#PlasticFreeJuly: Experiment is starting conversations | Week 3

I’m now two weeks in to my plastic-free pledge, and it has been getting easier by the day.

BE PREPARED: Friday was a good day to be plastic free at Newcastle's Merewether Beach. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR

BE PREPARED: Friday was a good day to be plastic free at Newcastle's Merewether Beach. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR

I am still amazed by the amount of plastic contained in everyday products that I had never noticed before. 

But I am even more amazed by the fact that, just by doing Plastic Free July, I have been able to open other people’s eyes as well.

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Take this week for example.

I headed back to Newcastle to visit the fam (so I’m technically writing this on my day off. You’re welcome!) as my little brother had flown up from Melbourne.

The travel itself threw up some challenges; knowing I was going to be driving over lunch time on Wednesday, I prepared by cooking (cooking!) and packing my lunch so I wouldn’t have to risk buying anything in plastic.

I also made myself a coffee to go! I’ll point out again that I’m a very forgetful person, and normally disorganised as well (the wonders never cease).

Speaking of, and back to my brother, we picked him up from the airport on Wednesday evening.

I was surprised by his new beard, and he was surprised by the plastic alternatives I’m lugging with me everywhere.

The next day we accompanied our mum to the shops to grab some groceries, and I whipped out my mesh produce bags to buy some spinach.

That drew a weird look from my brother, but by the time we had made it to the cold food aisle (think cheese) he and mum were amazed (not in a good way) by the amount of plastic packaging.

We discussed it throughout the shop and, by the time we left, I had convinced my mum to invest in some mesh produce bags of her own.

It was cool to think that my little experiment, which has made me so much more aware, could make other people more aware, too.

So often, when we think about making changes for the good of the environment, the mentality is ‘but what difference can I make? I’m just one person”.

But so far my Plastic Free July experience has showed me that little changes have a ripple effect. And who knows where those ripples could end up!

The travel threw up some challenges for me as well.

Knowing I was going to be on the road around lunch time on Wednesday, I prepared by cooking (cooking!) and packing my lunch so I wouldn’t have to risk buying anything in plastic. I also made myself a coffee to go!

The longer this experiment goes on, the easier I am finding it to plan ahead.

I have begun to see plastic everywhere I go, and it is something I am even getting used to.

But spending a few days with my family, they have begun to see plastic everywhere, too.