Hurrah! 2013 comes to a close and I accomplished my year. Surprisingly it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.
I got a few gifts which included plastic packaging which I accepted as part of my "polite Canadian" clause. Luckily I didn't have to use my medical emergency clause.
The biggest challenge was remembering to say "no straw please." It started in SE Asia, which was more miming than anything, but it happened in Canada as well. There are a number of restaurants who want to include straws with glasses of water. I often forgot to say no straw :(. Sometimes I was able to not touch the water and have it go to the next customer (so I was told) and sometimes I could not. The people I was with were sympathetic to my plight and took the straw off my hands. Cheating a bit, I know.
I'm having a hard time deciding if my year as successful because of my not using plastic or the fact that I don't have any money. It was very easy to turn down buying chips and things when I can't afford it. Same goes with items. When you can't buy anything avoiding plastic is very easy.
My eyes were really opened to how much plastic we use. Also, how much plastic is completely unnecessary. I think I also challenged some other people's views. Whenever I talked to anyone about my year they seemed pretty impressed and asked me lots of questions. Hopefully I got some people thinking.
I haven't gone too crazy with the purchasing things now either. A couple things I am excited to be able to buy again are some of my food sauces that have the stupid plastic "safety" wrap, and cheese. Other than that, I think I can quite happily live without using much one-use plastic.
I am not sure what my next challenge will be. Perhaps, once I am settled in somewhere, I can try minimalist living. Or ethical shopping. Who knows.
Thanks for sharing that year with me!