Everything changed in June 2012. I came across a flyer in my local library (I’d just moved from the UK to Perth, Australia), with a challenge and a question: ‘could you give up plastic for the month of July?’
Give up plastic for a month, I thought. No problem, I thought. I’m pretty green already; I take my own bags to the shops! How hard could it really be?
The poster was advertising a community screening of Bag It, a documentary about plastic. I went along. I credit that documentary as my light-bulb moment. Cliché alert – that movie changed my life! That night, after the screening, was as if I was looking around my home (and in my fridge and in my bathroom cupboard) for the first time. I could see plastic was everywhere. And I’d never noticed. Had I been walking round with my eyes shut for my entire life?!
Honestly, I felt pretty embarrassed. Because I did actually think I was some kind of sustainability superhero for (over)filling my recycling bin, and all of a sudden I realized that there was so much more that I could do.
I’m not even talking about big changes. Just simple swaps, like buying carrots without a plastic bag, or switching the shower gel to bar soap.
Now I was looking at the situation with new eyes, I could see so many solutions!