Below you’ll find today’s grocery shop: potatoes in a paper bag that was included in my last organic box delivery from CERES Fair Food, crumbed chicken in a container found lurking in the pantry, an exfoliating bar in a small Tupperware and nappies made from plant-based materials. Not pictured: sushi in a BYO container that my daughter and I ate for lunch.
Yep, there’s plastic! It’s not Insta-pretty, for sure, but I’m reusing these containers until they are no longer serviceable. Obviously the best nappies are cloth nappies, but that’s not our choice for now and that’s okay. I feel grateful that we can afford these Tooshies by TOM. (I also really like their biodegradable baby wipes which have a subtle rose geranium scent.)
I’ve been on a low-waste journey for a long time now, and I still have so, so far to go. The word that best describes my journey would be ‘iterative’. As a single person living in a share house, I used to bike everywhere, compost my hair and nails, and eat mostly unpackaged food. But as a new mum with post-partum recovery issues and crippling anxiety, I wasn’t always able to do everything the way I’d have liked.
Lately with a fairly independent toddler and thus a little more time on my hands, I’ve been inspired to up my game, and the notion of using what I have is really starting to click. I’m hoping I can make it a habit to be more vigilant about taking containers everywhere and making sure to use up whatever packaging we have to hand, rather than accumulating more shiny reusables that aren’t strictly necessary.
In the past I would have been really anxious about asking to use my own containers, but no-one batted an eyelid. As in, there were literally no comments. I was a little amazed, because I was at the most mainstream of places, a local shopping centre, and not my favourite organic grocer. And you know, I think I’d have been okay about refusing the purchase if the reaction to my BYO containers hadn’t been favourable. It’s my hard-earned money, after all.
So I suppose this is a personal accountability post as much as an attempt to encourage any readers out there. I can’t keep seeing what the brilliant and amazing kids like Greta Thunberg are doing – and nor can I face my own little wonder – if I don’t step it up. Let’s start where we are, with what we have and commit to doing the best we can, you and me both.