We all read quotes, memes, see inspirational pictures - all of that - all of the time - on social media. I'm all like ohhhhhh that is awesome, screen shot it, say I am going to start living my life with that mantra. Then I wake up the next day and back to normal and cant remember anything I have read the previous day!
However........ every so often someone says something or I see something that truly does resonate and I cant stop thinking about it.
Today that particular something was....... Be the Product of your Product........ also something my Dad always taught us, in everything you do, do it with integrity. I sell products that help us to lead sustainable lives, do I achieve this in my own life 24 hours of the day 7 days a week? No. Do I try? Absolutely! Do I achieve it 75% of the time? YES!! - and when we are trying and being conscientious means we are making improvements - it all helps! And now every time I am tempted to make a split bad decision I will remember - be the product of my product. It has also promoted me to actually finally write this!
Its extremely hard in this fast paced world to keep up when convenience looms around every single corner, tempting us with its speedy offering on how much time and effort we might save. So many items are designed for quick one time use to make it easier for us as well as pretty packaging luring us in, and most of the time this packaging is not needed!! Being sustainable in our living does require organisation, being prepared and quite frankly it does seem like going plastic free is going to be expensive. And yes, I won't lie, to start off sometimes it is, but I promise in the long term you will see the rewards all the while saving your conscience and making a greener earth for us and our children to live in. (and yes your pocket will save some too eventually!!)
So I thought, each week during Plastic Free July, I would share with you some small examples of how we go without plastic in our lives, but until next week maybe you can share some of what you do to me to help me continue to be the Product of my Product! Some obvious and some not so obvious ways to cut out the plastic - but it gets you thinking of how you can apply x to z.
Eliminate where possible, reduce consumption, re-use if you had no other option , recycle what you cant reuse - whatever you can manage - it all helps!
Most of the supermarkets have started packaging their meat in recyclable trays now which is pretty awesome however its still a lot of plastic. I love supporting the local butcher, whilst it can be a little more expensive you normally find that you can order exactly the quantity that you want so there is no wastage and its a far superior cut of meat. My local butcher even lets you bring in your own containers so you don't have to have your meat into plastic bags, and if you happen to forget your container or like me are tempted to more than you went in for, no problem they can wrap in brown paper.
If you are in Tauranga check out http://www.englishbutchery.com/
It has taken a good year of commitment but I can now say I don't go into a shop, not just a supermarket but any shop, without my shopping bags. Stationers, gift shopping - anything, it all goes in my Admin Tote Bags. I still get are you SURE you do not want a bag. Nope I am good thanks! If I do forget I will juggle what I have or go back later. Did you know that some of the reusable shopping bags are made from some pretty nasty plastics? And we have all had the ones that last a few trips before ripping! The ones I now use I have tested for a few good months and now stock in my store. Made from re-purposed or recycled fishing nets, they are super strong and sturdy and they have a zipped pocket in the inside for your phone and keys.
Now you cant take your own shopping bags in to save the plastic bag at the end and then still use the produce bags for your fruit and vege! The goodie bags are great for your fruit and the loot bags are great for items out of the bulk bins - nuts, dried fruit etc (or pick n mix for movie nights!) Just take a photo on your phone if you need to remember the pick n mix number.
I never buy bottled water anymore however one of my biggest challenges is remembering to carry my reusable takeaway coffee cup with me. If I forget my cup now its to bad as I am a product of my product and I just have to say NO to the coffee if I'm on the run (which of course saves me money!!) Most disposable cups might look like they are made from paper but they are usually lined with styrofoam to keep the coffee warm and of course a plastic lid. More and more places are moving towards compostable cups however we have to also make sure we are doing the right things with these when we are finished. At least the reusable you will take home and wash!
PS - Say no to the straw for all other drinks!!!
Plenty more to come next week .................