plastic free life? weighing your commitments

ok…i know. toothbrushes are good for oral health, but not so good for the ocean. but what are we to do if we go plastic free here? the only alternatives seem to involve pig hair bristles. even if i didn’t live with a vegetarian, i might worry about my complicity with factory farming if i were to buy such brushes

and then there are claims by some manufacturers that the bristles are biodegradable nylon or bamboo. can you believe such claims? no, says a 2015 blog post

it turns out that, as argued by alexis shotwell, trying to achieve purity is not a good goal. i’m going to fail going plastic free, but that will force me to weigh my different ethical commitments and think of good ways to live in spite of necessary compromise



dj hatfield is associate professor of history and anthropology in the liberal arts department of the berklee college of music in boston. a sociocultural anthropologist and sound installation artist, hatfield’s ongoing academic projects include accidental cosmopolitans: far ocean fishing and ironies of indigenous placemaking in taiwan. he is also the author of several articles on taiwanese popular culture and the appearance of indigeneity in taiwan after martial law, other works on taiwanese religious practice, and the book length monograph taiwanese pilgrimage to china: ritual, complicity, community. in addition to his academic work, hatfield brews beer, sings from old tunebooks, and hangs out with a variety of musicians on taiwan. this blog is a combination of a few of hatfield’s academic and non-academic interests