Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Plastic Free July 2015 +1

Okay, so it is September already... but as with last year I decided to keep two months worth of non-recyclable plastic so that there wasn't any temptation to put off finishing/opening a new packet until next week when the challenge was up etc.

Here is the sum total of July & August 2014...  and here is July & August 2015....

If anything there is more this year rather than less which is rather frustrating given that I feel as though this is something I have taken on fairly seriously over the last year and have been working towards a not so much plastic-free life as a much less plastic dependent one. However, there are many things in this year's pile that are the result of my downsizing; like a pile of Ara Reo dvds that weren't that great when I was studying it and I'm certainly not going to inflict them on anyone else, also the negative sleeves and slide box. There are the things from last month like my hairbrush etc that were the tail end of the replacement process and the things I just didn't even think about last year, like the clear plastic negative pockets on certain photograph print packets, and the clear plastic bit on the opening of a tissue box.

Actually I'm quite annoyed about the tissue box - I'd gone well over a year without buying any tissues at all as handkerchiefs had been sufficient now I wasn't getting endless snottery colds from the children at kindergarten. But then in the last week of me saving my plastic I caught the worst cold I've had in years and a whole box of tissues got used up in a matter of days (and I'm halfway through the next one!). Bah humbug. That also accounts for a sudden increase in the number of tablet strips which had been well down on last year.

But over all I'm hopeful that this time next year the pile will be smaller, or at least will be made up of mostly 'historical' stuff being cleared out rather than newly bought. In fact to make myself feel better about it all here is the stuff sorted into new stuff from July & August, and old stuff that got emptied/used up/chucked out. But whilst it might soothe my ego a bit, it doesn't take away from the fact that it is all still ending up in landfill, whether that is now rather than 15yrs ago or in two months time is neither here nor there (although I suppose literally it does change which side of the world the landfill is in some cases! Aroha mai, Aotearoa...)

What else to focus on reducing/eliminating next over the coming year though? That in many ways is the hardest challenge as I've changed all the easy things already! I'm sure I'll continue to get plenty of inspiration though via the Plastic Free July community and their Facebook page. It is good to be challenged as generally I've had a fairly easy run when it comes to keeping my carbon footprint lower than average. When you start it off as a life long vegetarian who doesn't drive/run a car and thus who uses a lot of public transport, lives in shared housing, likes to grow veggies, is used to frugal living and has been recycling for decades etc you get something of a head start over most folk! I don't feel like I've had to make many difficult changes at all. All those years of hearing 'Turn the lights off if you aren't using them. It's like Piccadilly Circus around here!' as a child/teenager obviously had some long term impact, if not quite the immediate one that was desired at the time!

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