One of my ongoing goals for 2018 has been to live a more sustainable and plastic-free lifestyle. It’s something that I’ve mostly neglected until now because it’s so much easier and cheaper to carry on with status quo routines. But this week hit me like a sledgehammer. Between the June plastics issue of NGM (pick it up at your local library or visit yours truly for a copy!), the BBC video of the pilot whale carrying her calf’s plastic-laden corpse, and the video of a sea turtle getting a straw removed from its nose, I knew embarking on my goal was long overdue.
That being said, the whole thing seems…so daunting. I started reading zero waste blogs this week and became convinced that I was caught in a lose-lose scenario. I could go crazy eliminating plastics from my life to the point where I spend roughly 90% of my day trying to be self-sufficient. Or I could ignore the problem and continue to live an ignorantly comfortable existence of utmost convenience while the Great Pacific Garbage Patch grows larger. And then if I’m anywhere in between those two extremes, I’m a hypocrite.
But I also believe that being a hypocrite shouldn’t keep me from trying to improve my habits. Think about it this way. If I’m walking down a beach and notice a plastic water bottle washed ashore, that’s noticeable trash that could have come from me at some point in my life. I could choose to be all righteous and lecture other people on the beach who are drinking out of plastic water bottles, or I could accept that the bottle might’ve been mine at some point. It won’t stop me from bringing my reusable water bottle on future outings, but I’m not going to grandstand and pretend that I’m not partly to blame for the litter.
So my transition to an eco-friendlier lifestyle will be far less perfect than those 90%ers, but I’m committed to doing something. The more I see it, I’m approaching my sustainable goal the same way I’m approaching the 2018 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge. Is there any way I’m going to accomplish all 50 categories by the end of the year? Unless Apollo strikes me with a stroke of speed-reading genius, absolutely not. I’m already way behind watching my superhero mom lap me week after week. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to read every day and get through as many categories as possible.
Speaking of the Reading Challenge, I better go finish my chapter of The Pillars of the Earth because I’m perpetually behind schedule. I’ll keep you updated on the sustainability front and leave you with a photo of my attempt at grocery shopping with minimal plastic this week:
Not bad for a newb.