Lent: Basic Beginner Guide to Going Plastic Free for 40 days

It is coming up to Lent (starts this Wednesday, 1st March with Ash Wednesday). Lent is a time when some folks give or take things up. One option might be giving up buying plastic stuff but for some this may seem very daunting. So, I just wanted to offer a beginner’s basics for those wanting to try to live plastic free so that if it is something you are thinking about having a go for 40 days you have at least a beginning point.

Toilet Roll

Get your loo roll sorted. Eco-Leaf (google, though other search engines are available) is a good shout – available online and can often be bought in co-operatives. It’s outer-packaging (often the problem point of loo rolls) is made from potato starch so it does decompose. You can also get a kitchen towel from Eco-Leaf with the same packaging ( though may decide a dish-cloth will do)

Who Gives A Crap – is a new company that also does loo roll that is plastic free, currently sold out BUT look fun and 50% of profits go to building toilets in other parts of the world.

There are other ones but I have happily used Eco-Leaf and they do deliver in cardboard boxes. It is worth noting for all things bought online it is worth adding in any comments box (if you can) please deliver not in plastic or with any plastic packaging. Eco-Leaf is often found in co-operatives too – so check your local one out.

Brushing your teeth

Toothbrush – I get mine from here https://savesomegreen.co.uk/product/bamboo-toothbrush/  I go for Bamboo head as a preference

Other options are available though:

Toothbrushes:  http://gobamboo.co.nz/about-us/stockists/

Toothbrushes http://zerowasteshop.uk/

Things to watch out for – if you are vegan/veggie sometimes the brush heads aren’t ideal for you. Occasionally the brush heads are still plastic (so just check what you are buying)

Homemade Toothpaste (be aware it has no fluoride in it – I have blogged earlier about this one and how I felt about it, do have a read if your considering going to make your own).  One Recipe that seems to have worked for a number of people: 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, 10-15 drops of peppermint oil and 1 drop of clove oil,(not essential and maybe difficult to source without a plastic lid) 1 drop of clove oil. (Store in a glass jar) 


http://www.traditionalshaving.co.uk/268151-Safety-Razors – Prices start from £22 – Where I bought from and can recommend – check that the content is all non plastic as this company has a variety of handles. Also ask for nothing wrapped in plastic/ protected by plastic instead – perhaps be specific and explain fully you are wanting to give up plastic completely!

Again I wrote a blog post with more options for those out there who are interested in seeing what else there is have a look here: https://livingwithoutplasticinenglandblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/for-my-male-and-female-friends-who-want-to-shave-without-always-using-disposable-plastic-razors/

Period Stuff

Mooncup or equivalent – They work like tampons (but in my opinion better) and are far more sustainable. Can be bought at Boots (Mooncup) or online.

Sanitary Towels which are reusable ones. I bought mine from Precious Stars (http://www.preciousstars.net/shop.html)  – They do have some plastic in (but overall worth it as you will be reusing for years) unlike the disposable ones which use a lot of plastic. I know some folks who make their own (I was not so brave) but this might be a thing to have a try at if you want to go completely plastic free.

https://livingwithoutplasticinenglandblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/the-period-post-for-all-my-female-friends/ – I have a longer post on this one which may be worth a read as it has more options. 1.5 years on I have no regrets over my buys.

Shampoo and soaps

Lush is your new best friend – it has shampoos/ conditioners ect and soaps container free – no issue. It also does some ready-made deodorants that come not in plastic.

Other places are probably available depending on your locality but Lush is found in most major cities in the U.K. so a good start.

Cleaning Products

Fall in love with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Bi-carb. You can get ACV in glass bottles pretty easily and Bi-Carb in Cardboard (try Wilkos)

I put a 1 water: 3 mix of ACV in a pre-owned (mine is now around 2 years old) quirting bottle (this works for bathroom and kitchen surfaces) and then just use as you would a “normal” cleaning product.

For Tougher stains I tend to put the Bi-Carb stuff immediately down onto surfaces (make it into a paste if needed by adding a little water). Leave a few moments and then add in my home-made stuff.

Eco-over re-fill products for things like washing up liquid are a brillinat – a lot of small independent co-operatives will have them.

