Minimalism,  Plastic Free,  Zero Waste

Plastic free & minimalism in real life – practical tips and the struggles

I have been so engrossed in the whole journey towards becoming as minimalist as I can be, having as less waste as possible and being as plastic free as possible but I know I am still far off the ideal goal.

What I also know is that there are people who have succeeded and not just for a week, a month or two months but many years. This is what keeps me going.

However that isn’t to say that the struggle isn’t real. Take for example, plastic straws. My little kids use them. It allows them to be independent as that’s what they love at that age but it also helps with less spillage with water and milk but as a family we’ve decided not to buy plastic straws at all now.

Over the last few months I have been searching everywhere for mini mason jars. I had switched to my kids drinking in standard mason jars with handles but they were too big for them. Shot glass versions of these were too small. I couldn’t find loosely sold glass mason jars anywhere in varying sizes. Last week I visited T K Max for something unrelated but then saw a pack of salt and pepper shakers which were the perfect size for my kids to drink from. The problem is, I came home and remembered the packaging is plastic and I won’t have any use for the lids.

We are so used to buying everything in plastic that during the early stages of learning to be plastic free, I may avoid it altogether in a place I’m surrounded by it (supermarkets) but forget in the next shop which is less obvious. However I’ll use this opportunity to email the company to raise awareness.

On the other hand I bought a glass bottle to pour from when out and about. It is a good size, less than a litre and portable. I’ll have to be extra careful when out but I have to carry spare clothes for my kids anyway so it doubles up as padding for the bottle.

I purchased a biscuit dessert to have with the tea from the dessert shop next store. My kids were with me and I shared a little. The plastic cutlery is easily accessible and as there was a really soft caramel layer, they used a spoon. Yes they could eat with their hands as we do this often but it would have been extra messy. I mentioned in a previous post that people ask what to do about crisps as they cannot live without them. My thought was we should step away what we have been driven towards in supermarkets who care about their profits and making money from you. This thought needs to be applied everywhere. Had I been healthy and not bought it, there would have been less of a problem. This is me being totally honest. As of today I won’t buy any and will stick to making it at home but this is the kickstart to us all eating healthily again.

Minimalism

Last night I found myself watching a vlogger on YouTube. It’s not even like I enjoy it so much but it’s like TV, sometimes you just put it on for background noise. It’s funny though, as nowadays I hardly turn the TV on but our phones replace TV with the availability of YouTube.

I found myself feeling so upbeat seeing this rich YouTuber wrapping expensive presents for their family. All the patterned wrapping paper enveloping the surprise inside. I came to the conclusion that it’s unhealthy to watch. In reality I am not taking part in any consumerism during December. If I gift anything to anyone, it is randomly throughout the year. I’m also not the slightest bit interested in expensive presents (ones that cost several hundred pounds each). It did make me thing that others on the same journey as me may struggle to break away from the attraction this time of year brings and which many YouTubers present. Remember, a lot of times they are being sent items for free, or being paid to advertise a product!

I also have no intention of buying wrapping paper ever again.

This brings me to a conversation I had with my mum last night. My mother showed me a picture of a a gift wrapped nicely in cellophane and ribbons and a bow. It did look good. It was someone’s profile picture showing what their place of work did for people who passed their exams. My mum is the person who has always said stay away from plastic bottles so I said to her that cellophane is not a good one either. My mum responded with something like we can’t really get away from this sort of thing and the whole gift experience (the way the gift is presented) really does show appreciation, care etc etc. And I totally get what she meant by it. We had a really good conversation about it. We are led to feel that having a gift wrapped in all these things and embellished with other things (a bow, a tag, a ribbon…) means luxury, thought, care, attention and so on. We can’t just give a gift as it is. No. That is too odd. But if we did that, how would companies make more money from all these extras we purchase?

It is a very slow and hard to explain journey, when it feels like you are nitpicking everything but I’m here and committed for the long run. There is still a lot to learn about but there are so many people sharing their advice online that it does make it that little bit easier.

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