On the right path

I’m rambling. I’m disillusioned by humanity and I am refocused to do better. Trying to clear out my thoughts so I can make a plan of attack for the future…

On Saturday night I had time to sit down and watch a movie. I decided on A Plastic Ocean, since it was on my movies to watch list, it was Earth Hour and I was feeling all green.

A plastic ocean

Watching this movie, alone, in the dark, was a mistake. It was traumatising to say the least. I knew we had a plastic problem, I’ve spent time on Instagram and WordPress talking about it. I just didn’t really put the entire issue into world wide perspective. Not a mistake I’ll make again.

After watching the documentary, I cried. We purchase products based on no animal testing. We ensure that “no animals were harmed during the making of this film”. We try and prevent animal poaching. Try and stop obvious animal cruelty. But we use plastic for everything! We’re hypocrites. We’ve polluted the entire ocean and one out of every four animals in the ocean it has plastic in their stomach (can that even be right?!?!?!) There are two bits of micro plastic to every bit of plankton. We’re killing baby birds because we want things to be easy, disposable. But because they aren’t injected with a needle or smeared with a product in a laboratory,  we have not noticed. How may of these animals have died because of me? Of my love of a takeaway coffee. My poor choices. My luxuries. My consumerism. My first world lifestyle. Privilege.

Still: A Plastic Ocean
**STILL: A PLASTIC OCEAN** Birds belly full of plastic. A cigarette lighter. A Toothbrush. Cause of death, starvation. Or, would it really be … Humans?

And the people. The families, children. Living, playing in landfill. Isolated islands turned into dumps because plastic goes in, but never leaves. All I could do was cry.

My heart was beating too fast and I felt like I had to do something to fix the problem, something more then my tiny lifestyle changes, but what? I felt useless because of how much damage has already been done. It took ages before I was able to calm myself down to sleep, and of course, my dreams were troubled.

Sunday morning my bright stars woke me up with all the joy that kids have when they open their eyes to a new day. But I was all wound up like a coil. I snapped at them all morning – for being kids. They didn’t do anything wrong. The problem was very much with me and my turmoil and helplessness.  By early afternoon I was still a mess. I had to attempt to calm myself, I tried to switch the brain off and snuck off for a deep, hot bath. With way too many drops of lavender.

This was a good move. The kids did find me (within five minutes of my vanishing) and the ‘relaxing’ bath became very squishy, water sloshing and laughing wet mess. That is the great things about kids. They are insane and take you along for a ride, even if you don’t want to go.

So once out, with my happier frame of mind, we headed off to the shops and got our ingredients for dinner. I managed all waste free (yay), until I got to the butches. I handed him my lunch box (which he normally Tares) but this time he used a bag and then emptied that bag into my lunchbox. It was almost enough to put me off buying meat forever. My happy place once again gone. I was so disappointed. Once he’d used that bag, that was it. It was another single use plastic. What ever happened to butches just using their hands and butchers paper?

My husband is currently away, once he’s back I intend to sit down and watch A Plastic Ocean with him. Although this movie is a PG rating, I’m of two minds about showing my children, Sir Knight (4.5) and Kitten (6.5). I want them to see it, I want them to know. But I don’t want them thinking the world is too horrible to grow up in. I don’t want them to be as upset as I was. My Sir Knight will be too young, but my Kitten, she’s so clever, she’ll get it. It will upset her. I want to protect her, but that won’t help her. Our family (except for Sir Knight) are booked on a tour to see our local recycling centre. I believe seeing A Plastic Ocean would be worth while to the Kitten before we go. Best wait for her daddy to be home too, his calming nature will be a comfort to her… and me.

My family have been taking my changes in their stride, even though don’t really understand the reasons why I’m changing my habits. This morning the Kitten was asking why I want the schools to collect toothbrushes. And if you need to wear masks to see landfill.

On Sunday we watched Toy Story together and the prospector, ‘Stinky Pete’ commented to Woody “You’ll all be ruined! …. tortured by children, abandoned, and end up spending eternity rotting in a landfill” she looked at me then, landfill. That word again! Since I’ve stopped referring to rubbish as rubbish and started calling it landfill. It has made some impact.

My disappointment with the butchers and watching A Plastic Ocean has really cemented  that this change is the right path. It’s against what everyone else is doing, so it’s hard. But it is the right thing to do. The path would feel very lonely without social media, I’d feel on my own without it. Thank you to everyone who gives me a like, it gives me courage to make my next call to a school to see if they are at all invested in keeping plastics out of landfill by being a community collection point.

As a community our greatest power for change is to spread awareness and to use or consumeristic natures responsibly – look for plastic free alternatives. Seek out extra recycle methods when our local systems don’t have the facilities to take it all. And to think… what have I used recently that will be in landfill? ... Goggles!! *google that…* they have TerraCycle boxes for them in the US but not Australia. Why not? Can’t we get them? We have such a huge swimming culture, surely this is something every community swimming pool should have… Ask TerraCycle Australia for this option, push your local pools to put something in place. Ask your local school why they aren’t involved with being collection points for recycling. They are a community hub. So are sporting clubs! …

Every time I use something now I think about it. I look up my RecycleRight app and if the answer isn’t there I put it in a bag to ask when I’m at the recycle centre tour. ‘Ah whatever’ isn’t good enough anymore. I don’t just want to do & be better, I have to. What would happen if we all just stopped… if we all said no to plastic…

Rambling. Disillusioned. Refocused.

The Kittens Mum

A Plastic Ocean please watch this movie, get a group together. A fundraising night.
RecycleRight City of Melville recycle service in Perth, Western Australia
TerraCycle USA take hard to recycle products and recycle them
TerraCycleANZ Australia & New Zealand branches of TerraCycle

Please note: I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned. They are for reference should people be interested in starting up collection points and trying to make a difference.



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