Dishcloths, generally, become your best friend – easy to wash and cheap to buy from any market. They can be used for dishes through to cleaning out showers. Just don’t get them mixed up. You can even make your own if you are a keen knitter.

For hard pans (you know when it gets burnt on 😉 ) you can get wooden brushes for pans – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/172498971708?lpid=122&chn=ps&adgroupid=40176066202&rlsatarget=pla-279594514985&adtype=pla&poi=&googleloc=9046639&device=c&campaignid=738210941&crdt=0 . I buy these now at a local co-operative in Derby and you can just replace the head each time – am sure it is again worth checking out your local co-op.


You can also get Laundry re-fillable from Ecover too – easy to sort once you have discovered your local Co-operative. Another alternative is there are a lot of cardboard based Laundry powder at most supermarkets. Some folks won’t want all the chemicals in these though (just as a heads-up).


This is tricky if you have sensitive skin. For a while I used just bi-carb; bi-carb mixed in with coconut oil. I did this for just over 6 months and then developed an allergy. At the moment this is still a part this is plastic in my life along with toothpaste. Hippy Paste (google) do some ready to go deodorants which are nice and I wish I had used from the off – but now can’t as defo have an allergy! Lush as mentioned before are a good starting point.

Always Leave home with:

Water bottle and or mug to hold hot drinks in. Take out a knife and fork (in case you get take-out food on the go), a lunch box (whatever you already own) to put food in, plenty of bags. If you are inclined to get “hangry” start baking stuff to take out with you or always have a banana around. Grabbing plastic-free snacks is not the easiest thing in the world.

And just stop using straws (say no at bars when ordering a soft drink). If your desperate metal ones can be sourced (info in a previous blog post) , but in reality, you don’t “need them”.


Tea bags contain plastic. You can buy loose leaf tea first time (more expensive) and then take the tin back and just get re-filled (it is cheaper). Obvious one is Whittards but suspect looking locally in your area you might have an independent tea house.

Coffee – Douwe Egberts Coffee – Comes almost plastic free – (it has a plastic/rubber seal) but it can be reused (for various re-fills for various products). Maybe not one for the purest out there but a good compromise. Real coffee can be bought plastic free pretty easily if you already own a grinder.

Find a local veg market ASAP – always shop with your own carrier bags (and take more than you think you will need)

Cereals – Aldi – do Weetabix that is in a cardboard box or buy porridge oats (available most places)

Bread – either make your own or go for Warburton’s as this comes in wax coated paper.

Pick butter over margarine (but fear not you will hardly eat any processed food because that is all in plastic so this switch is easy)

Milk and Juices Milk and More Online – This is where I found my milkman. It is company that pretty much operates in most major cities and in a fair number of less major ones too (I currently live in a village and they deliver) though if you find a more local one it is great to have choice :). With Milk and More you can organise your delivery online and is in my opinion the  easiest way to get a milk delivered. You can also get bottled apple juice, orange juice ect.

Olive Oil – you can buy in glass (it will be more expensive though but also nicer)

Rice – you can get online not in plastic – such as : http://www.naturallygoodfood.co.uk/Rice/Rice_Brown_Long_Grain_Indica_-_non_organic_25kg .It might be worth checking out co-operatives (this is where we tend to get things like pulses and some have got rice in containers too) – Again take containers with you to fill in (we take with us Kilner jars we pre-owned but anything would do).

Pasta – bad news – we make our own…but it is easy. 1 egg to 100g of flour (normal flour does work…there is also a thing such as pasta flour which tastes even nicer and has clear instructions on them). I have a blog post on how to do it if you go in for this. Full instructions here: https://livingwithoutplasticinenglandblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/home-made-pasta-living-non-plastic/  The only pasta I have ever managed to get plastic free was a Sainsbury’s basic lasagne sheet pasta. Making your own means you can put in different herbs to it too.

Chewing Gum. Avoid this at all costs (as for the majority of products readily available it will contain plastic in it.  There are a few companies internationally that don’t but not many and not easily (checking out that the packaging is plastic free is v. difficult to ascertain). Trebor Extra strong mints can be a good swap if you want to have a minty-feeling moment at some point – comes in paper packagine.

Cheese and Meat– take your own container (for either meat or cheese) or invest in wax paper (for cheese) to your local butcher/ deli counter. Chat with them about why you are doing what you are doing and most will be able to work with you in some way.

