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What's the difference between a basket and plastic container?

Well, I think a basket has energy.  It's got life in it.  When it rots it will feed the earth, not poison it.  Things aren't meant to last forever.  'Things' are meant to break down and be replaced - part of the cycle.  

That's the difference between baskets and plastic containers - you don't make a basket or a hurdle to last forever, you make it knowing one day it will have to be replaced.  You put your soul into making the basket, try to make it as strong as it can be, as beautiful as it can be in it's strength.  All the while knowing this was just a momentary stasis of inevitable decay and that one day it will just be a pile of twigs rotting in the ground, the hours spent weaving long forgotten...

...and this is ok.  It's as it should be.  Things arise, things pass away.  Being afraid of this and grasping desperately on to an impossible, unchanging life is what has made us need 'stuff' that lasts forever...  Life to last forever.

Plastic...  well, it lasts a very long time.  A very, very long time.  Do we really want anything to last that long?  Past the point where we've got bored with it or it's become shabby or we just want the new plastic thing on the market?  There's no chucking it back into the hedge where you got it from - not where you can see it anyway.  You have to chuck it away into landfill - out of sight, out of mind.  

Is it out of mind though?  

I believe that our deepest mind understands the consequences of this and we are inextricably bound by the conscience that it forces on us.  It's a survival mechanism, it's a higher mind, it's whatever you describe it as, but it's there.  It's what is pushing us towards a more sustainable way of life.   I just wish we could all hear it a little bit louder.



  1. excellent, thoughtful post hen. I've seen shocking pictures of animals and birds snared in pieces of carelessly thrown away plastic - when will we learn?

    When I was on my spinning course the other day, the tutor had all her fleece in lovely handmade baskets and I thought of you! When I (finally) get my wheel I suspect I'll be putting in an order for something similar!


  2. Spinning!! that sounds lovely. I used to sell my pathwork and quilting at craft fairs. Two Leicestershire ladies also had a spot with their spinning. I was always fascinated and always bought wool to give to a friend who did knitting

  3. This is a very well written and thoughtful post. I think people are SLOWLY learning this lesson, well some are at least. I think it will be a while before we get very far on this whole issue though. And I am still very guilty of these types of things myself, but I am trying to shift at least some of my use of plastic. Like using my re-usable shopping bags, instead of getting the plastic ones. It is a challenge though, so many things we use on a daily basis are packaged in plastic, its really quite sad. As people buy more and more from local artists, there will be less plastic in the world.

  4. What a brilliant post Hen. Our local supermarket is now charging for plastic bags. I have noticed it seems to be discouraging people from taking bags unnecessary, but perhaps if they charged a £1 a bag, it would really make people think about what they put their shopping in. There's a lady in our village that uses her basket for shopping and its great to see. So here's to the basket I say. Have a good weekend. :)

  5. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, " You put your soul into making the basket.." That is the difference. I learned basket weaving in high school, and, though I'll admit that I haven't kept up with the craft, I've always loved baskets. It is an object crafted by the hand and the heart, and we are losing this art. I feel badly for the children who will never know the pleasure of making something with their own hands. And, you've made an excellent point about the "eco-friendliness" of baskets.

  6. It would be nice to get back to basics where people learn to participate in the making of things we perceive we need. So if we are hungry, we will surround ourselves with the opportunity to grow or harvest food. It would be nice to create our own personalized try to understand the gifts we each can a world where we each support each others dreams and make the world a place that offers love to the potential problems we each may face.

  7. You are soooo right, Hen, and my basket is something that I'll treasure. It means far more than anything plastic ever could. I feel the same way about plastic carrier bags.

    Kim x


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