Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Before We Begin...

If I’m going to find a way of not letting any plastic into my home or my life, there’s a certain set of assumptions I’ll have to work from. I’ve thought quite long and hard about these over the last few weeks, and tried to apply some logic to it. So here goes…

1. I’m not going to start throwing out everything made of plastic that's already in my home. That would mean getting rid of the casing of this computer that I’m writing on, which definitely isn’t going to work. Besides, throwing plastic out just for the sake of it is only going to make matters worse – it’s only going to add to the piles of waste that are already out there, and it’ll be wasting the products that are within those plastic bottles and bags. So, I’ll work my way through all those little bottles of bubble bath sitting on my bathroom shelf, and when they’re empty I’ll save the bottles to use for something else or I’ll recycle them. What I will be doing is not buying any more to add to the collection.

2. There may be certain things that it’s not practical or appropriate to give up, or possible to avoid. Hopefully there won’t be too many circumstances that fall into to this category, but the main thing I’m thinking of here is medication and medical equipment. I'm fortunate that I'm a young and healthy individual and don’t rely on medication for anything, except for the occasional allergy such as hayfever. But if something should go wrong and I or my partner need medical care, I won’t be turning that down if they bring out a plastic tube or something wrapped in a plastic bag.

3. I will try and talk to people about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and what my aims are, but I’m not going to force it upon them. And I’m not going to expect my friends to try and avoid things that come in plastic for my sake – if they want to then that’s great, the more people I can get involved the better. I know some of them will, but I also know some of them won’t, and the last thing I want to do is ostracise them. So if I go to a friend’s house for dinner and they produce salad from a bag, I’m going to eat up, thank you very much. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s their rubbish after all, and they’d probably produce it whether I was there or not. Maybe I can convert a few along the way though!

4. On the subject of friends, there’s my boyfriend, Bron. We live together and so he’s going to be involved in the changes I make whether he likes it or not, but I’m not going to force him to make all the same changes for himself unless he wants to. I really hope he will want to, of course, but I know certain things are going to take longer for him to come around to than others. He’s happy to watch me try, though, which is great, and he’ll have to come along for the ride if we’re buying anything that we share, such as food, but if it’s his personal things (shampoo for instance), then I’ll leave that decision up to him.

Ok, well I think that’s it. At least, I hope that’s it...

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