Veggie Stuff  – veggie sausages are available in cardboard (they come in various varieties from Quorn to Linda Mcartney) as are things like Chicken Kievs for those moments when cooking from scratch is just too hard.

Pizza – Make from scratch as no one bought in a supermarket is plastic free on the inside

All tins (pretty much) have plastic on the inside –so this is out for the next month. However, you can get things like: Peanut Butter, Tomato Sauces, home-made cheese sauces (with your glass bottled milk and brought home in your own container cheese) so I don’t think you will go hungry.

Coconut Milk – this is a sad one, as yet I can’t find coconut milk either in a block that doesn’t have it plastic outer packaging or in a tin.

Places of helpful support

On Facebook – Plastic is Rubbish – Group that offers tips/ asks questions specifically on plastic things.

On Facebook – Zero Waste Heroes! –  Made up of folks trying to live as close to a Zero waste life as possible.

Blogs – just search Plastic free and there are a fair number of us trying to do it out there.

If folks have a go at giving up plastic, it would be lovely to hear how you find it and any reflections on the whole experience.

Grey Area Number 3: Growing Your Own Vegetables….

So we are just starting out our attempt at growing vegetables this year. Last Saturday was spent prepping the garden as it really was the first dry enough, not cold enough day this year. The soil looks good – a bit too much clay but lots of worms which bodes well.

We went to the garden centre to get our potatoes – we really want to get the crop going as soon as possible (early march). Growing our own vegetables is (we hope) exciting and rewarding and a skill we will get better at. Last year we just didn’t give it enough prep time and got very little harvest. This year we hope to do better. The only thing is growing your own does seem to involve a little plastic. It is another smaller greyer area.


Let’s take the potatoes as an example. They came in a plastic net ( a bit like you would get your satsumas or oranges from in a large supermarket). We couldn’t get ones that were early and not in this netting from our local garden centre place. We decided to buy for a few reason. Firstly, the ease  and the fact it is nice to support local places rather than massive corporate establishments. Secondly, we figured that overall we would be reducing plastic along the production line by growing our own. Although, you can buy potatoes plastic free (and we do weekly – both baked and sweet potatoes) we figured that there is a high chance that at some point in either their production point or more likely transportation point plastic will have been used, thus growing our own overall reduces plastic.

Now we do have some vegetables (carrots) that are in seed form which obviously reduces the plastic over the potatoes. But in reality it felt  unavoidable if we wanted to grow potatoes to not end up buying plastic (and yes it is the worse form – one time use only…unless saved for other things such as crafts). I read a lot of zero waste blogs and am constantly admiring them but I do wonder how other gardeners who are aiming to reduce plastic and become more closer to zero waste manage – are folks really growing everything from seed and living “regular” non-alternate lives? How plastic-free is your vegetable growing those doing it?
Our potatoes are now just chilling out in a mix of owned containers and egg boxes waiting to “chit” and be ready. Here is hoping that this is the right call and we will be reducing our plastic by having a healthy potato crop this year.

Grey Area no. 2: Eating and Drinking outside the home…

This is one of those Grey areas that I am looking at and trying to evaluate. Up until now we haven’t really considered much about our eating out habits. In some ways we don’t do them often as a couple (although there are peak times like Christmas and around Birthdays). However, I go out a lot more than Steve and therefore this is one of those areas that is definitely more relevant to me than Steve right now.

Each week I leave home and go by train (with my hot tea in a flask) to study Contextual Theology as part of my training for Ministry in the Moravian Church. I manage to avoid all the obvious foods out that contains plastic (so I don’t go in for station snacks really but whenever I have they are the things like cake – served in paper bags). My drink is covered whilst I travel – either with my flask or metal water bottle water. Easy.

But then I get to college. Now at college we have a system whereby you can use a clicks key and get access to drinks (that come in plastic as standard). So I have abstained from this as of last year (I gave my last key away and haven’t collected it this year). HOWEVER, I do use the student kitchen where I have access to milk (in a plastic container) and a tea bags (which as we know contains plastic) and I do use these rather than take my loose tea with me or botttled milk (this feels totally unrealistic). Yet, I am wondering whether actually this Grey area of my life is O.K. as in reality to be truly non plastic and have hot drinks I could just go in for hot water (better for my teeth too).

