Seven Benefits of a Plastic-Free Lifestyle

shopping

The haul from a local farmer’s market.

 
I am wondering if this mission is in a word, nuts. Starting out requires a bit of effort and an upfront cost. Even two weeks in, I do wonder what the point of it all is.

So, in my many moments of doubt, I remind myself of the benefits of a plastic-free lifestyle. They’re largely speculative at this point in time – we’ll see how it all pans out.

That being said, I’d still like to share them with you.

Better for your health

Plastics have their place – and it’s not around food. Much of the food I know I purchase is convenient – packaged and ready to go. Eliminating plastic could provide the chance for you to totally revise your diet. You’d have to stop to think about where your food is coming from. You’d pre-plan. You’d get a bit more savvy in the kitchen. Your health would almost certainly benefit from it. Best bit is – your wallet might, too.

I don’t know precisely what effect my interactions with plastic are currently having on my body… but I can’t imagine that much of it is positive.

Tap into creativity

This is a choice to tread down a less conventional path, littered with many obstacles along the way. I know it’s going to require a lot of creative thinking to overcome these road blocks. Bring it on.

An opportunity to pick up new skills

I can’t sew, knit or garden and my boyfriend is the cook in our household. Rather than feeling constantly useless about these facts, I’m seeing it as a chance to learn something new.

Allows for conscious consuming

I quietly put a ban on purchasing anything deemed as “fast fashion” last year. This put a stop on shopping at the likes of Topshop, H&M and Zara, along with mindless browsing through ASOS on the net. I’m happy to say it was a complete success! While I did buy clothes, they were things I needed (such as a raincoat and warm weather gear – stuff I definitely didn’t require in Doha or Oz). Most were from local brands, or secondhand stores.

I’ve a lot to learn about sustainable fashion. However, already many of the items in my wardrobe are clothes I know I’ll be wearing for years to come – timeless pieces that will never go out of style.

We live in a disposable society. We buy more than we need and many people purchase things with an attitude of “if it breaks, I’ll buy a new one”. Consider this – in many cases, if you’re prepared to spend a little bit more upfront, you’ll save yourself money in the long run. Why? Because with a little forethought and research, you can purchase an item that will last you for a lifetime. This applies to clothes, kitchenware, household appliances… everything.

A chance to give back

I travelled a lot in 2015 and while I plan to slow that down several notches this year, I still feel immensely guilty about the impact this has on the earth. As long as I live in England (or anywhere else abroad for that matter) plane travel is going to be a part of life. While I know this isn’t enough to counteract that… I guess it’s a small step forward in the right direction.

That being said, I’m keen to start utilising train travel a whole lot more in the future. Watch this space.

The environment, duh

We’re producing more waste than ever and it’s not exactly having the best impact on our planet. The documentary Trashed features the dulcet tones of Jeremy Irons and explains the issues we’re facing worldwide far better than I ever could.

Savour the moment

One of the biggest lessons of last year was just how valuable time is. Money may come and go, along with possessions. But time – once it’s gone, that’s it. It’s something you’re never getting back.

Plastic and convenience go hand in hand, allegedly leaving us with more time to “get stuff done”. The result? We’re all rushing around like maniacs, clutching disposable cups of coffee in our hands.

I’m hoping this quest provides an opportunity to stop and smell the roses, offering a chance to figure out what is truly important in life and what I can do without.

Can you think of any other benefits of going plastic free?

Posted by LC
January 16, 2016
LC

LC can often be found nursing a cup of green tea, with her head in a book. She is a writer, video editor and professional cheese eater. Her life's aspiration is to one day live on a farm in Tasmania with 11 dogs, a Shetland pony and several pygmy goats.

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