My Plastic Free Journey - the first steps
Most of us by now know that every piece of plastic ever made still exists and its logical therefore that the current rate of production can’t continue and scientists say that soon there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
But does going plastic free seem like too big of a challenge? Are you wondering where to start? Is it too big a task or too overwhelming? Don’t worry you don’t have to do it all at once!
I felt the same way this time last year and so started with a reusable coffee cup. That first step seemed small and relatively easy. Sure I forgot the cup occasionally but I felt really guilty when I did so started to forget less and less. As well as feeling like I had done something positive to help the planet I also really enjoyed drinking out of the glass reusable cup as opposed to a takeaway cup.
Now if I forget my cup I take 10 minutes out of the crazy rush I seem to be permanently in and sit down in the café and drink my coffee there. Another massive positive to being plastic free – stopping to smell the roses and actually focus on enjoying a great coffee.
A tip to help you remember your cup is to have a couple of cups – I have one at work to take to my local café near the office. I have another one at home for on the way to work stops or to take on my weekend walks.
Once I had started with the reusable cup other things quickly followed as it opens your eyes to what other single use plastics you are using. I got my kids some reusable stainless steel straws. My youngest son loves a straw so replacing my pack of plastic straws when it ran out with a stainless steel straw was an easy win.
The plastic bags at the Supermarket was relatively easy too as I do big shops at Pak N Save and have been taking my groceries home in cardboard boxes for years. But its taken a while to get into the habit of having some bags in the car for quick pit stops at New World or Countdown. To be honest I have been shamed into it because it didn’t feel good being in the minority walking out of the supermarket with a plastic bag!
I have just recently started using reusable produce bags as it felt wrong to be using so many bags here. There are lots of options on the market to replace that single use supermarket bag but I have been using the drawstring bags that many brands of linen comes in. I had built up quite a stock of these (yes I have a great linen collection!) and was wondering what to use them for when inspiration struck! Great recycling idea and they look cool in the trolley! I have also stopped buying any prepackaged vegetables at the supermarket. There is absolutely no need for three courgettes to be packed on a polystrene tray and gladwrapped. Maybe if we don’t buy them that will send a message to supermarkets and growers…here is hoping!
So I think the best way to look at it is that every change you make is a positive step in the right direction. Its a journey rather than a destination which once you start makes you far more aware of the plastic you are using and it is easy to continue to build on that first step.
I feel like I have come a long way since that first step of buying a reusable coffee cup last July but still have a long way to go. What step will you take this July?
Watch out for upcoming blogs where I will tell you more about what I am going to be doing this Plastic Free July and what Shut the Front Door has done to reduce its plastic use. Also check out our Instagram giveaway to win all the below items to give you the perfect Plastic Free July starter kit.