The challenge was presented, and I tentatively said: "I am up for it." With good intentions. This is what I learned.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANIMALS? A few things. Indulge me.
Plastic is an environmental threat. Not just litter that could be swallowed, or toxins in its creation or disposal that are pollutants, or the fact that it probably never breaks down, but also from a climate change point of view. I know you all know the stories of the big bad P word and all it has done... So I will not bring more heaviness to your guilt. But... Let me share mine.
I already have a number of plastic free ways of life - normal ones - shopping bags, straws, toothbrushes etc. So the big focus - was all the other - harder stuff to avoid... I did not do as well as I had hoped. Here are some confessions:
1. I did not know the extent of my plastic addiction. It is evident when I look at animals and those closest to me. I am very conscious of the plastic I use, and rarely allow myself to purchase plastic problems. However, when I am purchasing for others, I am willing to sacrifice my principles. With silly statements in my head like "My children deserve that plastic packet of chips." "My dogs deserve the plastic chew toy." "The rats deserve the synthetic homes."
Question - why is it okay for me to compromise when I believe I am being generous. Is generosity attached to a poor attitude? Or is plastic seen as a gift. A gift I am not worthy of? This is where I am at right now with this lesson.
2. Plastic is everywhere. Even in my daily cigarette. Yes, I know that I can be purist about this. I know I should give up this habit. I know that there are many judgements that can be thrown my way with this one. Here is the thing that this one is attached to...
3... It is all about convenience. I live a busy life. We all do. On my days off I strive to shop for the week in places where I can find plastic free veggies, fruit etc. Then then wheels fall off - you know how it is... and I find myself rushing into the corner store to replenish. In a couple of days this month I threw in the towel completely and stopped trying. For the next reason...
4. Discomfort. To do this plastic free thing requires stepping into the line of fire. I need to ask the lady at the bread counter to slice the bread and put it into the paper packet. This usually requires an argument. Because 'this is not how we do it'... 'the bread slicer does not work' (I went and showed them it did one time) 'I have to ask my manager' '...the bread is all packed in plastic already'.
On a good note... I have learned a few things.
1. Put my energy where my mouth is.
2. It is possible. Just takes a rethink, and some creativity
3. Trying things differently leads others to think about what they are doing.
4. There are loads of people out there doing there best
5. When you ask, there are people who can help
6. There is no turning back. I am aware. now I am screwed.
7. I have no right to lecture or try change the world till I can change me
I am pretty sure I am still addicted to convenience. There are a number of challenges I am not sure how to face - but this is a start. #plasticfreelife - Maybe!!
If anyone has suggestions to help, I am willing to hear...