This’ll be a little lengthy, and no doubt trivial, considering the magnitude of the problem, but based on the theory that “every little bit helps”, here’s the story:
I’m a professional “gardener”. In my neck of the woods (Northern California) I cut a lot of firebreak, chopping down weeds around homes, which, when dry, create a fire hazard. On slopes, where a lawnmower isn’t practical, the weapon of choice is usually a string trimmer, commonly, though inaccurately, called a “weedeater”. The plastic string is advanced as it is “used”, i. e., spewed into the environment… In an average season, I’ll spew tens of pounds of this stuff, already in micro size, all over the jobsites, from which it is no doubt carried, in the later rains, into Corte Madera Creek or Lagunitas Creek, and thence into the ocean. Some probably lingers and poisons the soil.
For many years now, every time I’ve fired up this 2-cycle, heavily air-polluting, noisy machine, at the end of the job, I’ve been saying to myself, “Man, I really need to buy a scythe, and learn how to use it.” But I’m 65, and loathe to embark on learning an entire new skill, and a possibly physically challenging one.
Anyway, I recently overcame my reluctance and ordered an Austrian scythe from a supply place in Maine. Last week I took it out for a test drive. All I can say, to quote the youth, OMG! This elegant, beautiful expression of appropriate technology is not only effortless to operate, but way faster than the string trimmer, the latter of which I have 40 years of practice with. And no more plastic into the environment, no more stress from the noise, vibration, and the rocks thrown in my face at the speed of a bullet, all of which the string trimmer has as fringe benefits.
I’m considering replacing the rototiller, now. Anybody got an ox and a plow you want to get rid of?