This is turning out to be more of a journey of awareness than a plastic-free jaunt. It pervades our lives more than I could imagine, and I never anticipated avoiding all of it. But I have been surprised just how much plastic invades the everyday, and how big my footprint is on this planet, plastic and otherwise.
Here are the ups and downs of the past few days.
We had our first big test on a night away at a hotel. After a free upgrade to a massive suite (thanks Courtyard Marriott!) I wanted to order Thai food but we knew if we ordered from the hotel bistro we would have real plates and cutlery, so went for that option.
When it came to drinks I asked the guy if there was anything NOT in a plastic bottle, and he said no. I told him we were avoiding plastic for lent, and he jumped in to be helpful. He remembered a box of juice he had that he could send up for my son. The boy could have done without, but I agreed to the treat, knowing it would still be plastic-lined, but better than the alternative. Alcohol came in real glass so I was forced to drink a glass of wine 🙂
When the bistro guy brought the order to our room, he started ranting about the amount of plastic we all use and how harmful it is, and wondered why we can’t use only glass like they used to in PEI. It struck a chord with him, and I really appreciated his sympathy practical support for our efforts.
We managed to avoid straws and wrap and bags and most cups while we were out, and on the road. A&W was a great place to stop because they use only paper on their burgers and a lining of paper in wire baskets for fries, and still serve Root Beer in ice cold mugs! Thanks A&W!
Not everything was so successful.
I gave in and made a cup of tea in the room…and a coffee. I used the same cup but still a failure. I should have brought my coffee mug. Later, at the bistro I asked for glasses of ice water, no straws. No plastic ketchup packs, etc., but while I wasn’t looking a plastic lid was placed on my coffee. I hardly noticed until I took a drink. Big fail.
I know plastic isn’t the only concern and I will blog about our wrangling over milk later. But this has made us so aware of how many things we use once and throw away. And how often it’s not stuff we need at all, but just want, or want to make our lives easier. Which really isn’t easier at all.
Lord, forgive us for preferring an easy life to one of true discipleship. Make us grateful stewards of our resources, that we might honour you in our consumption and care for this planet. Amen.