For a while I was taking in Herbal teas (which seem a little better as it avoids the use of the milk which comes in plastic) but the difficulty is that even the teapigs ones (which are biodegradable in theory) do take a long time to decompose. It is starting to make me think that perhaps this was and is not the best choice. It is in simple areas of life like this that I tend to stumble the most and get puzzled the most. I do LOVE tea you see… Furthermore, I recognise compromise is a part of life but I am wondering whether to try the whole use up herbal tea bags and then go in for just drinking hot water. Before I do this though I wonder if you have any suggestions? Is anyone out there aware of another idea for a tea lover?


I also go out each week (ish) and eat with my friends from college at a fairly cheap place. Eating out generally is actually the area I am not quite sure how to deal with in relation to my ambition to go plastic free as in reality eating out is a part of my life but probably involves plastic at some stage because right now the food supply industry is so in love with plastic. Currently, I have done nothing with this area of my life at all but am wondering what I could do, at least in terms of choices of meals perhaps to reduce the amount of plastic to construct my meal. For instance, would vegetarian be better in terms of plastic than a meal that contains meat…I am not sure but wonder what you guys think?

Life is full of grey areas. Areas of doubt and compromise. Attempting to live plastic free in our second year is asking me what else could we do that is possible without ending up in the situation whereby life no longer has elements of “fun” to it. The second year feels about discerning the most sustainable, life-giving way to keep up this habit which is now almost a lifestyle. And for that reason it has to be fun. For Steve being vegetarian is a non option outside the house as for him eating meat is a “fun” luxury (no judgement please). For me I am still unsure on this. At college I am a pescatarian, at home a vegetarian and out sometimes (but not always) a meateater.  Equally I am equally unsure in terms of plastic if this is even worth thinking through as I have seen those vegetables at supermarkets and they love plastic….
Thoughts welcome.

Receiving Plastic as a Gift…

This has come up in conversation a few times, especially in the weeks before and after the Christmas period. It may seem like a strange one in some ways to blog about now, as a fair few people now know that we are trying to live as plastic free a lifestyle as we can, so you might assume this does not happen. However, there are times when plastic still comes into our house and one of these times is when it is brought in a gift form.


A classic time it enters our home is when friends come over for a meal. They often bring with them food/ drink etcetera wrapped in plastic or in plastic container of some sort. Now, I suspect there are some folks out there whose approach would be to take this as an education opportunity; to share with their friends all the negative side to plastic and thus reject the gift. However, it is not ours. At the very beginning we have tried to let friends know our vision but we are trying to not force our position on others. In our world view it is O.K. to be enthusiastic about something but not to enforce that view on others – we are big believers in choice. So when folks come to ours we don’t try and overtly convert them to our position – we might talk about why we are doing it but in reality never say  “You should be like this”.

There is also something about not rejecting the hospitality of others that is important to us. Sharing resources and gifts with one another is something that is an act of blessing and to reject any outwards sign of this blessing feels, frankly, wrong. (Although I can understand there are people out there who would do this). In the same way I would be pretty upset if someone turned their nose up at our newspaper wrapped gift I would assume that most people if you turned round and said ‘No, I can’t accept that because we don’t do plastic’ might be a little offended or at least saddened.

I guess this is one of those ‘grey’ areas of life and I suspect this will always mean that we are never truly plastic free but then I feel that life is a little full of compromises. That is not to say that we would actively encourage plastic gifts (trust us this is not the case) but we equally know that, say, the difference between a plastic drink and a bottled drink (especially non alcoholic) is rarely cheaper. Exploring grey areas are going to be the series of the next few blogs as this is definitely how our new year start seems to have begun…

Christmas and 2017….

It is that time of year again…

The time of year when we celebrate Christmas!!! For many of us this involves overindulging in lots of rich food, alcohol and present buying. It has to be said we in the Maxwell household are the same – we love Christmas for lots of reasons. It is the time of year when friends and families gather, when we celebrate Jesus coming to earth and when, for once, it is totally socially acceptable to eat as much chocolate as you want. What is not to love?!?

