I started dabbling in a low waste and plastic free life about five years ago....from there it's grown into a passion that makes me question my purchasing choices and lifestyle on a daily basis.
when I started this journey, I had the same concerns as many people ask me about today:
1. should I throw all my current plastic items away?
absolutely not. this is a journey, and up to this point you will have accumulated plastic in your life. throwing your current plastic items away defeats the objective here. keep your current plastic items, then follow these simple rule: reuse if it has life left, repurpose if possible and you no longer have use for it, then recycle when it comes to the end of its working life.
2. will I have less options to chose from for purchasing new items?
absolutely not. sure this is a journey that will challenge you at times whilst you rewire your brain as to what other options there are to your normal purchase, but in general there are so many eco friendly and plastic free options. check out local farmers markets, health shops, if you're lucky enough to have a plastic free in store go have a nosey. alternatively there are an abundance of online eco stores which stock everything from non-plastic wrapped toilet paper to makeup. remember preparation is key. stock up before you run out so you're not left with a quick dash to the supermarket to find you have limited to zero plastic free options.
3. how and where do I start?
start small. one change at a time. choose one thing you use everyday or a single use plastic and commit to finding an eco-alt for that. then commit to using it for 2 weeks. then move on to your next item. don't beat yourself up if you fall of the tracks occasionally, but make a conscious effort to always ask yourself "is there a non-plastic option I can purchase instead?" a lot of people will start this journey with a toothbrush, but the texture can make them gag and their journey comes to a standstill. if you are sensitive to textures, tastes and smells, take this into consideration when starting your journey. find something that makes you excited about using initially, then grow your new lifestyle over time.
4. I'm just one person / I'm not going to make a difference / the problem is too big?
one person is all it takes to make a difference. ask buddha. the problem is only as big as we let it become. as consumers, every single purchase we make adds to the problem. just imagine.....if every single person stopped purchasing drinks out of plastic bottles.....do you really think companies wouldn't switch to a new solution?? one person is all it takes to create a revolution, inspire others with their journey and reduce their own plastic consumption. multiply that with like minded thinkers across the globe and you've got a revolution. one person is all it takes. be that person.