- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Paper or Plastic
I remember a time when plastic jugs were used for water only in emergencies. My dad would wash out milk jugs and say,"We will at least have water to drink in an emergency." Growing up in South Louisiana gave me experiences with hurricanes starting at a very young age. I remember relatives crowding into our house which was merely 10 miles north of where they lived, to be on higher ground and a potentially stronger shelter. They were more prone to flooding from storms. It was a special time and the only time I can remember my great-grandmother coming to our house was during one of these storms.
My great-grandmother was a unique person who didn't take to all the newer things of the world. Although I can remember my mother bringing her "up the bayou" to do her grocery shopping, she didn't leave home much. She lived off the land. She didn't like plastic or foam drinking cups. And she didn't like plastic containers. I can remember drinking rainwater at her house using tin metal cups. She believed plastic caused cancer. I am not sure why she felt that way. I was very young when she passed away in the early '70's. She was into "treating" people. Where I come from she was known as a "Treater". A "Treater" is someone who heals people through prayer and sometimes herbal remedies. In the area in which I live, there is even a musical band with the name "Treater". It is said around here that some people have a gift of being able to heal people of ailments. The word gets around throughout the community of these "Treaters". They heal people and don't ask for money.
My great-grandmother was also a mid-wife. She delivered dozens of babies. People would seek her out from different nearby areas for child birth and illnesses. I remember her laying next to my bed at night and praying with me. She prayed in French and I barely understood any of it. I am not sure of a religion she belonged either. But, I always felt safe with her and felt she was spiritual. The only way to get to her house was by boat. She lived on the side of a bayou. At night it was very dark around the house. She had an out-house for a restroom. I can remember using a bed pan at night. Of course she had the old pot bellied stove oven. She baked home made bread and cooked. The only things I remember eating at her house is bread and jello. I loved both foods. She had chicken and geese outside. I feared the geese. They were like guard dogs.
Anyway, back to the plastic containers. Were plastic containers intended for emergency uses? If so, what happened? Why did plastic become so common as a container? Did we take a concept mainly purposed for rainy days and make common use of it? Did you know if we took all the plastic drinking bottles put in landfills in one year and stretched them out end to end, we could reach the moon and back three times? I'm not saying plastic doesn't have its good uses. I am saying maybe we should look at the uses. Did we have to use plastics permanently to contain products that we put into our bodies? Why did glass containers take a backseat? We all know drinks taste better from glass containers.
And was my great-grandmother on to something when she would not even drink from a plastic cup?