The start of the year doubles up as an excellent time for reflection. I’ve been thinking a lot about values and the importance of living them. So long story short – I’ve decided 2016 is the year I start going plastic free.
It seems like a big thing, doesn’t it? I agree – and the fact that it was a larger than life commitment is what put me off doing it for a long time.
I didn’t make any resolutions for 2015. I was new to London, had only just found work and didn’t know what the year held. I still remember how I felt as the clock ticked over from December to January – a little bit nervous but mostly hopeful – ready to take on whatever the next twelve months threw at me.
I’ve been in London for over a year now, have a better sense of the city itself and what I want to achieve during my time spent here. The thing I have to thank above all else, is travel.
Travel enriches your life in many ways. For me, it’s been a big wake up call. Planet Earth is a special place and we really don’t collectively do enough to appreciate it and take care of it.
I’ve already taken a few steps forward in this mission, since I moved to London. I haven’t bought a disposable razor or plastic toothbrush in the last year. I make my own toothpaste. I don’t use “conventional” body products. I carry around my own water bottle and I mostly remember to take a reusable bag with me when I leave the house.
However, I know there’s so much more I should and could be doing. Enough making excuses (but I’m travelling, I’m working, I’m tired, wah, wah, etc).
To be honest, it’s rather thrilling. I don’t know how this will pan out. How much of a success it will be. Or where it will take me.
It’s going to be, to use a wanky term, a “journey” for sure. I am particularly excited about finding the means to apply this to travel. Travelling without the consumption of plastic seems almost unachievable. I believe there are others out there doing it and I look forward to joining their ranks!
I’ll admit I do feel a bit of trepidation in starting my quest in London. In all honesty – I don’t find it to be the greenest of cities. I’m speaking from my own observations of course and from the lofty position of coming from a country like Australia. There are many places in Oz that boast proudly of being a “tidy town” – there’s long been a push to keep the country beautiful and there is even a day every year that is designated to cleaning up the country (arguably, it should be every day of the year, but I guess that’s not the point). I’m not saying Australia’s perfect – far from it – just that perhaps the act of picking up litter is slightly more ingrained.
However London is too big. In a city full of parks and gardens, it took quite a bit of research to find one I could take my food waste to. The three hours it was open to the public never worked within my schedule – I ended up storing all my waste in the fridge for two months until we had our own backyard composter, which I could use to my heart’s content.
Oh well. Adds to the challenge, I suppose.
I don’t see it as being an easy process. I’m sure it will be frustrating and difficult. There will be tears and many moments where I’ll just want to pack it all in.
But with so much at stake, I don’t really see any other choice in the matter. A plastic-free life… or bust.
Do you have any ideas on the best way to live a plastic-free life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.