However, it is not the easiest time of year to go plastic free and if we are being honest we haven’t totally managed it. We have done 90% O.K. with present wrapping (see the last blog). However, some of our presents are plastic ones (a lot aren’t but some are), we are maybe only around 70%-75% plastic free. However, the ones that are plastic, are intended for long term use and in some, but not all cases, second hand. Also, we have done a lot of switching this year – trying to find “experience” gifts for our nearest and dearest or at least buying something that is not just for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and then never again. In this sense going plastic-free has really influenced our buying and has involved some more considered gift buying which has been fun.

We have also done pretty well with our food in the last month – managing to avoid buying plastic extras that can creep in (we haven’t a celebration box in sight). However, again we are away and buying completely plastic free isn’t easy when away from where you usually buy food. Although we have still managed to get loose veg wrapped up in our plastic free bags, we have ended up buying some plastic wrapped spinach and some rice.

All-in-all this Christmas we aren’t 100% plastic free and probably couldn’t have managed to be right now due to the friends we buy for and the fact we want to give appropriate gifts. However, we are still trying and we plan to keep trying; come January 1st 2017 we will not be stopping our plastic free living. We will be keeping going with a few minor adjustments and we hope you will keep going with us too. Our aim is still to try and be as plastic free as possible.

Our adjustments will be:

  • Claire – Face wash and moisturiser(it is in recyclable plastic and I plan to keep in dialogue with them)
  • Steve – DVDs and occasional soda cans.
  • The House – some Tin Cans ( this is due to us being slightly lazy but loving baked beans). However, we hope to keep this still very reduced.
  • Any work our car needs (this is sadly, for now, a non-negotiable due to our jobs).

These may seem minor adjustments but these are the things we have each missed the most and we figured it is about trying to keep this lifestyle as feasible as possible – whilst constantly re-evaluating what is important to us (it’s ironic but who thought baked beans would be so missed) alongside our commitment to try and be mindful about our contribution our lives have to either destroying or preserving this planet.

We just want to thank you for sharing our 2016 journey with us. We have had over 2,000 individual visitors read our blog over the year with close to 4,000 views. Most excitingly is that readers have shown interest in living a plastic-free life in all of these countries: Nigeria, Denmark, Uganda, Malta, Mexico, Estonia, India, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Philippians, Croatia, Italy, South Africa, Japan, Norway, Poland, Paraguay, Turks & Caicos Islands, Hungary, Netherlands, Swaziland, Austria, Kenya, Ireland, Bulgaria, New Zealand, France, Peru, Spain, Bolivia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia, United States, Finland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. This, for us, is the most exciting thing to have noticed as surely this is a great sign of hope – people from all over the world are interested in caring for this planet we all share. Thank you for blessing us with this realisation that people all over do care about how they live their lives and we ask that you keep journeying with us as we move forward into the next year trying to limit our plastic and be consistent in our belief that we each can make a difference in reducing our use of plastic and holding companies accountable for the resources they create.

Plastic Free Wrapping Options

So, it is that time of year when we start to wrap up our presents. So here are some tips for those folks out there who are perhaps wanting to wrap their gifts plastic free. Many of us are unconsciously wrapping up presents with plastic – be that cellotape or wrapping paper that has a layer of plastic (it is the ones that don’t scrumple as a good general rule). It is an easy thing to miss as plastic. Indeed, it took me a while to think about the wrapping paper one but it is also, thankfully, an easy swap for most of us. 

So here are a few options.

1. Wrap it in some material – like a Scarf


Why is this good? Well it looks awesome, (who wouldn’t like this) and it is a second gift or it can be re-used by the person who receives it to give another plastic-free wrapped gift.

2. Newspaper/Brown Paper/ Paper

Alternatively, you could wrap it in brown paper or newspaper or design your own paper (e.g. A4 paper stuck together and drawn on ) you get even better creative points if you are re-using newspaper/paper of any sort.


This is a bit retro but I think can be quite a cool look – especially if done well. Unfortunately, my ones I sent in newspaper / brown paper I forgot to photograph!

If you are going for wrapping in paper or newspaper you will need some of these:


I actually can’t remember where I got these from but I bulk bought online (we know have 8 around the house). However these sites look like they sell pretty similar ones but I haven’t bought from these two, yet. Remember it is always worth asking for it to come in plastic free packaging.





Other wrapping alternatives

OR string (if you can find it not in plastic) OR home-made glue (flour and water) – but this may be stickier. 

