Lent for many people is a time of giving up a favourite food or a bad habit, and for years I’ve given up things I love – I stopped drinking fizzy drinks, I gave up Bourbon biscuits (the horror!), and last year I went Vegan for lent. This year, however, I decided to go a step further than I’d considered before – giving up plastic; something that is found all around us, and is ever-lasting. With the hope of reducing my use of plastic, I embarked on this journey, aiming to challenge myself and see how possible it really is. So, here’s what I’ve learned so far…
Plastic is everywhere.
The first shop that I did after deciding to give up plastic was one of realisation – plastic is everywhere. As I walked down the aisles of Asda, I found myself despairing at all of the items I could no longer buy. Gone were the days of smoothies for breakfast (try finding berries that aren’t packaged in plastic!), and I said so-long to any type of orange juice or yoghurt.
It’s inevitable; you’re going to fail
Even if your intentions are good, there’s no way of completely avoiding plastic. I succumbed a few times to buying crisps and biscuits – they’re just too tempting! One great thing though, is that the North Wales Wildlife Trust is taking crisp and biscuit packets and sending them to TerraCycle, who recycle a lot of things not accepted in kerbside recycling. So yay, more treats for us!
Join Facebook groups
There are loads of tips and tricks out there, just go looking for them! I joined a few groups, and I’ve learned so much from other people. It’s also really motivating knowing that there are like-minded people out there, trying to cut down their plastic-usage too.
Single-use plastic is unnecessary (but we knew that anyway)
There are tons of items you can stop buying, like water bottles (invest in a stainless steel one, and it’ll last you forever!), straws (get some metal ones if you really need to) and tissues (go old-school and buy some hankies – you can get some really cute ones online). Cutting down on single-use plastic is definitely easier than you think – just be prepared to carry around a few extra items with you in your bag, and you’re sorted. I bought a pack of cutlery that I keep in my bag, along with a collapsible coffee cup, so I can always get 10p off in Teras!
It’s a struggle, but it’s worth it
Our planet is not-so-slowly dying from what we’re doing to it. Our daily actions can really help – yes, it might not feel like much, but if every single person bought and used a reusable coffee cup, we’d be saving millions and millions of plastic coffee cups from being created. All it takes is a few small actions from a lot of people, and the future for our world could be looking up. Baby steps!