What a successful project! Back on March 1st, a few of here at Green Depot headquarters decided to undertake the No New Plastic Challenge for the month: to not buy any new plastic for the entire month.
When I began the challenge, I considered it more of an educational experience – one that would make me more aware of my plastic consumption and waste reduction efforts – rather than being a definite goal wherein I would buy no new plastic. The question was this: if I was trying to buy no new plastic, in what areas of my life would this prove to be the greatest challenge?
If No New Plastic March was intended to be an educational experience, then it has been a wild success. I learned that plastic is tremendously pervasive in the developed world and almost unavoidable, and I already had a head start on reducing my plastic consumption by belonging to a food co-operative where I have the ability to buy nearly everything in bulk.
But part of undertaking the experience was to remind myself and everyone reading that we are all only human, living in a society and economy that is not yet sustainable, or even environmentally-conscious in all of its manifestations. That is, we all have our limitations in terms of how sustainably we can live our lives, and for many people, time is a limiting factor. And for those with more time and the resources to live more sustainably (like a food co-op), society and economy can prove to be a real limitation.
Fortunately, there are now many people working hard to make sustainability more accessible to everyone, all of the time. Green products, like the ones Green Depot sells, are a great start towards living sustainably. But they do not necessarily go far enough, if we have to resort to purchasing food wrapped in plastic, for example. For that, we can only keep striving towards a new economy, and a new sustainable economy. We’re all part of the solution, and our efforts are ultimately making a difference every day.