3. Drawstring bags

image2 (15).JPG

Another option might be to make your own or buy off a market some drawstring bags. A bit like giving gifts in a stockings (another great option which you could fill with plastic free goodies) these can be re-used easily and will last.

4. Give it in glass


So our example here is alcoholic but it doesn’t need to be. We have all seen the pictures on the internet of ready to make goodies (usually things like all the dry ingredients for chocolate brownies or cookies). Giving gifts in glass is great – again you can either ask for them back (so that you can re-fill them – we do this and tend to get around 1/3-1/2 of them back) or just give them away as a very nice bonus extra. We buy our glass from Wilkinson’s who wrap them in paper which hey presto then get used as wrapping paper. Although they do have the smallest button of plastic on the top (we figured overall it is better as it is not being thrown away unlike your usual wrapping paper with sellotape on)

5. Buy an experience

Your other real option is if you want to give a gift is to try and give an alternative gift – e.g. the gift of time with a written promise to do something together or a paper voucher for an experience that you can buy more and more readily online or some places like the theatre (all national theatre tokens are still paper last time I checked).

Do use up your leftover sellotape and wrapping paper though…

All in all there are plenty of options out there! However, it is worth though using up any left-over wrapping paper and sellotape, and bags for that matter (we still have a number) because otherwise they will then just end up in landfill, as a friendly rightly reminded me. This year some of our presents are wrapped with our last bits of sellotape and wrapping paper next year we hope to be completely free of the stuff.

Hope this is helpful for those who are beginning wrapping in this season of Advent. Let me know if you have any other good ideas – the more alternatives that are thought of the better 🙂

Plastic Free Technology…Impossible (?)

So, although we are trying to live a plastic free life at times it feels too hard. When it comes to technology I really think this is the case as, as a long term lifestyle, it feels like it is impossible to go completely plastic free. Although, it is only November and in theory we could go back to our “Normal” life come 1st January 2017 next year we have already started to talk through the things we are wanting to have back (a later blog post will explore this) but also the fact that most changes are ones we want to continue to make because we can. Now that’s not to say we won’t still slip up, as we do know, but we hope to continue past our year of trying to live a plastic-free life to make it a more permanent lifestyle; yet when it comes to technology we can’t see how.

As part of a Christmas-come bit of our budget, I am about to replace an 8 year laptop with a second hand Macbook (I will be getting it to use from Christmas). There are lots of reasons why I could say I need this – I have started in my role to need to project regularly and my old laptop just isn’t up to it easily but need and want are often things so close together it is often hard to distinguish between the two. Could my old laptop cope in church projection- yes if it could always be plugged in and given a good amount of warm-up time. So, being truthfully honest this “upgrade” is hedging closer to a want than a need by this definition.

Yet, technology does change so quickly that without updating you can easily end up on the back-foot. However, the downfall to it all is that all technology has plastic in it – no matter how limited that might be; it just does. So what does someone do? I know with phones there are options out there like the Fairphone (https://www.fairphone.com/en/) a potentially good investment for android users who at some point want to upgrade (and in theory never upgrade again), yet as an apple user (and I hear the moans already) my current plan is to hold out as long as possible with my relatively new apple phone and then when it really goes buy second hand.

My husband and I have lifestyles and jobs that do require some technology beyond a basic phone, for instance we both have laptops which we do various work/outside of work hobbies on. This kind of technology will always at some point need upgrading or at best fixing.


For now, buying second hand has been a decision for me as at least it isn’t brand new plastic, with Apple being the current choice as they tend to last longer (I am hoping this turns out to be true) and it links into our apple iphones. I know I have enough friends who will cry out in disappointment to our final large link up to the “Big A” and I hear that too – they aren’t a particularly ethical company in other ways and they are the dominant company which has another moral implication to it too. Sometimes it feels like life has so many compromises it is overwhelming.

So, I wondered what other non-plastic people were doing about technology? What those who don’t aim to be plastic-free but are trying to reduce their global impact do? Any thoughts helpful. It’s an area of trying to live plastic-free I find most trying. Technology is intrinsically linked to development (for better or worse) and I wonder how easy opting out of it is for anyone; particularly those who use technology for work. Thoughts, anyone?