Deniz goes plastic-free — Week two in which I more or less stop caring

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This July (and a bit), I am joining the Plastic-free July Challenge and going plastic-free; trying to refuse what I don't need, reduce what I do need and reuse what I consume.

Ok I know how this sounds, I run into some adversity and I give up week two. That’s not it, I didn’t give up, I’m still doing the thing — albeit half-heartedly. 

I read “50 Shades of Grey” cover to cover even though it’s so bad it almost made me illiterate; I watched this made-for-TV version of Thor just because I happened to it on TV on a Sunday night. It scored eight percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Eight.

The point is: I’m not a quitter ok?

Actually, this week was relatively easy in one sense. Not because all of a sudden I became great at avoiding plastic, but because I didn’t have much to do.

First of all, we know from the past week, I now own enough cheese to feed a family of four for a year. Win: no cheese wrapped in plastic.

Second, in my delusional seven trips to the supermarket last week, turns out I managed to shop efficiently enough that I didn’t have to do groceries this week. Might I be an adult after all?

To be completely transparent: throughout the week I ate the same red curry and rice dish five times and ate crisps and raw spinach for dinner one night. So maybe no, still not an adult.

It would be unfair to blame last week's bleak diet completely on the plastic-free challenge. It's not so different from my non-plastic-free days in which my only challenge is life itself. However, the challenge did have some effect on what I ate — or didn't eat.

I made that curry dish because:

  • It's easy to make in large quantities
  • It's easy to store
  • It didn't require me buying anything wrapped in plastic

As efficient as my plan was, the fact that I dig a hole in which I had to eat the same thing day after day, ended in me either not eating at all or making excuses to eat out. I'm not a picky eater but even I couldn't handle red curry and rice more than two meals in a row.

I know how petty this sounds, you're probably telling me to suck it up and become better at grocery shopping, meal-planning — life. Believe me, that's also what I was saying to myself as I shoved raw spinach into my mouth straight from the bag.

But I need to be realistic: if something is an inconvenience for me I need a legitimate reason to keep doing it with ease and enthusiasm. When I first stopped eating meat, I had to alter my life, but I had no or very little problem doing so because I wholeheartedly believe that not eating meat is the right thing to do, for the planet, animals, and my sanity.

When it comes to living plastic-free, I am not yet convinced. I've heard that plastic is destroying the planet. I've seen the video of the sea turtle with a straw stuck in his nose, but I'm not sure if consumer plastic is the number one culprit of this. And I'm not sure if shopping in bulk or making my own detergent is the best use of my time and resources when it comes to, in the simplest of terms, saving the planet.

With all that said, I'm still going to finish the challenge, but I'll be doing so critically. For the coming weeks, expect more complaints about how inconvenient this challenge is, but I'm also going to do my research and discover whether living plastic-free is worth the inconvenience.

Because in the end, sea turtles are the best and I'll take the inconvenience if it means they're going to be ok.    

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