Earth Day and the Plastic Free Challenge

This morning the birds woke me up at silly o’clock with their constant tweeting. Not feeling particularly tired anyway, I gave in and got up to make a pot of coffee and see what had happened in my social media world since last night. As it turned out, not a lot, but I did find out today was Earth Day and the beginning of the Plastic Free Challenge social media event that runs until 22 July.

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Litter found in a local park 

The aim of the event is to refuse single-use plastics, think of environmentally friendly alternatives to them, and document and publish these experiences on social media. Wow, that’s quite a task! How could I possibly avoid using disposable plastics altogether for three months when I’m surrounded by them wherever I go?! Putting it like that the challenge sounds daunting. However, I decided to approach it from a slightly different angle.

Instead of thinking I’m doomed to fail and therefore I might as well not try at all, I believe making small changes and being more aware of what I’m doing, especially when travelling in unfamiliar places away from my usual haunts, are steps in the right direction. Buying a thermos mug and a stainless steel water bottle earlier this year was definitely one of my better decisions. I carry both on me everywhere, whether I’m walking to work or going on a week’s holiday. I can’t even guess how many disposable water bottles my reusable one has already replaced. Even many airports now have refill stations after security so there’s no need to buy bottled water before or during the flight.

Although I don’t usually buy take-away coffees, for some reason I get an urge to have one before a train journey. As a paper cup with its plastic lining, plastic lid, and cardboard sleeve seemed like a lot of packaging for something I would consume within minutes, I learnt to go without until I finally bought my bright red thermos mug. Not only has it been great at stations but also at some coffee shops (mainly in busy commuter areas) that only have disposable cups even for drink-in beverages. As a bonus, the coffee stays hot longer in it and tastes better too.

These are small changes but they are a start. I’ve recently seen a nice two-tier stainless steel food container that could double as ‘dinner bowls’ for myself and hubby on our travels. Currently we take (reusable) plastic plates and tumblers from a picnic set with us but the steel box would be more durable and take less space. When everything has to fit in a rucksack, there is rarely little extra space!

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5 thoughts on “Earth Day and the Plastic Free Challenge

      1. Exactly, we should never underestimate how much good one person can do & how much we can influence others into preserving the beautiful planet Earth we have! So thank you fellow eco-warrior!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Loved this! I find my reusable coffee cup is also useful as an impromptu container for leftovers or other bits and pieces I need a vessel for. I also find a reusable water bottle far better than all those fiddly little cups on aeroplanes – you can actually stay hydrated without needing 16 cups in the process!

    Small changes are where it all starts! One by one until they build momentum and we look back and think – woah, I’ve come a long way from where I started! ; )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lindsay! Soon after publishing the post I bought the two-tier stainless steel lunch box I’d seen earlier. We tested it on our recent trip to the coast and it’s fantastic, both for storing food in and for using it as “lunch bowls for two”. Hmmm, what next? 😀

      Like

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