The end is nigh! With just 7 (SEVEN!) days left of the plastic challenge the end is definitely in sight. If you haven’t already, I would love it if you could sponsor me for this month-long epic mission: plasticchallenge.everydayhero.com/uk/jo. I’ve researched and tried out plastic alternatives, become a mini expert in all things plastic, explored the world of twitter, gone on live radio, and all the while massively reduced my plastic footprint. It’s not always been easy and I’ve learnt you have to stay one step ahead of the game in order to succeed, but at the same time, it’s been such a rewarding experience and I’ve learnt so much along the way. Thank you all for your brilliant messages and words of encouragement, this final push should bring me home so the extra pound, 2 or 10 to support me in my plastic-free endeavour would be hugely appreciated: plasticchallenge.everydayhero.com/uk/jo
Now on to the adventures of my plastic-free birthday…
Somewhat appropriately for the plastic challenge, I spent my birthday by the ocean basking in the sun and even going for a dip in the sea. Moving out of Exeter, my university town, and back to where I grew up in Cambridge, the one BIG thing I know I will miss is the amazing stretch of coastline in the South West. The ocean is incredible, it just is. As if to remind me of this, one of the last times I visited the coast around Exeter, I was lucky enough to see a whole pod of 15 or more dolphins metres from the coastline jumping and leaping through the waves on their way West (sorry, no photographic evidence, I was too busy jumping up and down and screaming with delight). We have to do everything we can to protect life in the ocean and the fragile ecosystem it contains, we just do.
But back to the important issue: my birthday. My friends and family rallied behind me for my birthday plastic-free style. Presents were wrapped using paper or newspaper, cards were from recycled material and the homemade Victoria sponge cake was plastic-free. My friends also specially located la fermiere yoghurt which came in ceramic pots (and can be upcycled) with a foil top, so my plastic-free month was no longer yoghurt-free! I also gave strict instructions not to buy me anything unless I explicitly ask for it. This is not as harsh as it sounds – one of the most wasteful things would be to buy a gift for the sake of it (I have more than enough stuff and am currently trying to get rid of things, not collect more!). I will be travelling to Patagonia later this year, so items for the trip or contributions to get me going were all enthusiastically received, but I saw no need for buying things I wouldn’t necessarily have any use for. Going out for drinks, I had to be on the ball to make sure drinks came in glasses, and to intercept any plastic straws (of which there were many and I didn’t always succeed). And so I turned 22 plastic-free and happy, knowing my plastic-footprint was looking better than ever.