Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Christmas Resolution

How did it get to be November? Christmas is just around the corner again. I try not to think about it too early, but it’s hard when we’ve been planning the Christmas retail season at work since August. And now most shops on the high street are launching their Christmas campaigns, mine included, so it’s getting hard to ignore.

So, I’ve been thinking about Christmas. And I’ve been thinking about how worthless my Christmas was last year, how I essentially chickened out on my plastic challenge, and attached a whole raft of excuses as to why it worked out the way it did. And watching bits of yesterday’s TEDx Great Pacific Garbage Patch event has put me to shame. There’s no doubt in my mind that I use less plastic than I used to, but the truth of the matter is that I do still use quite a lot. That coffee that my manager treated me to the other day, the DVD I was craving, the pre-packaged sandwich I bought because I was too tired and hungry to be bothered with finding an alternative. I pledged to cut plastic from my lifestyle, but I fail continuously. I am a chicken.

Vote with your wallet
The speakers at the TEDx event were passionate and dedicated, and this has changed their lives. It’s truly inspiring, and it makes me want to be better, to be more serious. It is feasible cut out plastic; they do it every day. They “vote with their dollars,” as Andy Keller put it. And so, this Christmas I am determined to vote with my dollars – or, rather, my British pounds.

Hence my Christmas resolution: to buy gifts with no plastic. That’s no plastic packaging and not made of plastic. No DVDs or Xbox games, no calendars with their shrink-wrap. But what I really want to do is extend this resolution to my family and friends: any of you who happen to be reading this blog, can you avoid plastic in your purchases too? Or, at least, in any purchases you may choose to make for me?

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