Those of you in the know will be aware that July is actually “Plastic Free July”, where we’re all encouraged to spend just one month without buying any single use plastic (if you’ve not heard of this, give it a go for the rest of the month – you might be surprised at the results). Others reading this will be into the eco scene and will know other, more experienced eco bloggers such as Zoe from Eco Thrifty Living. What very few of you will know is that Zoe and I have kids at the same school and if I’m honest here, I’ve been a discreet fan of the whole Eco Thrifty Living thing for a while. In fact, if it wasn’t for the ear-worm affect of being near to Zoe over the past few years then I think it’s fair to say that there would be no Plastic Free Portal at all.
Anyone who’s been following me will also have spotted that I’ve gone a little silent of late. I am still just as passionate as ever about this message and getting this site up and running but I have another job, and it’s been busy. I’ve basically let life creep in and let it push my dream aside.
Then Saturday evening, I popped out to Sainsbury’s. The sun was out (who knew that happened in the UK) and we promised the kids a last minute barbecue – supplies were most definitely needed. I’m pretty good at the non plastic shopping now but…. barbecue….. kids….. burgers.
We needed buns.
I was walking round the store searching for the offending plastic wrapped bakery items when to my horror I look up to see my eco hero (and fellow school mum) walking towards me. I’m attempting a speedy u-turn (out of guilt and shame) when I realize it’s too late, I’ve been spotted….. but there was more to that look than just recognition. Zoe looked as mortified to be spotted as me.
What followed was like something that could have been a scene out of possibly the worst sitcom ever. As we both checked out the other’s trolly whilst trying to apologize for our own I spotted, and this shook my world a little, carrots in a plastic bag. How could this be? Zoe was as mortified as I was horrified. I declared my new “disappointed fan” status – then looked in my trolly. The buns weren’t in there yet so I was looking pretty good, neither was the tonic water – but I knew they were planned and it was confession time. We got a few weird looks as we took pics of each other’s trolly whilst discussing motivation and persistence but the whole incident has given both of us a much needed kick up the butt.
As we walked away, Zoe went to get unpackaged carrots and I went off to get the offending buns but I sought out bread ingredients to stop it happening again (or if I’m completely honest, to save face in case I bumped into Zoe again before leaving the shop). I also discovered (and this was a win) that tonic water comes in cans as well as plastic bottles – who knew? The point of this post though isn’t to give you a run down on my shopping list. Or to name and shame. The point is that we both left the shop with a trolly less offensive to the planet than we would have if we hadn’t bumped into each other.
Zoe was part of my inspiration to start this journey in the first place and has now been a key part in the inspiration for me to pick it up again and write a blog – the longer I left it the more I was avoiding it.
It’s easy when things slip to let it turn into a slippery slope; to judge yourself and let that feeling of “failure” lead to trying less then finally to giving up. Sometimes just a little nudge is all it takes to get yourself back on the right track and whether you nudge yourself, nudge someone else, or someone nudges you, a little nudging goes a long way.
So, whether we’re discussing life goals (as I fear I may have widened the topic of this one out a little) or cutting down on plastic, here’s my nudge to you. Be better tomorrow than you were today – just a little bit – and if you happen to be worse the day after that, acknowledge a blip, not a new pattern. Don’t let life push your dream aside…. and don’t buy carrots in bloody plastic wrapping!!!!!