This article is part of a series called “Plastic-Free Tuesday Challenge”. Every week someone takes up the challenge of having a Plastic-Free Tuesday, shares her/his experience here with us, and then challenges a friend to do the same next week. Do you too want to share your Plastic-Free Tuesday? Please get in touch with us, leave a comment below or find us on social media. Today Erik, a singer/songwriter from Sweden reports on his very first Plastic-Free Tuesday!
This Tuesday I somehow knew it was a special day, but it was not until half way into breakfast that I remembered why. Of course! It is Plastic-Free Tuesday. I was challenged not to use plastics for a whole day by Annemieke, a friend I met two years ago when she performed as a giant shrimp in my music video Planet B.
1. How did it feel?
I had mixed feelings. I felt a bit powerless in realizing how much plastics I obviously use and how dependent I am on it. At the same time it felt good to be a part of something that wants to make a change and bring about awareness.
2. First plastic item of the day?
Well… I must be honest and say that I failed the challenge already at breakfast. I was halfway into eating a bowl of yogurt when I realized what day it was. I started thinking “Well, the yogurt was packed in some kind of paper material and the berries I put in it was picked in the nearby forest” only to realize that the muesli came in a plastic container and that I keep my berries in a plastic bag in the freezer.
3. Tell us about your plastic-free lunch
The plastic-free lunch, I thought, was going to be easy, as my refrigerator is now full of newly harvested vegetables, given to me by friends living nearby. But no! They too were given to me in plastic bags! I grilled the vegetables in the oven and boiled some eggs to it. Very tasty! At least all the vegetables were stored in one big recycled bag instead of many small ones as is usually the case when you buy them from the supermarket.
4. Easiest and hardest plastic item to avoid?
Easiest, hmmm, actually I can’t really think of any as everything around me appeared to be made of plastic. I tried to do things that wouldn’t require plastics. Such as playing music and go out picking berries in the forest. But when I sat down to record some songs I needed to unpack a newly bought cable wrapped up in plastic! Then I tried to find something convenient to put the berries in. I couldn’t find any suitable container that was not made of plastic! At least the bucket I used has been around for years and probably will be for years to come.
5. Plastic you refused today?
I didn’t use any kind of food that would directly lead to plastic waste.
6. Plastic you bought today?
None! At least I passed that part of the challenge! Still I knew the reason I did not buy any plastics that day was because I had already bought the stuff I needed earlier…
7. Plastic you threw away today?
None! That makes me glad! I almost threw away that cable wrapping I was talking about earlier, but then I realized it was the wrong cable and that I needed to return it to the store, ha ha, there I saved myself.
8. Comments from the people around me?
I live alone in a cabin in the countryside at the moment, so I did not have much contact with other people throughout the day. I chatted with a friend from Canada and he liked the idea. His comment was “simple yet effective”.
9. What about next Tuesday?
I am definitely more aware now of how dependent I am on this material. I agree with a previous blogger here that the system is built on the use of plastics. Why Plastic-Free Tuesday appeals to me is not because it potentially will make some people stop using plastic bags in the stores, but because it will bring about awareness and hopefully help changing the public opinion in the matter. At the moment there is really no fair alternative to plastics. Everything is wrapped up in it. Maybe this campaign will inspire people to come up with solutions and when they come, the opinion will be there to embrace them. At the same time I feel reassured in my conviction that it is best to eat locally produced food, growing your own vegetables, harvesting food from the wilderness such as berries, mushrooms, plants etc, if you have that possibility.
10. Advice for the next guinea pig?
I guess that depends on whether the goal is to reflect on the use of plastics or if it is to actually prove that you can live without it. If you really want to pass the challenge you need to prepare a bit more than I did. Plan the meals and activities ahead. You can just go through your day trying to avoid plastics and see how it goes! Whatever the objection is, it is definitely an eye opening experience and I wish you the best of luck!
Don’t forget to listen to and watch Erik’s awesome music video Planet B. There is No Planet B, so let’s make a change together and stop the plastic waste stream.