Feeling discouraged and disheartened… what’s the point?

Yesterday was Remembrance Day here in Canada and I began my four-day weekend with a moment of silence, remembering those who have fought for us or are currently fighting and meditating on a peaceful resolution.

My day continued with a visit from my friend Taina of Plastic Manners. We decided a while ago to try and make plastic-free food wrap! Sort-of like saran wrap, minus the plastic. This turned out to be more difficult than we’d imagined and we were doubled over laughing a few times when we ended up with melted wax all over our hands and a few other mishaps.

After several failed attempts, we finally succeeded, using a square of cotton fabric, beeswax (shaved off the block with a carrot peeler) and a special iron normally used for applying wax to my snowboard. Woo! The only thing is that while the wraps shape to the bowl they’re placed over, they don’t actually stick to the bowl. We’re going to try adding coconut oil to the wax and see if that helps. I’ll keep experimenting and hopefully will get my hands on a camera soon to show some photos!

After that, we headed to my bathroom to clean the plastics out. I’m going to give them to friends so at least they’re not going to waste and will be used instead of purchasing new plastic bottles. I just really wanted to get rid of them so I could break the habit! This is going to be a tough one. I like makeup, moisturizer, body wash, etc etc etc. I’m sure most girls have a bathroom cupboard that looks just like mine! Here’s a picture of the evidence.

Gross!

I decided to keep one bottle of organic/natural shampoo; a pack of razor blades (which will likely last me another year); one of each: blush, lipstick, mascara, eye liner, eye shadow; facial scrub (almost empty); tooth brush/paste (until my plastic-free ones arrive in the mail); body hair wax; medications.

We went out for dinner and then to meet another friend to talk plastic-free at a coffee house. You’d think after a day of plastic-free chatter, I would be over the moon, energized, motivated, pumped up and ready to go… right? Wrong. Instead, I arrived home feeling nothing less than incredibly overwhelmed!

What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Who is this going to impact other than me? I’m not an activist. I’ve already said I’m not terribly out-spoken nor well-spoken about this; my first impulse is not to go running to the streets, telling anyone who will listen. (Or, forcing people to listen.) Most of my friends think I’m crazy and the ones who don’t, well, I wonder if they’re humouring me, listening and nodding along to my complaints about plastics and then heading to the nearest coffee shop only to get a disposable cup/lid/straw/stir stick.

I see photos of the North Pacific Gyre, of the Albatross’s cut-open stomach, of birds with their necks stuck in 6-pack rings. I walk the beaches and streets of my own city and they’re littered with bottles and lids and straws and lighters and take-out containers. How the hell am I supposed to change that? How does one person do anything to stop these atrocities? Sure, I recognize that this is a huge problem… but why do I need to take this on as MY problem? Can one person, doing this only for herself, make any difference whatsoever?

What’s the point?

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About Stephanie

I'm a Vancouverite, a free-spirited yogi, an accidental vegan, a tree-hugger, a teacher, an athlete, an artist, a soul rebel and a very, very lucky girl.
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5 Responses to Feeling discouraged and disheartened… what’s the point?

  1. LD says:

    I think what you’re doing is pretty amazing! Never under estimate the power of one – to influence the world around them to shift for the better, even if it’s just a bit! Every little bit always counts..
    avez courage!

  2. Anne says:

    Hi plastic free girl. Cheer up. You don’t have to change the world.
    My husband and I in Cairns Australia own a restaurant called Luxe Bistro and Bar in Lake st Cairns and are introducing using ONLY local produce. This helps reduce food miles, reduce carbon emissions, and also supports local farmers, plus the produce we now source is wonderful, fresh and grown for flavour not its ability to travel across the ocean without bruising (but having no flavour). It is good for our community.
    But more than all that its just the right thing for us to do. Its OUR journey, just like no plastic is for you. Congratulations, keep believing in yourself. Your blog rocks.
    Cheers
    Anne

  3. carmel maher says:

    I’m super proud of you Plastic Free Girl. I believe the millions of baby steps that we ‘re taking does make a difference. Don’t get discouraged. We are all waking up, some are just slower than others but all of us are more aware of the consequences of our choices. It is unfortunate and maddening that some won’t change their habits until there is enforcement through legislation but people come in all the jackass sizes.

    On a technical note… I’ve been using tin foil for wrapping food instead of saran and then of course cleaning it for re-use or for re-cycling…….maybe I’ve been wrong, what do you say?

    • Thanks Carmel! It’s been tough to encourage people to “see the light” without preaching at them, but I think their awareness will come with time, as with all big things… at least, I hope!!

      As for tin foil, one of the big issues there is the high resource cost of extracting aluminum. So, while it may be better than plastic wrap in some respects, it’s not all that much better in the grand scheme of things. I always recommend glass or stainless steel containers (including jars or cookie-type tins to save money) or parchment paper. Another option is to MAKE your own “plastic” food wrap!! I’m going to put up directions on how to do it really soon. It’s so easy and doesn’t cost much in either cash or time.

      • carmel maher says:

        Thanks Steph, I’ll head for the parchment paper next time or try out your new “wrap”. Stay strong, happy and focused.

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