My decision to go Plastic Free

If you shop anywhere, you will know all about plastic.

This durable, easily moldable and cheap-to-make material not only protects the products we buy but has made it possible for all kinds of new and convenient products to be available to the mass market. Plastic helped in some incredible social revolutions and allowed going into space to happen well before it could’ve had plastic not been invented. Sounds awesome!... right?

But, sorry plastic, it’s time to move on...

My transition to veganism in 2016 was for both the ethical and environmental issues pointed out in the emotional documentary Cowspiracy. 

Before that, I ate and bought what I wanted with little thought for the planet or how it was produced, as my parents did. I thought 'everyone' does it, so it must be the 'right' thing to do. I occasionally decided to eat 'healthily' but that usually meant just eating the plastic wrapped salad that came as a side order with my take away food wrapped in styrofoam... 

But veganism for many people is not just boycotting animal products, getting dreadlocks and refusing to shave our legs ever again (although I can't say I was particularly regular with shaving before...), it can be a one way ticket into conscious living; a way to think about what we buy and produce with a niggling little question in our minds: 

“What impact is that having on the world?”

For instance, going on a walk and buying a bottle of water because you get thirsty. It's just a bottle of water, how bad can that be? 

Well, when you take into account the oil required to be drilled from the earth to produce the bottle, the damage to the springs the water comes from, the CO2 produced to transport it to the shop you bought it from and the fact that your bottle of water may only be used for a few minutes before it goes to a landfill where it will sit for possibly up to 1000 years to properly decompose...and, you get the idea!

Just a bit of research into this new conscious way of living tipped my world upside down and threw me into the rabbit hole of discovering not only what happens in the production of what I buy, but what happens to it after the bin men take it away from my house! Not a whole lot apparently... 

This touched a nerve I didn't know had been exposed...

I realized how what I was consuming as a customer in our consumerist society was not only eating into my pocket and turning me into a not so secret hoarder of things I never used, but it was impacting the planet to the point of destruction. The more I read, the more horrified I became; Any plastic created now could last over 1000 years so any pollution I had blindly bought today would continue to haunt the planet long after my great, great, great, great, great, grandkids died. And with the toxic waste seeping from the plastic into our water and causing all kinds of health issues, you could probably knock a few greats off that family tree!

Image by alliance/photoshot

Well, that was that! Plastic had to go!!!

Cue the realistic side of my brain. A.K.A the Boyfriend:

The conversation went along the line of: "Maybe before we throw everything which is made of plastic out of the window and spend a whole load of money on new shiny things, let's make a plan!” Annoyingly, the first question he asked was also the hardest: “Most of our food comes in plastic, so how will we eat?!"

We agreed that throwing out all our plastic items while they were still usable just added to the throwaway plastic situation and Chris wasn't prepared to make our lives super difficult to just survive on the scraps of none packaged food we could find in our area, because we work full time with little access to food shops which weren't Aldi or Waitrose.

I hate when he's right...


But the good news is that food was the first of many plastics free swaps we successfully worked out together for our home, and over the last 2 years, we have developed a strategy for switching out our cheap plastic go-to’s for their ultra sustainable and eco-friendly versions. A strategy which I’m working on to share with all of you, to make your plastic free transition as easy as possible.

And the great news is, saving the world has actually saved us money and in some ways, has made our lives even more convenient! Brilliant!