Reducing the amount of plastic I use has given me unexpected clarity about what might need to change more deeply in my life, and what’s possible and realistic within the choices I’ve already made. In fact, it’s brought to a far greater clarity what are those choices, and what their consequences.
A destructive tendency of mine is to take way too much on, and often that’s about meeting what I think are others’ expectations of me. I’ll get way too busy, fingers in far too many pies, and end up frazzled and ungrounded. That’s when I’ll end up buying plastic-wrapped convenience food like crisps or pizza. It’s also when I’m likely to make a snap purchase of something that, when I bring it home and look at it, I realise is made of plastic. Simply put, when I’m grounded, taking life at a reasonable pace, I make considered purchases. I build in time to go to the local shop to buy refills rather than grabbing a new laundry liquid bottle from the supermarket.
I can go the other way too. When my perfectionist takes over the show, I’ll spend hours making food at home that we might otherwise buy in plastic. While that feels nourishing in a certain way, there’s a line I cross where it becomes another rod with which to beat my own back. I’m a working mum, a choice I’ve made because I love my work and I love being a mum – and that lifestyle choice brings limitations in other ways. I don’t have the luxury of endless time or space at home, for one.
Plastic purchases have become a barometer of my inner feelings of balance and wellbeing. They’ve shown me where the choices I’ve made about my life ripple out, where I externalise the overstretch of my energy and send the bill for the shortfall to Mother Earth. They’ve shown me how when I disregard my own limitations, I become less mindful of my footprint on the planet. I really see more clearly now, how my body and energy are interlinked with those of Mother Earth.