This year, for the second year running, I’m inflicting a 40-day experiment on my long-suffering family. It’s nothing too weird and it certainly won’t hurt them (apart from cause the odd bit / a fair amount of complaining) but I think it’s a really important thing to attempt. We’re giving up plastic for Lent.
Specifically, this means that we can't buy any plastic and we can't throw any away. We did the same thing last year, which you can read about here (with lots of hints and suggestions at the end of things to make it easier) and it involved lots of baking, preparing stuff from scratch and coming perilously close to running out of loo roll and ketchup.
It was hard and we definitely didn’t succeed 100%, but this year we’re a bit more prepared. We’ve found a milkman to deliver glass bottles to our door and our youngest is also now potty trained. So we no longer need nappies or wet-wipes, which are apparently one of the biggest causes of plastic pollution, along with crisp packets, sandwich boxes, pet food pouches, ear buds and straws. Yikes.
I’ve also – VERY reluctantly – replaced tea bags with loose leaf tea. This has made me a bit sad, but my eyes were opened when I read this article outlining how much plastic there is in tea bags. Who knew?
Another thing we’re going to do this year is save all the disposable plastic that we DO have to use, for whatever reason. Not sure what we’re going to do with it yet – whether we just take a photo or make it into art or something – but it seems like it might be interesting (and possibly quite annoying to store).
And I'm going to make the environment a theme of my work over the next six weeks, to make the experiment a bit more visual and so that I don't go completely mad! I've started with this old Chinese proverb, which neatly sums up the whole environment issue...