Today is the beginning of my plastic reduction- fingers crossed!

Last week I listened to a woman on the radio say:  “If everyone did just one thing to reduce plastic use, think of the impact that would have on the world!”

Now that makes sense. It’s a catchy kind of concept that I can remember on a daily basis and I can easily repeat it. In fact, after listening to that interview, the comment kept popping up in “the front of my head.” I confess all that stuff in the back of my head is doomed. So, I challenged myself often over the past week, choosing to do little things to reduce my plastic use. Regrettably, I can only remember a few things:

  • I now keep my washed reusable coffee cups in my car instead of in the cupboard. Now when my mind and body craves caffeine while I am driving, I can use my cup to avoid the plastic and paper coffee cups going to the dump!
  • It was time to replace my hand soap in the plastic dispenser, so I chose a cake of Dove hand soap.
  • I ordered reusable mesh vegetable and fruit bags for my supermarket shopping. However, they shipped them in a large box with plastic bubble wrap. I was shocked!  They are mesh bags that could have fit in an envelope. I really didn’t want all the plastic bubble wrap. I felt a little defeated.

It turns out I am normal! Alli Johnson of Newfoundland, Canada mentioned: “Any change takes time, and not everyone is extraordinarily disciplined,” she said. “I think that the only way you’re going to succeed at something like this is to go easy on yourself, and to allow yourself to slip up.”

Obviously, I wasn’t getting much plastic reduction by being spontaneous last week. So, today I committed to a plan.While I will most likely slip up, a plan may avoid many such incidents!

Step 1- To thine own-self be true

  • I put a journal on the counter above our garbage container. As of today, I can record plastics that go in our recycling and those that land in the garbage.  I will soon possess a list of all the plastics I dispose of in the course of a typical week. In the weeks to come, I will also track my plastics in order to determine my progress.
  • I have placed a compost bucket under the kitchen sink.  Lets see if I can reduce my use of garbage bags and at the same time enrich next year’s garden!

Step 2- Once I know what the problem is, set goals to reduce my wicked ways

Step 3- Be accountable, or in Catholic parlance, go to confession.

Essentially, this has become my great challenge and I am the only one in my little marathon. I can begin by taking on as much as I can cope with, improving on my progress over time.  I do not have to beat myself up, or beat others up as we learn how to reduce the use of plastic. I will have fun doing this, I am not punishing myself!

In this one woman race, I think it is fair to use my e-journal to track my progress. This is it!

My journal eagerly invites feedback.  So please let me know what you think and what you are doing that relates to eliminating plastic in our environment! In return, I will keep this blog light, hopefully funny. I promise to tell the truth, with a minimum of embellishments!

This week is research time.  What does a typical two person family with a pet produce in plastic garbage? Who knows if I am a sinner or a saint? What goes in compost and what does not? We are not vegans, how do we buy a fillet of salmon without Styrofoam and plastic? I never feel good about Styrofoam!!!!!

Tune in next week! Not only will I summarize my research, but I will be musing about bench-marking and goal setting. And yes…that can be amusing material… What to know about the stinky business of composting, when you don’t have a nose for the result!