It’s all becoming a bit much at the moment, climate-wise. I have this impending sense of doom that the Earth is about to self-implode at any point because of how horrendously we are treating it. If this were a romantic relationship, Mercury would be telling Earth – calmly, respectfully and with great care, over a cup of Earl Grey – how they should leave us. We’ve neglected it, emotionally and physically abused it, and enough is enough; it shouldn’t stand for this behaviour. It deserves much better than us.
Other than now feeling like I should write a tragic romantic novel centring around that previous paragraph’s story arc (I’d call it Planets and on the front cover I’d put little coloured splodges between the letters, like in Friends) I’ve never felt such a strong sense that I’m not doing enough. I’ve always been an on/off eco-warrior – sometimes feeling like I’m leading the way and other times failing myself and the planet miserably – but something feels different now.
Extinction Rebellion are causing waves in their own way, but I think we also need to stop shouting for the big dogs to change things for a second and actually see what we can do on a personal level. It’s all well and good stopping politicians on their way to work, but if you’re eating a bacon sarnie covered in non-recyclable packaging afterwards then I personally think you need to simultaneously look at your own day-to-day choices. I’m not slagging off what everyone’s protesting about – I stand in solidarity with it all! – but I think we need to start with ourselves.
Therefore, I’d like to explain how I plan to alter my life choices from here on out. This is partly so I can hold myself accountable for my actions, through telling my small following what I’m embarking on, and also as I hope to spark some change; no matter how small the embers. The feedback I’ve received from this little blog has been overwhelmingly positive over the years, so I feel quite hopeful that this may ignite something in a few of you passionate people!
So, without further a due, I pledge to the planet:
To not buy brand new clothes, unless they are genuinely sustainably made (otherwise second-hand only)
To get off my botty and drive less To buy more locally-sourced vegan food that doesn’t come from the other side of the world and cause the growers to be worse off (basically, bye bye avocados et al.)To actively look for palm oil in products and then boycott the hell out of it To drastically lower my plastic-wastage and strive for zero-waste
And with that, I’d like to propose an idea: Zero-Waste Wednesdays.
Similarly to Meatless Mondays, I suggest one day per week whereby everyone who cares about the future of our planet (yes, I’m getting a bit pointy now) creates no waste at all. If you’d like some more information on going zero-waste, please click here
for some posts from January 2018 that I wrote on this very blog, as well as some suggestions
on where to start. I believe that by making ourselves aware of how much we ordinarily chuck in the bin and reducing our wastage for one day per week, it will feel less daunting as we’re initially starting small. We can then begin to adjust our purchases long-term, having a lasting impact on the lovely Earth which has so far been a doting butler to our every western whim.
Ok, so I’ve just searched Zero-Waste Wednesdays and it’s already a bit of a thing, but maybe it’s ok to do our own version and pick up a bit more momentum? Is it too cringey to start my own hashtag? #ZeroWasteWeds. TOO LATE.
Here’s how I’m going to be doing it:
Buy no new products containing non-recyclable/biodegradable materials on Wednesdays: essentially, nothing goes in the rubbish bin.
On that note: Buy no plastic at all, recyclable or otherwise. This is due to plastic having a finite amount of times it can be recycled, unlike paper, tin and glass.
NOT FINDING THE LOOPHOLE AND BUYING ALL PLASTIC IN ADVANCE!! If you’ve already got it in the cupboard, use it! Just don’t fill your ‘plastic quota’ for the week on days other than Wednesdays.
This whole "In an ideal world I’d [INSERT A QUITE REASONABLE TASK OR ADJUSTMENT HERE]" spiel isn’t really an argument. Four years ago, I told a friend, "In an ideal world I’d go vegan, but I just love steak so much." A month later, I went vegan. I was just making an excuse for something I could quite easily do and afford, because I couldn’t really be bothered to change a few things. Our excuses aren’t really enough anymore.
Please let me know if you decide to embark on this challenge with me. There are so many shops popping up now that are offering less wasteful alternatives to our everyday products. I’ve been zero-waste food shopping today with friends and am feeling very excited and far less ‘OH SHITE, WE’RE ALL DOOMED’ now as I fill my cupboards with jars of rice, pasta and chilli peanuts.
Saving the planet can be delicious.