I’m not perfect by any means but over the last few years I have been trying to reduce my environmental impact by cutting down on single use items.
In 2017 I went on a mission against the single use cup. My slight annoyance had moved to outrage when I visited Stonehenge and their tearoom only used disposable items. I imagine that this is mainly so they don’t have to employ anyone to clear tables and fill a dishwasher. I was really annoyed that a charity that support some of our most important historic places had so little regard for the environment.
At the start of the year I had a few grumpy coffee shop employees when I asked for a mug but as the year moved on it was less so, I was obviously not the only person who was on a crusade! Quite ironically, I had visited a Pret a couple of days before their CEO took to Twitter to ask what they could do to reduce the amount of disposables. I replied maybe getting some mugs for people drinking in to use – obvious I thought? Apparently not. In their no doubt high rent shops, there just isn’t room for a dishwasher, I guess it means they would have a couple less tables. I left said Pret without a drink as they could only offer it in a takeaway cup.
In 2017 I used 6 single use cups – down from the 100s, I didn’t think this was too bad. Incidentally all these single use cups contained milkshakes from large takeaway chains, lets not just bash the coffee shops for this. I really need to look in to a milkshake carrying device…
In 2017 I am trying to reduce my use of plastic bottles. I had the first whinge yesterday (only 10th January) in Boots. I went in for a butty as I had forgotten my lunch, normally I use a local sandwich shop but tight on time I just dashed in. I got to the counter
Boots lady “You need to have a meal deal, it’s cheaper, you can have any drink you like”
Me “No thanks, I don’t want a drink, I’m trying to give up plastic bottles”
Boots Lady “But, it’s cheaper”
Me “Yes I know, but I’m still ok thanks”
Boots Lady “Well I don’t really understand it but ok”
I get the feeling that I was probably the talk of Boots yesterday afternoon – the weird lady who is giving up plastic bottles!
I guess what I am trying to say is that, there needs to be a lot more than a tax on plastic bags and coffee cups or a vague promise by the government that we might do something about it in 30 years time. We all need to do more to consume less. Be more aware of the impact of having plastic in everything, even our tea bags. That we give our children balloons at every event, that glitter is in everything, that we just eat and go and don’t think about the impact of that. It will take more than a slightly eccentric lady giving up plastic bottles and coffee cups. Hopefully more of us will take a stand on a small scale and make others think. It needs a re-education, so you don’t get a straw in every drink from a bar, you don’t have you fruit and veg packaged in tubs and bubble wrap, you get your milk in a washable glass bottle and we really need to work on that milkshake transportation.