When I started my sustainable journey, I never questioned why I was doing things. I was just doing them. It was almost an intuition. My friend brought me a lovely little book called ‘live green’ by Jen Chillingworth and I started to change things very rapidly, which became very overwhelming and frustrating. I realized that this wasn’t sustainable and I would burn out very quickly. So I decided to set small challenges. My first challenge was to understand why I wanted to change my lifestyle? Start my sustainable journey?
I was so fed up with plastic and the more I looked at everything round me the more plastic I saw. I remember watching a Lil-lets TV advert and the woman wasn’t talking she was just showing you if you use a plastic applicator tampon how many plastic bags on average you would use in one day, one period, one year, a lifetime.
An average period day = 2 plastic bags
An Average period = 11 Plastic bags
An Average year = 143 plastic bags
An average lifetime = 5,500 plastic bags
She showed this by pulling plastic bags from the inside of her trousers. This minute long TV Advert showed she was almost drowning in plastic bags by the end of the advert. I was truly horrified, I hadn’t even thought about the impact my period was having on the planet and that was just one woman (Me)!
Then it got me thinking how many women are in the world?
In Jan 2019 is it estimated that there are 3,800,750,379 women in the world.
In an average period day = 760,150,074 plastic bags
An average period = 41,808,254,169 plastic bags
An average year = 543,507,304,197 plastic bags
An average lifetime = 20,904,127,084,500 plastic bags
This figure makes me feel physically sick and getting rid of plastic is a big why for me. This was just one aspect of my life then I started to think about all the other times we use plastic; to clean, to eat, to wear, to wash, to drive and the list could go on. I feel that we are drowning in plastic: our seas and oceans are full, supermarket and shops are full and even our tea bags are full of plastic. I don’t want the next generation or our wildlife breathing, ingesting or dying in plastic.
At a local level, I cannot go to my local beach or the beautiful South Downs without plastic waste being everywhere. I knew I had to do something, Even if I felt I was a drop in the ocean and I wouldn’t be able to make a difference. I had to try, I had to start with myself and what could I do to stop the plastic waste. This was my first why and my biggest. There has been more why’s since starting my journey but this what started me on my journey.
Why is ‘Why’ so important? It is so important because when I am feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or upset with situations. I go back to my why? Why did I start in the first place? And I remind myself why I started and why I wanted to make a difference. This is a powerful motivator for me and also a good place to ground myself when I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by things I cannot change or I have not quite got things right.
I love the quote by: Anne Marie Bonneau / Zero Waste Chef
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
This quote makes me want to try my best to inspire a change and together we can make a difference to the world.
What are your why’s?
What are your frustrations?
What makes you become overwhelmed?
What are your motivators?
Thank you for reading this and please let me know in the comments what your why's are?