I have recently made the pledge to go plastic free. Is my apartment suddenly pristine, with cute little jars with labels stacked neatly in the cupboards? Nope.
Will I ever get my apartment completely plastic free? Nope.
Have I stopped bringing things home that have single-use plastic packaging? Nope.
Look, it’s pretty hard. Milk is my stumbling block right now. I feel like I am making excuses, like “I need to use it up before I throw it out”, and “Surely this little bit won’t matter…”, and “I can’t help it f I get plastic gifts for my birthday!” The key, I think (although I am really new to this lifestyle change) is to remember “Everything in moderation. Except plastic. I hate plastic.”
So, the rules I have set up are:
- Treat it like an adventure. Since this is my pledge, I get to do as I want with it. Instead of ringing up every supermarket in the area, I’ve decided to take trips to each one in quest of milk in glass bottles, or paper cartons. This way, I get to know my area a little better, find some interesting products hopefully, and have something to do with my non-working days that gets me outside!
- Do use up the stuff you have. To me, going plastic free goes hand in hand with using less, buying less, making do with less, and, ultimately, throwing out less. If I use up the moisturisers, tooth brushes, shampoos, conditioners, etc. that I already have, I can repurpose them. Those bottles and things will be re-used as bottles for homemade shampoos, and what-have-you, and even toothbrushes can be reused as tiny little scrubbers, or even garden signs.
- I have a timeline: 2019 sounds like the perfect time to be completely single-use plastic free.
- I can not force other people to adopt the lifestyle change for me. For instance, I can’t make my housemate clean out the bin because I don’t want to use bin liners any more. Two options are: keep using the bin liners, or, I take responsibility for the bins. Yep, it’s not all pretty jars and fun hand-drawn labels in an artsy fine liner with cute pictures (I suck at drawing, and most fine liners have plastic in them anyway, so…. I guess I’ll have to suffice with plain, hand-written labels in pencil)
- I’m doing a good deed here. If I have a few setbacks, like every time I want a milky chai at home so I buy another bottle, I feel guilty. But I need to remember that I have made progress already, and that this project is doing good. I support businesses with the same inspiring mindset, and lessen my waste as I go. I am also learning a lot about the environment and interesting alternatives, as well as how a little change makes a big difference.
I hope we can all remember this when we do anything – big or small – to improve our world. Sure, the plastic-free aesthetic is awesome and pretty and sleek and how I want my apartment to look…. off track. I may want those things, but knowing that I am helping the environment a tiny bit makes the real difference, and is the real motivation.