’s all. Now, while I’ve got your attention. Remember to dispose of that plastic water bottle properly. Better still, can the bottled H2O and BYOB!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2009 2:51 am

    Thanks for the work you do. I wrote about the plastics pandemic a few months ago and have become a rabid plastic recycler. I always carry a bag with me on my walks to pick up the crap on the side of the road.

  2. January 12, 2009 9:10 pm

    Tortured segue from plastic to Oprah but I did learn a lot about plastic and that nime month pathway.

  3. sportsone234 permalink*
    January 13, 2009 12:40 am

    Tortured? Maybe, but you know more about plastic etc. now than you did before you read the post. That’s great.

  4. January 13, 2009 11:12 am


    Great post,really sounds very interesting.
    This is Sam a community member at,a premier Reusable Bag community in USA.Seeing your blog post I found that you are also engaged in a noble cause of making the earth more “Green”.I’d appreciate if you can give the website a look and link to it from your great blogs.I’m sure your visitors will find the website very interesting and will adopt green measure in their choice of using bags.

    Will appreciate your reply.

    Sam Jones

  5. sportsone234 permalink*
    January 18, 2009 12:03 am

    Hi Sam:

    I have visited your site and like it very much. Bags on the Run is listed on our site.

    BTW, I’d like to ad a plastic bag counter to our site. Can you tell us how?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: