In line with attempting to go zero-waste since the beginning of February, I recently bought the rights to screen the environmental documentary Bag It. The message of Bag It is to reduce the amount of disposable plastics in our lives. Not only are they killing our wildlife and filling our oceans, but plastics are actually bad for us as well. Chemicals within the plastics are being found to affect our health, the health of our children and even the health of our unborn babies. Foods covered in plastics are absorbing these chemicals that are now seeping into our food chain. Nice.
Having watched the documentary I felt like I needed to do something - I couldn't just sit there and accept what was being fed to us. The younger generations have a right to know what the truth is and therefore the option to choose whether they want this plastic life or not. I wanted to spread the message - reduction is the key and it's easy to do with a bit of thought.
Therefore, buying the rights to Bag It, which was cheap and anyone can do it - was my first step. From there I dived right in and set up a screening for 60 people at our local Town Hall. The event itself went well with a full house and people seemed to be full of ideas afterwards - with a buzz of chatter about what they could do to cut down on plastics in both their lives and on a larger scale. There are going to be many more future screenings of Bag It as well as some dynamic plans to help make a difference - I am thinking about these now!
As for a more personal zero-waste project, I've been working on a sculpture that is entirely made up of my own non-recyclable plastics. My 'rubbish' sculpture will show us what an average life's worth of three months disposable plastics can really look like. I hope the outcome is something attractive and at least interesting, created from items saved from their destiny of the landfill. The sculpture is going to be shown at the Henley on Thames Arts Trail at the end of April.
Buying only second-hand clothes and toys these last few months has saved such an incredible amount of money that I am shocked and ashamed I didn't do this earlier. People have been incredibly supportive and have happily passed on their children's clothes and I have really enjoyed sourcing toys and other items we've needed from charity shops or eBay. Just this week I put out a request on FaceBook to borrow a dress for a wedding. I wasn't sure what response I would get, but lots of friends and acquaintances have been in touch offering dresses! I suddenly felt the warmth of a community around me and I realised that there was more to this than just the material level. One friend reminded me that she hadn't rummaged through her closet looking for a dress to lend to a friend since she was a teenager. It brought back good memories of simpler times when we relied on our friends for things.
My husband and I watched Minimlism the other night, a documentary shown on Netflix about a movement in America encouraging a more simple life. It was inspiring and exciting to see not only how people were immediately happier with less things but also how their relationships with other people became stronger. Borrowing from each other, cooking for each other, making things for each other, fixing things for each other... It was beautiful to see and from my small experience of it now, I can definitely say that it feels good too.