The more I started to notice the rubbish (particularly plastic) everywhere I went, the more it started to make me angry. I am not an angry person, quite to opposite in fact, and it was driving me crazy that I was starting to feel like this constantly because I was constantly surrounded by this infuriating amount of litter. I was walking down the street to work one day and complaining with a friend about the amount of plastic litter on the floor and right there and then I decided that I had to do something about it. So that is how my journey began.
It took me a while to make that first swap because I had to use up all of the shampoo that I already had. It was important to me not to waste it and so once I was down to my last half bottle, I switched to shampoo bars. I've since switched again to use Beauty Kubes shampoo as I've found that it's kinder to my hair. Next up was another easy swap, my toothbrush! Switching from plastic to bamboo was really easy and I actually like my bamboo toothbrush better as it's slightly smaller and easier to clean my teeth with. It's a shame that there's not an alternative to the plastic bristles yet but it's still a lot less plastic. When disposing of them I've been pulling the bristles out and saving them to either recycle somewhere suitable or to put into an eco brick.
After that I went on to make a few more wonderful easy swaps: reusable cutlery, lunch boxes, reusable straws, period pants (I wish I'd discovered these earlier!), deodorant, bars of soap, produce bags, mason jars to pre-prepare my breakfast, getting an epilator (which will last me for years), re-using packaging etc to wrap presents, and finally glass bottles for ketchup and mayo.
I've come a long way from where I was, but I've still got a long way to go. While I still feel frustrated at the amount of litter all around me, I don't feel angry anymore because I know that I'm doing something to make it better. I also now know that I'm not alone and that there are a lot of people out there who are all doing their bit to make changes and live more sustainable lifestyles, and more join in with us all the time!
There's a quote that I've seen a few times which I really love: "We don't need a few people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly." I don't know who wrote it but I think they're spot on. We all need to change the way that we live to create a better future and ensure that our planet does have a future, preferably one where humanity doesn't go extinct. But it's not a competition, and we shouldn't shame people because it doesn't look like they're doing enough. Cheer them on instead for the changes that they have made, no matter how small, because it all counts towards what we want to achieve. Everyone's journey will be different, everyone's circumstances are different; but I think it's really important now that we all wake up to the issue and start doing what we can.