You don't have to do it all
There are so many ways that we all could be making the world a better place, it can often be overwhelming when you think about what you should, or could, actually do. Should you recycle more? Buy milk in a glass bottle. Swap your bottle of shampoo for a bar? Write to your MP or local supermarket? Ditch the car? Buy green energy? The list goes on.
So many things that, if you had all the time and money in the world. you would consider doing. But we live in the real world, and rather than get all stressed about the things you aren't doing, why not be pleased with whatever it is you ARE doing?
For example, maybe you started making sure to use the very last of the shampoo from the bottom of the bottle. Yay for you - over time, that'll add up to fewer plastic bottles to recycle.
Maybe you've persuaded your other half to use toothpaste tablets instead of toothpaste, but you can't get the kids to try them. Don't worry - at least half the family is giving them a go!
Perhaps you've started taking a reusable cup with you when you go to the coffee shop, but only remember it sometimes? Be glad for each occasion that you did remember - after all, each time that you used it, not only were you using one less disposable cup, but you might also have given someone else a little nudge towards getting their own reusable cup too.
Rather than think you need to do everything, we like to just do one thing at a time. Making simple swaps, or small changes are definitely a good way to do your bit rather than trying, and then failing, to change your life completely.
Here at The Plastic Free Shop, aside from setting up a whole shop so that we can help people find good plastic free alternatives, one of the things that we love to do is picking up litter. It's something that each of us does to help the world a tad - we even organise a couple of community litter picks each year in association with Surfers Against Sewage so that more people can share the litter picking love.
But we don't expect the whole world to start picking up litter just because we do. It takes time, can be a bit grimy sometimes, and can often make you feel pretty hopeless about the state of the world when you see just how much litter is out there. But we still do it. Partly because we can. Partly because we do actually love the feeling of removing some of the rubbish that is out there, and partly because we hope that we might motivate other people to join in, or at the very least, get people thinking about any litter that they might drop. We do it because it's our 'thing'.
Which is the point of this post really. You might not be able to do as much for the environment as you'd like. You might be struggling to do anything at all at times. But the chances are, you can do one thing. Just one single something that makes a difference. Even if that thing is not dropping litter!
If you are just starting out on your plastic-free journey we can particularly recommend two books which are great guilt free starting points:
No. More. Plastic By Martin Dorey and the newly published: The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen Gale - both really handy books which inspire rather than guilt trip you about the things you aren't doing.