A recent campaign by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic revealed 1.85 billion pieces of plastic is thrown away each week in the UK. With only 12% of which is likely to be recycled [source]. This report was off the back of a nationwide campaign to get environmentalist individuals to count their plastic consumption – a task I gladly took up.
The campaign required individuals to count their plastic waste every day for a week (called The Big Plastic Count). After the 7 days were up, I was pretty amazed at how much plastic I’d consumed that week. That coming from a person who considers themselves very ‘waste conscious’.
Despite us all needing to do our bit for the environment, it is important to highlight no one is perfect.
To be truthfully honest, it made me question how good of an environmentalist I really am. Of course, I’m not the bad guy in all this. For example, I’m not at fault if I don’t have the means to make package-free fresh (gluten-free) bread, and thus rely on shop-bought bread (in a plastic bag). But, what it has done is make me think of other times I have felt like a bad environmentalist. Not living up to the persona I have created for myself here.
Despite us all needing to do our bit for the environment, it is important to highlight no one is perfect. Comparison is incredibly easy to do. Thinking others are going exponentially well, compared to yourself. Well, despite the heavy topic so far highlighted, I wanted to create a lighthearted list of times I’ve thought ‘that’s not very sustainable of you Lisa’. No one is perfect, and I will never claim to be. So, here are six times I’ve thought ‘must do better next time’:
I bought a dress from a fast fashion company for my holiday
Being a person who primarily shops secondhand (eBay being my second love), before my summer holiday in June, I bought a new dress. A good ol’ panic buy, having realised I didn’t have enough summery things for Greece! Not bad considering it was my first fast fashion purchase in a very very long time, but the guilt was definitely there.
My town doesn’t have any form of zero waste shop, so buying anything plastic-free can be a challenge.
Continue to buy cheap rosé
Being a lover of rosé wine, I often pick up a bottle for no more than £5.00. I never tend to look too much into the brand itself, or whether it is vegan, fair trade etc. I definitely need to be more considerate, as some wine brands can have very low-grade production (not being the best for the environment).
Finding it hard to avoid plastic in my food shops
I highlighted this earlier, but I find it so difficult to avoid plastic when doing our weekly food shop. My town doesn’t have any form of zero waste shop, so buying anything plastic-free can be a challenge. I will always buy my fruit and veg loose. But, it’s VERY difficult to dodge the plastic wrapping. However, I do recycle all my soft plastic in M&S, so do try my best to be conscious of the plastic I consume.
We’ve all heard of the global need to switch to a more plant-based diet, which I do try throughout the week. However, one thing I have a soft spot for is sushi. Salmon sushi rolls make my mouth water, and I often find myself picking up a pack when in London working. I completely understand how truly awful the fishing industry is on our planet and I do often feel very guilty whilst eating it. But, I just cannot help it.
It definitely showed me that these things I consider ‘bad’ are a drop in the ocean.
Bought aerosol deodorant (because the plastic-free one I had didn’t work well!)
A small one, but recently I tried a new plastic-free deodorant and boy did it not work well at all. It was a Salt of the Earth deodorant stick and after applying it in the morning, I felt less than fresh come lunchtime. After a good few goes of trying it, I caved and ran to Savers to buy a 90p aerosol – a quick fix. Aerosols are very bad for the environment, due to the release of chemicals they expose into the air. So I felt very bad for going back to an aerosol (despite how much more fresh I felt!).
Don’t speak up when I probably should
This may be a little subjective, but I always feel I don’t speak up enough about environmental issues in my day-to-day. In conversations and on social media too. It can be hard when you have lots of other things going on, as does everyone (work, social life etc…) But I definitely feel I should speak up more – something to work on for sure!
So there are six examples of me being less than a ‘perfect’ environmentalist, and you know what? that’s ok! As I typed this out, it definitely showed me that these things I consider ‘bad’ are a drop in the ocean compared to some other peoples/corporations planet destroying activities. I’m not perfect, but this blog shows just how much I do for the environment. Does it make me a bad environmentalist? Of course not! Is there more I could do? yes!
There are many corporations large and small quite literal committing ecocide. So next time I may grab some salmon sushi at London Victoria train station, I have to remember all the vegan meals I’ve made myself that week (as well as all the good I do for the planet!) We can only do our best and that’s what matters!
2 thoughts on “6 Times I Felt Like a Bad Environmentalist”
It’s so easy to beat ourselves up over the things we don’t do well. I do the same. I think we need to step back and take stock of the things we do, while being aware of how to do better.
It took me several different brands before I found a plastic-free deodorant that worked for me. I use the naked Aromaco deodorant from Lush. I was encouraged to see a few deodorants in cardboard packaging during a recent trip to the drugstore.
Indeed, it is so easy to be hard on ourselves, but we must consider how much we have done (as well as take stock of things we could improve on in our day-to-day, as you say!)