A number of years ago I met Taina Uitto, a local Vancouver woman who at the time was blogging about living plastic free for one year. When I learned about her quest to go a year without plastic I initially thought it would be easy for me to cut back on plastic in my life and it was – for awhile. I carried around my metal straws and glass containers, refusing plastic bags at the grocery store and never purchasing bottled water. But over time it’s easy to return to old habits and convenience sometimes trumps being green when you’re in a hurry, away from the proper bins to dispose of things or limited in your choice of environmentally sustainable options for purchase.
As much as we’d all like to cut back even more than we have, the reality is, it’s difficult to give up some of the things that we’ve come to rely on for so long. So what I’ve found works best is to work on one thing at a time; develop one new good habit, eliminate one convenience that’s hard on the environment and be proud of small accomplishments. Maybe what we need to do more of is demand that things are made without plastic and create things not with the sole goal of making money but the goal of helping the environment and reducing what we use. I realize that there’s been a great deal of progress on this front but let’s continue to push for change.
I may have written about this before but I want to remind everyone to think of the big picture and know that even the small contributions you make to preserving the environment and its resources have tremendous potential for making a difference. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach to doing your part where the environment is concerned. No one’s perfect. Challenge yourself to small changes you can make in your consumerism. Afterall, if there’s no demand for environmentally unfriendly products, they will no longer be supplied.