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…