This might sound like a strange tip, but like starting any new habit, it’s important to identify those who will support you on your journey. Like going to the gym and having a gym buddy makes it easier to make sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Starting your plastic free or zero waste or sustainable life journey can be difficult and full of challenges. It’s great to have others who are either ahead, behind or the same level as you for you to learn from or support to keep yourself motivated. Having someone or a few people to help keep you accountable is a great way to cement a new habit.
From my volunteering I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people in these categories, ones forging ahead and well beyond where I was at, those just starting out and some at my level of activity. This proved invaluable as I received inspiration by seeing what those ahead of me we’re doing.
A few years ago, one of them showed me their reusable cutlery they carried around, which I thought was impressive but didn’t think I would actually start doing it myself. Then while travelling I picked up some lovely small wooden cutlery, perfect for travelling and as reusables. Then people would give me reusables or if I happen to be given them while out, then I would wash and reuse them. I now have a collection of a few sets so that when I’m with others, I have reusables for them too.
Some of my plastic free buddies are good resources for me to ask questions or find out what do they do about ….? One of them started Plastic Free July a few years back and that’s how I first found out about it. Now, I am that person for some others who also ask me how do I ….?
Most importantly, when we hanging out together and we aren’t doing something that is plastic free, we don’t judge each other. This is really important because we are all trying to do the best we can. We can’t all be perfect, no matter our intention. Having people around us who aren’t going to judge or ask why we aren’t going plastic free for a moment, is healthy for us to be able to cultivate the compassion we need to keep going. Beating ourselves up or having others beat us up for an occasional indiscretion won’t help us to keep on track. For me, it’s baby steps in the right direction and if we can choose reusable and single use plastic free as much as possible, then that’s a win.
Who’s your tribe of Plastic Free July’ers? Or who will you ask to hold yourself accountable to? If you need me to be your visual jogging companion in this exercise, drop me a line.