If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know how much I enjoy taking part in a challenge, especially when it is self-imposed. My stubbornness makes me good at keeping up with them, but I often underestimate them, and this was certainly one of those situations.
I decided to start this challenge on ‘Earth Day’, after spending my morning on Bastimentos Island, in and around the Red Frog Beach Resort. On my way to the beach, I noticed a little red frog on a leaf. The elusive red frog responsible for the name of this part of the Island. Sadly these little creatures are not seen very often. I approached it and as I looked at it I also noticed a piece of trash not far from her (I decided it was a she) and felt kind of embarrassed and apologetic for my kind. I wanted to give her an explanation of why there is so much trash in her habitat but it seemed pointless. I thought of all the beach cleanings that take place in that area and how the trash simply gets relocated; our efforts seem so futile, like fighting a wild fire with tears.
So I decided to start my own little personal challenge.
No single-use plastic products and no single-use plastic packaged products for one week.
I know there are tons of serious environmental issues, but I get overwhelmed by it all and often feel like there isn’t much I can do on my own. To a certain extent this is true, but it’s also an easy way out; a way not to take responsibility and continue to contribute to the pollution of our beloved planet. So I decided to keep the challenge simple and invite others to join me with the hope of limiting our ‘trash consumption’ and raising awareness. One of the things I like about these kind of ‘easy’ / short challenges is the potential impact they have on the person taking it on, as we each become a lot more aware of ourselves (how much plastic we normally consume, in this case) and the potential impact on those around us, we never know who might be inspired to join the challenge or at least consider their own impact (on the planet in this instance).
To find out how I did – read the 1st part of the article. If you’d just like some tips on becoming more eco friendly feel free to skip to the last section of the article.
This is going to be easy. Maybe I should do it for a month. Go food shopping and decide to make soup. I go to the fruit and veg shop where I always bring my own bag and happily pack my veggies. Life is good – I am a good human.
Why is there so much plastic in my bathroom?! All these bottles make me sad. I justify myself, to myself: ‘how else am I meant to stay clean?!’ I decide that when I am done with these bottles I will find alternatives to minimise my single use plastic consumption on the bathroom.
Food wise I’m doing good. I realise that refusing to buy packaged goods also means only consuming un-processed plants / veg / fruit; and I’m happy with that.
I’d like to make some rice but it’s impossible to find loose rice on this island so I guess I’ll stick to potatoes. I’m getting a little bored of my strictly fruit and veg diet; I normally pride myself on eating mostly plant based. Reality check, Hello!
Accident: I bought some bread form the bakery as I knew it came in a paper bag, but as I proudly told a friend of my noble challenge, we both looked down at my bike basked and noticed that the paper bag had a cleverly designed plastic film in the middle, so you can see what’s inside the bag! Annoying but I’ll just have to double my efforts when food shopping.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Mostly good but I bought a bag of crisps at a restaurant as I totally forgot about the challenge. A friend pointed out that it wasn’t plastic but still I wanted to avoid buying anything that would end up in a land field. I’m proud of myself but I’m also saddened to realise how hard it is to avoid All single use plastic. I have definitely become a lot more aware of this and commit to buying as little single use plastic products and packaged products as I can.
I go on my 1st food shop since I completed my challenge and I catch myself choosing the peanut butter in the glass jar over the plastic one. I even have a conversation with the store owner about the unnecessarily packaged veg in the refrigerated section. He says he agrees with me but some customers have told him that cling film keeps the product fresher for longer, in the end he says he’ll make sure they stop doing it. I’m not convinced he will but I will go back to that store and keep pestering them kindly.
I will also pester my friends any time I see them buying plastic bottles and using take away polystyrene containers. I don’t mind being ‘that friend’, someone’s got to be right?!
I encourage everyone reading this post to be that friend too, but start by cleaning up your own habits of course. Leading by example is without a doubt the best place to start.
What you can do:
To get rid of all plastic items in your bathroom follow the steps suggested in this video.
And ladies, if you don’t already I highly recommend the moon cup and reusable cloth pads. Eco friendly and much better for your yoni :).
To avoid having to consume single use plastic when you go out, be prepared, have a water bottle with you at all times, have a metal straw in your bag and carry a reusable bag, a reusable cup and a glass tupperware any time you know there is a chance you might eat out.
We really cannot afford the luxury of buying water bottles and using plastic containers for take away.
Any tips welcome in comments of course 🙂
Thank you for reading!