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My Plastic Living Hell

This morning I was thinking about a local charity event I will be attending at the weekend and how to promote the therapies I offer to the people I will meet, something along the lines of little give-aways. My therapies could be extremely beneficial to many people in a number of different ways for all sorts of reasons therefore I wanted to send the right message. As I sat pondering the usual promotional ideas such as business cards, refer a friend invites and expensive pens I came across the idea of scented Epsom Salts commonly thought to help soothe and relax the body and mind. There is very little research that this is indeed the case, its more you're grandmas old folk lore. There is a difference between Dead Sea Salts and Epsom Salt, the most obvious is where they originate from and their chemical make-up.

Still it was a fabulous idea. Useful, relevant and with a direct link to the therapies I offer on many levels. Relaxation, stress busting, aromatherapy, muscle tension and self-care. “Perfect" I thought.

Enthusiastically I began searching the different options for wrapping these perfect little give-aways when the images almost slapped me straight in the face. Hundreds of plastic bags, all useful and practical, all in different shapes and sizes but it suddenly dawned on me that using plastic bags would not be a good promotional idea at this moment in our lives.

We are all aware of the huge plastic epidemic which is creating havoc and causing destruction on our planet in every which way.

We can’t help but hear about it, read about it and see it on our TV screens. “Plastic’ has now become a ‘dirty’ word in the dictionary of our lives. So I sure needed a rethink.

As I lifted my head from my laptop in the hallway of my home I really looked around for the first time. Past all the mess and clutter, past my ever-growing collection of home belongings, past my shoes and clothes and finally past my rose-coloured glasses.

I stared horrified into the kitchen, the front room and garden from where I sat. I was living in a mountain of plastic and it surrounded me like an envelope. Everywhere I looked it was as if all the plastic wrappers, pegs, bottles, bags, toys, containers, Cd cases, boxes and even my printer had grown enormously in size and were now glaring at me like never before. I felt small in comparison as if I was a mouse popping my head out into a dangerous minefield. (Not really sure if my printer counts but the cartridge wrapping certainly does).

I was living in the midst of a plastic nightmare and I had been oblivious to the real extent of my overpopulated plastic usage. My whole home ruled and run by plastic. I had even thrown away cardboard shoe boxes and purchased plastic ones to keep my un-needed and unworn excessive collection of shoes neat and tidy.

Had I seriously gone mad over the years ?

Maybe deep down I was just ignoring the fact that I had just become accustomed to the very convenient plastic way of life and was a little lazy to acknowledge it or to change it. Who knows?

I decided there and then that today would be the start of my new plastic free journey. I would make a conscious effort to eliminate plastic from my shopping and my life as much as possible. Being aware is the first step and I know that it is unrealistic to think that life can be plastic free right now but each small step is a step in the right direction. Surely if Waitrose can ditch their plastic then so could I.

Next step was the town where I was resolved to keep on track but boy was it difficult to purchase anything without plastic. The shops are full of it, contaminated even. Everything is made, covered or wrapped in plastic or at least that's what it seemed like. Armed with my shopping list; some cards, loo paper, shampoo and a couple of birthday presents my new adventure with a determined smile began.

Most shops wrap cards individually in cellophane wrappers so it took me a while to find a store which didn't. Admittedly cellophane is biodegradable but today I was on a mission.

Maybe a little more research in the future is needed on my part...:)

The shampoo was a little more tricky. All shampoos come in plastic bottles. I couldn't find any glass bottles. I nearly opted for the £8 Lush shampoo bar but somehow resisted. Very nearly giving up, I did find a shampoo bar in Superdrug of all places, with no plastic wrapping and in a tin for 90p so my guess is that this will be discontinued. Not much call for shampoo bars I suppose.

Loo paper impossible so I chose tissues in a paper box….:)

Not quite sure how that will work but I’m pretty sure you won’t want to hear the updates on this particular purchase….:)

The presents easy peasy after the shampoo saga. Wine seems always a good choice....:)

I left for home after 4 long hours feeling proud and pleased with my efforts only to stop for a take-away coffee complete with a plastic lid…..!!!!!!!

All in all it was a whole new shopping experience and my eyes have been well and truly opened. Changing habits is about new ideas and removing plastic from my life as much as possible will be a life-changing adventure from the next toothbrush I buy to the work pens I use. It may even be an impossible task but I'm willing to give it a go from now on.

My son did enjoy telling me that maybe some of the plastic bottles and wrappers are in-fact recyclable when I explained there would be "no more crisps in plastic bags"....:)

Maybe I just need to check the back of all packaging before I buy in future and do my research on alternatives....:)

For the charity event I opted for cotton drawstring re-usable bags and paper tags rather than stickers in the hope I will be now be a part of the new change in our thoughts towards my plastic living hell.

Wish me luck and I will keep you updated on my progress….:)


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