Here’s a thing … you’ll probably not be surprised to hear that I have a love of our planet and all that lives upon it. And 99.9% of the time, I go out of my way to ensure I’m not hurting any living being intentionally. Well, except the one bluebottle that I swatted this year in response to its incessant buzzing around the office at the time that an incredibly frustrating call had just ended. Even after that, I kept apologising. In fact, as I write this, I am acutely aware of my own double standards – I still eat meat and wear leather products: jackets, shoes, bags, etc…
This is something that I plan to address, a little bit at a time, as it is can be overwhelming to try and make drastic changes overnight, although I know for others that it may be far easier. When it comes down to it, it’s about understanding who we are and how we operate personally, and taking what measures we can to bring about the changes we want using the skills and experience we have already available to us.
I am already eating less meat and, in doing so, have discovered that I love a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals far more as they are packed full of flavour due to the herbs and spices, as well as the beans, pulses and so on that are invariably used to replace meat.
For me, it’s all about taking bite-sized chunks of action that build up and ultimately help you achieve that bigger goal. I have always adopted this kind of approach, particularly when life gets hectic. My life has been ridiculously busy over the past couple of years – all my own doing – but now I’m in a place where I am mindfully taking more control and finishing off projects before embarking on others … however keen I am to do everything all of the time! This has meant that I have created much needed space to process and make more informed choices and decisions about the actions that I take, although I do still act very much on instinct and listen to my intuition.
And that’s just what happened this evening. I was watching TV, relaxing after a mad weekend (more about that in a future post), and a documentary came on BBC 1 – ‘Drowning in Plastic’, presented by Liz Bonnin. OMG! I knew what we were doing to our planet was bad, but the plastic in the oceans and what it is doing to the wildlife, and ultimately us at the top of the food chain, is madness. And so incredibly upsetting. I signed up for Marine Conversation membership whilst the programme was still on.
I’ve always felt the desire to do something, but never really galvanised myself into action to do anything about it. Well, tonight I made that first bite-sized step so that I can start to make more of a difference to help our planet and the wonderful wildlife that is being destroyed because of man-made products, particularly single-use items, which we can surely live without … do we really need straw, plastic bottles, plastic carrier bags…? It’s time to make changes.
Looking at my own use of plastic at home, I know I need to be more actively focused on changing the way I shop to bring less packaging into the house. The volume that just my son and I produce is totally mad.
A few bite-sized steps that I have taken in recent months include:
- Using a metal bottle that keeps liquids either cold or hot for up to 12 hours to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles I use
- Making full use of my garden composter for raw vegetable-based food recycling
- Using bars of soap in place of liquid hand soap in plastic bottles
- Moving back to using ‘old-fashioned’ washing powder in a large box. It’s far better value and it washes better too (and it’s unbranded).
I’ve still got a long way to go, but every small step makes a difference towards any goal that we want to achieve and doing something to help the planet is good for the soul too.
We are now a few days on from me watching the documentary… I have now joined a marine conservation group https://www.mcsuk.org/ and signed up for litter picking on a beach in
Norfolk next year. I’m also really interested in undertaking a conservation project overseas next year, although right now the only ones I’ve found are more research-based, so the quest continues to find a more ‘hands-on’ project. I also have plans to go on a foraging course and learn more about about vegetarian cookery. All steps in the right direction!
Taking time to give myself space to breathe by finishing projects, and not spinning a ridiculous number of plates, has created space for these other interests to enter my life.
Watching ‘Drowning in Plastic’ and feeling so shocked and deeply upset about what we are doing to our planet has really inspired me to take action personally. Every little bit of effort is a step further in the right direction to help prevent unnecessary waste destroy our wildlife, our planet and ultimately ourselves at the top of the food chain.
I’m pleased that I’ve been able to get the ball rolling and galvanise myself into action!