#PlasticFreeJuly – Week 1 Updates & Lessons Learned

Jul 9, 2018Lifestyle, Sustainable Living

Daily Notes and Efforts

 

1/Sunday

I was so stoked to be part of #PlasticFreeJuly, and started strong! I brought my own cutlery to church (we usually have a big potluck lunch with everyone after church) and after I commented on the paper bowls, my dad said they would only use paper plates/bowls from now on! After church, I got real crafty! Courtney and I got starfruit from a tree outside, made some pretty drinks using our metal straws and put on some tunes, then I made a new batch of natural deodorant and filled a reused mini sunscreen stick (looks like an old glue stick) for my upcoming trip and gave her a reused mini deodorant container for her to try out. Then we got help from our neighbor to make coconut bowls with fallen coconuts in the yard.

2/Monday

Not today, plastic! However it was pointed out to me that l was munching on edamame packaged in plastic, but in my defense, it was already in my pantry from a previous grocery run. Note to self: look for a plastic free alternative in the future!
 

 

3/Tuesday

I made vegan curry and quinoa for Courtney’s birthday (though 100% credit goes to her for hand-squeezing her own coconut cream from Sunday’s coconuts!) and again, the eggplants and quinoa were packaged in plastic. I got these before I decided to try #PlasticFreeJuly. Also, I’ve made peace with the fact that I can’t always go 100% plastic free. What I can do is try my best to make sustainable choices.

 

4/Wednesday

Happy 4th of July! The struggle is real. I worked all afternoon and evening at the Fireworks event and avoided plastic and styrofoam takeaways until the end of the night when I took home a Samoan-style food platter (made of plastic) and drank out of a plastic cup which was handed to me for a toast to my coworker’s birthday.

5/Thursday

Sometimes you try, and sometimes you fail. At a work lunch, I ordered a drink and remembered to ask “no straw please”. A few minutes later, my drink is delivered… with a plastic straw. I took it out of my drink and then realized it was already used and it would go into the trash anyway at this point, so I put it back in my drink and used it. I also went to Turtle & Shark gift lodge and purchased mostly plastic free gifts for friends. It wasn’t until after I paid and I was going through my purchases that I realized a pair of lopā seed earrings were cased in clear plastic and my usual favorite travel-sized Mailelani coconut oil was packaged in a plastic bottle. At first I bummed myself out that I didn’t even realize they came in plastic. But I thought about it, and I’m actually okay with these because I’m supporting local business and handicrafts, plus I can reuse/recycle the plastic bottle!

 6/Friday

I mentioned before that zero waste travel was hard for me. I was on the Hawaiian Air flight and the free meal service came around. I thought about refusing the meal since there was a lot of plastic, but I was so hungry and I have no idea if they’re just going to throw out the food anyways, so I got it. BUT I made sure to use my own utensils, opted for the aluminum juice can instead of a plastic cup, and neatly organized my tray so it was obvious that the cutlery and water were still good to use.

7/Saturday

I love the idea of farmer’s markets but unfortunately barely ever get to go to any, so when my friend Kristine said she was going to one near her house, I jumped at the opportunity. They’ve got such a good vibe to them! I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and it was almost noon so I searched for a sustainable option and set my sights on a “fawaffel” spot with compostable takeaway containers. It was delicious, plant based, and guilt free! I caught my connecting flight to Phoenix and the free meal service came around. Ahhh, I forgot again! It was a 6 hour flight so I cut my losses and devoured my sandwich and sweet Maui onion chips. And the free rum punch. Oops.

LESSON LEARNED

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

I felt inspired on my own accord by the #PlasticFreeJuly movement and I used that feeling to motivate and propel my decisions to go plastic free as much as I could throughout my first week. I failed a few times already in the last 7 days, but I won’t let that prevent me from continuing to try. I still take every option and choice as a win as long as I’m learning and making conscious decisions.

 

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