Plastic Free January: Week 1

A couple of months back, an email dropped into my inbox from a couple of good friends saying they were arranging a forum event among a group of women to discuss leadership and to support and guide each other. Knowing the organisers I knew this was going to be awesome, "Yes, I am so into this!" was my response.

So on a cold Wednesday evening, I dashed into town after work to meet this awesome group of women and talk about what we felt about leaders, and leading, and where we thought needed leadership and what we as a group could bring to that.

The synthesis of these discussion was we pledged as a group to go (single use) plastic free for January. As a group we would experiment with altering our lifestyle to be less plastic dependent and discuss the ways we were doing that with the people in our lives, which for me includes discussing it with you! 

This is what my shopping looks like, plastic free

This is what my shopping looks like, plastic free

So for the past couple of weeks I have been trying to go plastic free. And mostly failing!  The first week was really hard and as is common with a paradigm shift (and beleive me that has been no less than that!), I've run though the classic stages of loss:

Denial and Isolation
New Years Day, and all I wanted was a Chinese take away. And I didn't want to drag the rest of my friends through some weird dance to find convenience food without plastic. So to avoid the feeling of isolation I decided that as it was the first day (and I was hungover, lets be honest) it didn't "count." With hindsight, we could have ordered pizza (cardboard boxes!)

Anger
[At the airport, no bottles over 100ml past security]
No time to sit in . . . Why can I not buy a drink that isn't in a plastic bottle? 
(because the animal skin sack fell out of favor in the UK some centuries ago)
Fine, I'll just buy some porridge in a paper pot, and not drink for the next 3 hours until I get home
(porridge is served with plastic lid and plastic spoon; porridge is like eating glue without an accompanying drink; dehydrated & hangry at 7am not pretty)
F*&%!

Bargaining
If somebody else buys it it doesn't count, right? (sent Mr. E to the shop)
If I already have the plastic wrapped item it doesn't count, right? (remaining Christmas chocolates)
If I buy tetrapack or plastic coated cardboard it doesn't count, right? (it probably does count, but a month without Ben & Jerry's?! Pfft!)

Depression
It's not possible. Everything has some part in plastic. How are we so dependent on this stuff?! We're royally screwed, as a species. We're going to drown in our own filth.

And finally: Acceptance
This is all about preparation and organisation, and I rock that stuff. OK I need: multiple canvas bags; water bottle; re-useable coffee cup; spork; . . . a bigger handbag?!
That and only buying the loose veggies in the supermarket. (Note to self: order veggie box delivery (no salad leaves))

Having come through the other side I'm beginning to see the light . . . but more about that next week.

If you'd like to know more about Alice and Plastic Free January, check out the links, or follow #plasticfreealice for more information.