#JULYJAR & the GREENWASHING of REUSABLES
Here is my JULY JAR.
This jar can serve ANY purpose this month.
Don’t be fooled by the green-washed pseudo-sustainability marketing out there that tells you to get all new STUFF for your zero-waste, low-impact lifestyle. NAH.
You don’t need NEW stuff to live simply.
(This thought deserves unpacking; for now, let’s let this jar have a moment.)
One jar can do it ALL.
I got my coffee in this jar TO GO.
It can take smoothies.
It can take soups or any hot take-out WITHOUT LEACHING TOXIC CHEMS INTO YOUR GREASY TREAT.
It can hold salads! And has a wide enough mouth that you can eat straight from the jar with your packed fork.
Pre-pack your lunch in this. Maybe freeze your salad dressing the night before in ice cube trays to keep the greens cool & fresh. Make sure the lid seals tight. Triple check that your #julyjar is supported in your bag, so it doesn’t shatter.
In fact this a metaphor for your #PlasticFreeJuly .
Are you supported this month? Who is on your accountability team? Who can you go to in moments of temptation?? Who will help you SAY NO to the plastic-wrapped chippies or plastic-packed stain remover or plastic-bottled shampoo that makes life easy---who is going to help you be strong and think of the dolphins?
Don’t go buying new reusable stuff.
I often encourage people to get a super cute water bottle or coffee cup that is ultra functional. Serves it's purpose well and you love the aesthetic. This helps you REMEMBER IT. Otherwise we tend to forget and leave this reusable item places where it then most likely becomes waste. Partially because of a contagious laziness, partially because our culture is afraid of washing and using other’s people’s stuff.
WHO YOU CALLIN’ LAZY? The laziness is causing us to cook less, wash dishes less, do less ourselves. If anyone’s read about Blue Zones, y’all know the key to happiness and life-longevity is doing more our own gosh darn selves. Growing the plants, cleaning the house, collecting the vegetables, cooking the meals, washing up, breaking a sweat, cracking a smile, diversity of activities, engagement in living! We convince ourselves we don’t have the time to do these things. Who planted that idea in our minds? Is this perhaps a symptom of a societal sickness that is pulling us further away from intentional, conscious living and selling us stuff and services to do all the things for us—at a price. Hello, capitalism. Goodbye self-sufficiency, self-sovereignty, perhaps even, true radical self reliance.
IRRATIONAL FEAR OF OTHER PPL’S REUSABLES: If you found a lost and abandoned reusable item would you wash it and use it? Or donate it to the op shop/thrift store? Throw it away? Ignore it like you would ignore a plastic bag in the gutter or a straw on the sidewalk? The task and effort to donate it might nod to my earlier point. I feel that this stems deeper from a mistrust of other people’s stuff and a general germaphobia. Ultimately, this fear of germs is weakening our immune systems and leading to more disease, BUT I DIGRESS.
If you need to have a cute water bottle to remember it, fair enough. However, for this month we are trying to buy LESS, consume LESS, create LESS waste by buying and using LESS stuff. So for at least this month only, hold off on buying heaps of shiny, new reusable items.
SHOW OFF YOUR OLD SHIT. Find a jar in your cupboard or at an opshop or repurpose a pickle jar and SHOW OFF YOUR #JULYJAR .
Let’s soften the need and pressure to buy new reusable shit.
BUYING NEW STUFF reinforces an unhealthy consumption impulse. Perpetuates the habit of buy, buy, buy. More, better, bigger. Even if it’s “green” or “sustainable”—it’s still another THING. Furthermore, we have very little regulation on most production & manufacturing, so even if it reusable, it doesn’t mean it was hand-made by sweet grandma’s who harvested materials with their community in the refreshing sea breeze on a sandy coastline near you.
The point of quitting plastics is to reduce plastic pollution AND also to send the message to stop producing so much of this wasteful material.
Because our consumption is exponentially higher than our post-consumer capturing of the material. We use it faster than we can capture and properly dispose or recycle it. This is why we see it showing up on beaches and in whales.
Single-use packaging is the first plastic to avoid. Then we become aware of all the plastic packaging of all food and products. Then we realise even the reusable items are things that may not be used enough times to outweigh the impact of their production. All the reusable items require energy & materials to produce as well.
Hence, my invitation to simply use one jar for everything. Or a tupperware you already own. You’ll need some cutlery in the bag too. Maybe a fork and spoon or chopsticks wrapped in a cloth napkin.
Don’t buy new stuff, use what you have. Create a group of people who are quitting plastics with you to feel supported and help keep you accountable.