Couple of things I have discovered on this plastic mission:
One month is not long enough.
I realised half way through the first week of this challenge how big the challenge actual is.
This challenge involves going against a tide of behaviour and habit.
This is about turning a giant boat around to avoid hitting an iceberg.
So I have decided to keep this diary going and to keep on trying to give up plastic beyond one month.
One of the main things I have realised is you can't just go out and buy non plastic products, even they have a plastic legacy. You have to use up the plastic products you already have and think about how you can reuse this plastic moulded carcass left behind.
Then be a conscious consumer.
Campaigning is high on the agenda for change but asking them to not stock plastic will achieve nothing it is too big a deal. But asking them to provide an alternative to plastic is doable.
Campaign for choice and encourage others to make that choice will help turn the tide.
Publicly thanking companies that do give the choice will encourage them to continue to do so.
Cutting out plastic is directly connected to consumerism
Going out and buying a load of stuff that isn't plastic is just feeding the consumer addiction.
I am a consumer addict, I get the endorphins that make me feel better to shop and no this is not a good thing and is the main cause of my plastic consuming slip ups.
It is much harder to break habits that you associate with comfort, self-reward and a way to get through the day.
The desire for these consumer comforts identify a deeper discomfort that needs to be tackled, through exercise, meditation, creativity to name but a few.
Many times I have bought things to feel better, justifying it in my head, only to feel anger and guilt at myself when I add it to my hoard of 'stuff', stuff I barely have time to look at.
So breaking free of consumer comforting is a big part of the battle against plastic.
New is not better, new is a temporary hit that will subside after it is no longer new.
People 'the consumer' want plastic as it make life in the temporary convenient and hygenic.
I have been intrigued by the response to my plastic challenge.
Many people have said it is impossible, and I am inclined to some degree agree.
It is impossible to do it alone.
But why is it so hard, how has it become so integral to our western lifestyle?
Much plastic is used with food to retain cleanliness, hygiene and to prevent damage.
Which is ironic considering how much damage, dirt and pollution plastic is causing.
The consumers perspective is very much in the 'right here, right now' bubble of thinking, they don't wish to think about the big planet picture, it is too much responsibility and releases feelings of sadness which then trigger buying a 'treat' to feel better.
Plastic has made things cheaper, it's adaptability to create many different useful parts of life has made it thrive in everyday living.
My thought is, as a consumer, we need to push a little harder to think of alternatives to Be creative.
Shops instead of just giving away plastic knives and forks, they could sell beautiful (branded) reusable cutlery travel kits.
Already we are seeing the alternative of beautiful reusable cotton bags as an option in stores.
Perhaps coffee shops could provide reusable lids for your coffee, or keep the one you get and reuse it for next time, trends are made by many people doing something new.
As a consumer, think before you automatically consume, it is very hard but I will keep trying.