So this one is a confession blog. Later in the week there will be a positive one on Ice Cream (I promise) but this one has to get written. Mainly because it proves that even with the best will in the world we will all get it wrong – including me. I have been very inspired by the number of friends altering their lifestyles – those changing toothbrushes, or noticing how much plastic packaging is around. What’s even more touching is they relate it to me and Steve having a go at giving up plastic that has inspired them to change their buying habits too.
In college this week (I study at a theological college in Manchester called Luther King House) we talked amongst other things in chapel about Imposter Syndrome. It’s a simple idea really and almost what it says on the tin. We all experience Imposter Syndrome, I would guess, at various points in our lives. An easy example would be starting a new job and fearing someone realising that you “can’t do the job” and might get “found out”. This last week I have felt like an imposter when it comes to giving up plastic because despite still not buying plastic in the staples and day-to-day living, I have accidentally bought a whole load of (and this is the worst bit) single-use plastic.
It all started just through simple lack of thought. Steve and I have been married for over a year now and we decided now was the time to get on putting up our wedding photos. Now it is not the photos I have that much of an issue (partly because I actually don’t know if photos have plastic in them – I suspect so but would love it if anyone out there knows) but the frames. Steve and i “ummed” and “rrrd” for ages about how to share our photos – through canvas or frames and in the end we went for frames and I then bought a set of them off Ebay without thinking.
The frames themselves I had presumed were wood are plastic. The “glass” is indeed not glass but plastic. But worst of all I never even considered that it would come wrapped in layers of bubble wrap (which we intend to reuse now) and lots of thin layers of (unclear if recyclable) plastic. It is an epic fail.
The weird thing is I just never considered it. I never thought about the fact the price was a “bargain”. It probably wouldn’t be if it had been made of wood and glass. I never even stopped to consider delivery might involve plastic (partly I suspect because we have really stopped buying lots of stuff off the internet and was out of habit). I guess it just proves how easy it is to forget in moments of tiredness/excitement/”braindeadidness”.
Now I am left with this to dispose of (thinking of maybe sticking it in the recycling bin just in case it can be recycled).
The photos looks great but I am sad that although they are everything that we wanted looks wise the impact of us having them on our wall will be felt for generations after us from the throwaway single use plastic that it came wrapped in and eventually from the currently non-recyclable plastic the frames are made from. It made me think how easy it is to get it wrong.
I also wanted to offer this blog out there to all my friends who have expressed over the last few months “guilt”. They feel “guilty” because they aren’t doing it to the same ‘nth’ degree as me – although all those who have said they feel “guilty” are the ones trying to make positive lifestyle changes. I want to say look I get it wrong too and I feel guilty BUT the whole point is to keep trying. I don’t intend to give up on reducing my plastic use because I have made this (pretty massive) error. Furthermore, I am being mindful to only look at the photos and have good feeling as they recollecting a great day in my life so far. Guilt doesn’t help us get better in our lifestyles. Positive mindfulness might – all of which you great folks are trying to do in your own ways. So thank you to all those “guilty” friends out there for making positive steps forward. Each step makes a difference. Let us continue our travels together.