I am Shit-Scared of Plastic Free July

I’m not even going to try and hide it. I am packing myself about attempting to do plastic free July. It is so overwhelming once I started to actually acknowledge how much plastic surrounds our everyday lives; I just don’t even know where to begin.

I see now why we all so readily say “Oh but how can one person make a difference?” … it’s SO much easier to say that than to actually admit to how hard it will be.

I know I will have many many MANY failures in Plastic Free July … so much so that I am trying to find an alternative name for it. Maybe something like “Try and use a bit less plastic July” … it’s not really rolling off the tongue as nicely though.

I need to look at it realistically though, otherwise the overwhelming realisation will become a debilitating anxiety about my impact, societies impact, the direction of the planet, the weakening of the environment, the amount of plastics we inadvertently consume, the things that have plastic that we just don’t realise… I could continue down this rabbit hole, as I find myself regularly returning to as I am educating myself… but I know that isn’t going to help me or anyone to make a difference.

To make a difference, we need to just make little changes. For me, I am challenging myself to realise how much plastic is in my life; then I will find ways to make changes and reduce that with a long-term solution.

For example, I am starting with single-use plastic bags. I am on a mission to make sure no new single-use plastic bags come into my life. I carry a reusable bag; I am on a committee driving a local Boomerang Bags group to drive change in our community. I am acknowledging just how much plastic I come into contact with every single day, every single meal, and I am challenging myself to consider if I REALLY need that snack bar which comes in a non-recyclable plastic wrapper.

I gave myself a challenge for a single day to keep all of my trash and assess it at the end of the day — that was really eye-opening to see how much rubbish I made in a day; and how much of that was straight up landfill.

It can get depressing; it can cause some big anxiety moments, but I genuinely believe that it is serious enough that we should be confronting it and those scarey emotions front on; otherwise it will be biting us in the ass before we know it.

Check out Boomerang Bags — reusable bags that you can Borrow and Bring back — a community resource.

Check out what I learnt when I kept my rubbish for a day.

Say No to Plastic Bags!