Have you ever bought something that you know you needed but then ended up feeling uneasy each time you used it? If there was ever a purchase that created confusion in my life it was this one:
It’s a plastic drinking bottle I bought to use in the gym during my workout. I’ve had several different bottles over the years.
The others, also all plastic, I had been lucky enough to obtain for free. Yet this was different. This one I intentionally made a decision about and since then using it has felt “complicated” and I like a simple life, you know?
You may be asking right now what’s so complicated?
Yes, that’s right. The one thing we might associate with simplicity and it’s making things complicated. Let me explain.
In the beginning, decluttering was my focus. Getting rid of all the junk in my house so I could begin to breathe again.
And once we start to breathe, we start to notice the world around us.
So onwards, to embracing minimalism in all its forms; taking things slow, only holding on to what is essential, and being more intentional.
Let’s repeat that. Being more intentional.
What does that mean? To me, it means thinking about what we do with our day, what we say to other people. What we buy.
Which is where the complications come in. There are so many ways we can be intentional about what we buy. Consider these:
- Package free
- Plastic free
- Cruelty free
- Locally made
So many choices! Where do we start? I guess we start where we can.
I started with trying to reduce the amount of plastic I brought into my house, particularly single use disposables.
We really do have so much plastic in the world. So much so that there’s tons of it creating floating islands of various sizes of bottles, disposable cutlery and take-away trays, all tied together with plastic bags. The majority of it can’t be recycled and what’s more, it doesn’t biodegrade. So every plastic item made is still with us, even if not recognisable in its original form. Plus, it is harming our sealife and wildlife.
Plastic does have a place in our world. There are some inventions that simply wouldn’t have been in existence if plastic hadn’t been available. MRI scanners, artificial limbs and catheters in medicine.
There are also huge benefits of disposables in areas where water is either of poor quality in terms of cleanliness or in short supply. Many of us can’t picture having no choice in whether we reuse or not but for some, drinking water is more important than washing plates.
It’s a balance. There are countries that produce far more plastic waste than maybe yours or mine does but that doesn’t stop us feeling guilty for using plastic, disposable or not.
So that water bottle? Sure, it’s reusable and BPA free and practical but it’s still plastic and it makes a funny noise when I drink out of it.
However, we can’t change the world alone but incremental change will help in the long run. In the meantime, we should do what we can when we can and not feel the guilt when it isn’t practical to go plastic free.
What do you think about the amount of plastic we produce and use? Have you made any changes in your habits either as part of a move to minimalism or another route?
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