What's the point?

I am on a journey to use less plastic and to reduce the waste that our household produces.  It is not an easy journey, but one, I believe, is essential if we are going to have a future planet that is healthy for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

But sometimes, like today at the supermarket, I feel overwhelmed and inconsequential.  There is plastic everywhere!  I may be saving the odd plastic bag with my reusable shopping bags and produce pouches but almost everything else in my trolley is covered in plastic!  What’s the point?  Am I really making a difference?

Yes, I could shop at a bulk store and take my own containers – but my nearest store is 25 mins away and the food stuff is more expensive than what I get at the supermarket.

Yes, I could bake my own stuff, and I sometimes do – but I have two small children, I’m still up several times a night and I just don’t have the energy to do this every week.

Yes, I could make my own cleaning products, and I’ve tried, – but so far I’ve not found one that works for me as well as store bought products and I often feel deflated after several failed attempts.

So what’s the point?  Am I really making a difference?

Yes!  Yes I am!

I am not perfect, far from it.  And I am miles away from being a zero waster.  But, yes, I am making a difference.  

Every week I use at least 7 reusable shopping bags and at least 6 produce pouches.  That’s 676 plastic bags not being used every year!  

I also use stainless steel straws for my children’s drinks, saving at least 4 plastic straws a day from landfill.  That’s 1460 plastic straws a year! 

I take my reusable coffee cup out with me every weekend for my takeaway coffees.  I only have one takeaway coffee a week, but that’s saving 52 disposable cups from landfill every year!

I use a reusable menstrual cup.  This saves approximately 400 sanitary products being disposed of every year.

I buy yogurt in bulk and my kids eat it from reusable food pouches.  This saves approximately 520 single use yogurt pouches or pots from landfill.

I use HoneyWraps for sandwiches and snacks.  Not very often, but each time I use one it means that’s one less Glad bag being sent to landfill.

I’ve gotten into the habit of always taking a water bottle with me where every I go.  This has been saving me from buying plastic bottles of water and then throwing them away after just one drink.

All in all, my contribution to saving plastic waste adds up to well over 3000 plastic items a year not going to landfill.  And I’m sure there’s more.  When I do bake, when I do visit the bulk store, when I choose one product over another.  It all adds up.  It all makes a difference.

So, wherever you are on your journey.  Whether you’re at the beginning and feel lost, whether you’re well and truly on your way, or like me, you’re getting there slowly.  The thing to remember is that every little choice you make, does make a difference.  

Pick one thing to change and work on that until it becomes part of your lifestyle.  Then pick another, and another and another.  In time you will change, people around you will change, the government will change its policies and then corporate businesses will change theirs.  And finally, our planet and it’s wildlife will get cleaner and healthier.  

We can make a difference!  

YOU, make a difference!