Plastic guilt is crippling my conscience right now. It’s obviously something that’s been very prominent in the news and media of late. But how are you dealing with it?
Before we go any further, this post is an introduction to a new series I shall be embarking on. I’m learning slowly, how to live with less plastic and how to be more conscientious in the purchases I make. I’m not a “hippy” or an eco warrior and I’m not about to embark on a vegan diet. What I am trying to do is share with people how to make cheap and effective changes to our lives. Changes that make a positive impact on the environment and how to teach your child the same.
For me , hearing the crippling effects plastic is having on the planet, (notice I said THE and not OUR) and the creatures we share it with is too much of a daily weight to bear. I feel helpless. Whilst it’s important to realise we can all play a part in battling the war against plastic, it’s so hard when you are bombarded with the stuff on a minute by minute basis. Even this was typed on plastic keys on my keyboard.
Now I am by no means an eco warrior but that’s the whole point, you don’t need to be. We are all capable of reducing how much plastic we use and how we dispose of it. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort and often it can be more cost effective to buy plastic alternatives.
If you have made it this far then great. This isn’t an article to preach, this is a genuine cry for help. This is so deeply on my conscience I am living with the pointless feeling of guilt and despair every day. Shuddering daily at the amount of plastic that gets sent our way. Even if I myself choose a plastic free option, we are still bombarded with plastic from other sources.
Take Christmas just gone for example. I ordered George a book advent. He eats enough sugary foods as it is and last year I got bored with explaining it was only one chocolate a day. So this year I opted for a book advent and none of us had a chocolate advent calendar. That was until one of the mums at preschool very kindly decided to purchase all 70+ an advent calendar.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought this was an incredibly kind gesture and we accepted it gratefully. Then we took George’s Nana out for dinner to a chinese restaurant in honour of her birthday. Whilst we were waiting for our food, the manager came over and gave George a chocolate advent calendar. Again very kind, but despite my best efforts, he now had 2. I wasn’t asked in advance, she just presented him with it. I could never have taken it away and I wouldn’t. It was a gift. But to me it was now a responsibility. A responsibility to dispose of the plastic conscientiously.
The third chocolate advent was given to hubs by one of his accounts clients. And there it was, the unavoidable truth that no matter how hard we try to ignore it, plastic will find a way into your life.
This is merely a drop in our plastic filled ocean. We all know we are now consuming plastic particles that have been eaten by members of the food chain. “Become a vegetarian or a vegan I hear you cry.” But I don’t want to. I enjoy eating meat and fish.
Of course there’s also the subject of company advertising. Myself and George sit and watch children’s television and then the adverts start.
“Look at this plastic thing in a plastic shell that you can open and it’s filled with plastic accessories wrapped in plastic with a plastic box to sit on.”
“Collect them all” I hear George repeat. My soul shudders. His poor little heart doesn’t realise that by the time he’s 50, the planet will be struggling to be livable yet him and all his peers will have consumed and discarded more plastic than any generation before him to contribute to its demise.
So I found and joined a Facebook group on Ecobriking and got started on my first few bricks. I have also looked into Terracycle. Check them out. Terracycle in particular, is something I’m really excited to delve into more once we have completed this poxy house move and settled in.
To be fair my local council is pretty exceptional with the varying degrees of plastic they recycle. But the media would lead us to believe the councils can’t process the amount of plastic we produce quick enough so quite often sell it to other countries who dump it. It’s exasperating. And I often don’t know who to trust. My plan is to contact the local council, again after our move and ask for a tour of the recycling plant, that I can hopefully share with you all. We shall see.
So that is where I am at. Struggling daily with literally everything. Even seeing a character on Eastenders throw a perfectly good toy in the general waste because “they didn’t like it”! There are so many alternatives. Charity shops, school tombolas. Very little actually needs to go into your general waste now.
So I hope I have whet your appetite to join me as I embark on this mission to live with a healthier and happier conscience, with less plastic. ♥