Since July is plastic free month just thought I would get into the spirit of the event and share one more simple thing I have done to reduce my plastic usage. Since I had some basic camping cutlery, I put the three pieces, knife, fork and tea spoon on key rings, looped them onto a carabiner and clipped them onto my go everywhere backpack, now wherever I go, I refuse plastic cutlery, I bring my own. You can pick up suitable camping cutlery at just about all camping stores. The other thing I have thought about is making a pouch out of scrap fabric and just throwing some cutlery from home in that, it can live in your bag and just go wherever you go. The other thing is that once you start doing things like that, other people take note, and next thing you know, everyone you know is refusing single use plastic. I remember when hardly anyone had a keep cup, now I can look around a table at a work meeting and every single person is sitting there sipping coffee from either a keep cup or a china mug they have bought from home. The coffee shops at my work place, are happy to put your coffee in any mug you bring, as long as it is clean.
There was no spoken move to keep cups, it just happened organically, lead by the example set by the first few people who started using them. So be a trend setter and demonstrate good environmental practice and slowly we will see the world change for the better. Actions speak louder than words and sometimes the best thing we can do, to bring about a change we care about, is to say nothing and just quietly lead by example. Like Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When so much environmental news is bleak, it is heartening to see how people are making an effort to stop the plastic tide. I know there is more I can be doing, but I am learning and when I see other peoples good ideas I am trying to put them into practice. For me plastic free July is about learning what other changes I can make.
I guess the biggest change any of us can make is to simply consume less. Not a popular statement when our government is currently spruiking spending and giving tax cuts to get people to spend more. And yes I know that the camp cutlery is plastic, at least it is durable and they were to hand. I can carry these everywhere, they are light weight, easy to clean. I figure just on my weekly stop for a coffee and muffin at a favourite fast coffee spot, I save on a plastic knife and plastic spoon. I look back with some horror that just over 12 months ago I was getting a plastic knife and spoon with every weekly visit. I could choose a china cup and plate but the cutlery was always plastic. I also have a set of cutlery at work for lunches, just some old ones from home. When I look back over the years I am horrified at the casual use of plastic I have been guilty of, but no more, now I try to eliminate it wherever I can. Still have a long way go, but I am learning and adapting. And when states like South Australia are set to ban such single use plastic we all might have to adapt: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-06/south-australia-plan-to-ban-single-use-plastic-items/11284916