To this day, the Fijian wooden turtle pendant I bought on my very first holiday overseas rests happily nestled under synthetic piece of old washed up rope in an artwork I made oceans away on the Cocos Keeling Islands.
It was a souvenir from 1998 when I 1st discovered I could travel the world windsurfing and then kitesurfing. An event that changed my path in life from a zoo keeper to a travel-obsessed kitesurfing tour operator.
It wasn’t until 2013 when I returned to Fiji where I lead kite tours to the epic Cloudbreak and Frigates reef and to many other magical Islands dotted off the coast. I went on a mission to find a replacement authentic hand carved turtle as after 15 years the original was wearing out and about to break from too much love.
But did I find one?
All I could find was crappy plastic mass-produced poor quality replicas of my authentic hand carved wooden turtle.
I came home empty handed.
Finding my original pendent in my jewellery box on my return, I decided to keep it safe and locked up in an artwork of flotsam & jetsam (an artist’s name for ocean rubbish) I made a few years earlier out of old thongs and rope washed up on the Idian Ocean Atoll. It now reminds me of how fast our world has changed.
These are the times we are living in; that in a space of just 15 years’ wood been replaced byplastic, in fact, plastic has replaced most things. Look around – what is not plastic?
Don’t get me wrong… Plastic is fantastic!
It’s a great product useful for so many things, but for single-use, for a throw away items, it’s just so unnecessary for the amount of damage it causes to the environment.
Picking up the rubbish already polluting our water ways and oceans is too late and Recycling is not actually a ‘thing’. I believe the solution lies with the consumer.
We all know the facts…
- Every piece of plastic that has been made is still on earth today,
- Plastic breaks up (not down) and gets into our food chain and kills animals,
- Plastic contains poisons and chemicals that is no good for us at all,
… Yadda yadda yadda, so on and so on… you know the ones.
It’s time to call shenanigans on all the ridiculous marketing out there and start to think for ourselves to make the best choices we can when eating, shopping & having fun. There are so many amazing, and often cheaper and healthier alternatives out there to replace the everyday single-use plastic that we just don’t need.
These are my R’s
RETHINK – What you need, (and how much of it) then try to find a healthier less plastic solution,
REFUSE – a bag and use your arms or a box, use your lips instead of a straw or a coffee cup lid,
REWARD – think about the good you have just done by changing habits and protecting the planet one piece of plastic at a time.
Over the past 6 years I have strived for a plastic-free existence and to this day my partner and I have reduced our single-use plastic consumption to less than a few items a week. Something that we are very proud of and one-day hope for it to be zero. But we don’t beat ourselves up about the small bits we do use anymore because after the 3 R’s we know we’ve offset our single-use plastic many times already.
So through this blog, I’ll share personal stories of success, failures, myths and experiments to find easy, simple and effective ways to reduce everyday single-use plastic whilst avoiding the need to grow dreadlocks, move to a lifestyle block and shutting oneself off from the world.
Can you reduce your single-use?
It’s a change that will be healthier for you, me and the planet.