In 1935, Ginger Rogers put on her tap shoes, and stepped out onto a pristine white floor to dance her heart out in “Roberta”. A Pristine Plastic Floor. The post war era came and went and suddenly everything from floors and door handles to shoes and clothes were made of this new wonderful material that could literally last forever.
Every single piece of plastic ever created still exists. I read those words a few months ago and they have sat in my psyche ever since, floating to the surface every time we get disposable cups (and straws) at our local trampoline park or forget the cloth bags at the shops and come home with (yet another) plastic bag. Along with the ever present question – if every piece of plastic ever created on this planet is still here – how can we, in conscience, continue creating more? We are suffocating our planet. We are poisoning our children. We are condemning whole species to extinction.
And for what. Because there isn’t an alternative? Or because money. Surely, the latter – yet as consumers, we can force change. We can vote with our wallets, and shout loud as we can that we DO NOT WANT SHRINK WRAPPED VEGGIES!!! Or anything else for that matter. Naked veggies and bare dancing toes treading lightly, make for a much happier planet, wouldn’t you agree?
Our family’s journey to zero waste and plastic free living is really in it’s infancy. In the beginning, I wanted to rush to the end – a happy conclusion where we are living an idyllic life, light on waste and big on eco principles, with minimal plastic and lighter souls because of it. In truth, it’s a slow dance, a long line of lessons. We are spending our days listening to the wisdom of those who started the journey long before us. Reading, researching – thinking outside the tupperware.
Plastic Free July has been a fantastic way to analyse how far we’ve actually come in our journey, and to try to shake off the dispirited feeling of our efforts being a drop in the ocean (of plastic). We’ve used it to reflect on the things we do already (like family cloth, old fashioned dishcloths, glass bottled milk, veg box schemes and metal water bottles) and to gather ideas about how to keep stepping forward to that hazy, sunny day when The Good Life is within reach. I’ve been posting daily on facebook, and enjoying the conversations that have come with the posts. Finding, actually, that the further we get through the month, the easier it feels to make small steps – a slow dance – and to know that so many other people are dancing their way to plastic free living too – jivving and step dancing, and waltzing and tapping and hip hippity hopping all over!
For our family, our hope is that Plastic Free July can turn into plastic free living, zero waste living and a great collective love song for our beautiful planet, with a company of dancers working hard together to make things right again. How do you feel? How has July been for you? Can you keep up the effort beyond this month? Can you change one thing and maintain that change?
Join the conversation about ditching single use plastics, and share your experience! We’re all in it together! There might be a million miles to go before the journey’s end, but We. Are. Many.