I always thought I was environmentally conscious. I recycled everything I could. I’ve taken part in beach cleans. I tried not to be too wasteful. I tried to remember my bags for life and winced whenever I forgot. I knew the take-out coffee had a plastic lid which was wasteful. I assumed my acknowledgement and small actions were adequate to make a difference to the world.
Then, one day in early 2017 this Telegraph article popped up on my Facebook feed – and my mouth dropped in horror as I read about a whale in Norway who died with over 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in it’s stomach. I promised to never forget my supermarket bags again, and I invested in some hard-wearing cotton shopping bags. Suddenly I had realised the plastic ‘bags for life’ were actually going to last a lifetime and were more likely to end up floating in the oceans than they were to be carrying my groceries home in 50 years.
A few months later came the real turning point when I stumbled across a piece in The Guardian about a million plastic bottles being bought every minute – 20,000 every second. What I thought was crazy is that over half these bottles aren’t recycled, that’s 500,000+ bottles ending up in landfill, blighting the beautiful landscape or making their way to the sea every minute. EVERY SINGLE MINUTE!!!! After this article, I read more and more and I haven’t stopped reading about the problem of plastic (and everything else that is damaging our planet) since. I immediately vowed to give up plastic and after further research I decided to attempt to become a zero-waste family. I vowed to lead a better life, a life that would no longer damage our beautiful planet and I vowed I would lead the way and my friends and family would follow…
It’s not that simple
Turns out, I am a thirty year old consumer who loves chocolate, travel, skiing, baking, wine, make-up, meat, dairy, wine and building sandcastles on the beach. Basically, I enjoy stuff that is produced by, comes wrapped up in or is made from plastic. Here’s the dilemma – I want to live life to the fullest, I don’t want to compromise achieving my dreams and I have a bucket list a mile long – changing my life radically means giving most things up, and I don’t want to do that.
Another snag is that family and friends seem to be a little resistant to avoiding plastic. Some have literally laughed in my face at the impossibility! So, I have come to realise, living an angelic zero-waste, 100% plastic free life is unrealistic – but I can give it a jolly good bash! And so, here we are, I have set up this blog, to document the journey and hopefully educate and maybe even create a convert out of my family and friends. For now, I am *proudly* the bonkers eco-warrior family member who constantly points out the unnecessary plastic in the world around us.