I clearly remember the night when Amelia and I returned from the Plastic Oceans screening and announced that as a family we have to stop buying single-use plastic. Not surprisingly Nicki, my wife, was incredulous. Amelia and I had not stopped to consider any practicalities… we just knew we had to act. And so we were given a reality check. Anyway after the dust had settled and Nicki had got her head round it, she has fully embraced this new aspect of our life.
She has put up with a lot; my persistent chat about poisonous plastic this and single-use plastic polluting the world that. She has gone without crisps, put up with washed plastic bags drying all over the kitchen, and she is using my homemade toothpaste. She is a total star.
And then when I thought she could go no further she came down to breakfast this morning and announced that she was very pleased with the results that applying apple cider vinegar to her hair had had, as a conditioner. This means we can avoid buying Tresomme in a plastic bottle – another success. Her hair has a mild vinegary odour so we are experimenting with infusing the vinegar with orange peel to give it a nice citrus smell.
It would have been so much harder / impossible to achieve what we have had she not brought into the idea from early on. One of my key messages when families are setting out on a life with less plastic is to agree the rules early on. It can be very demoralising / frustrating watching your kids eating Walkers crisps and packets of Haribo if you sacrificing lots of things. One sensible solution is for each family member to agree to having a Plastic ‘Mulligan List’. We didn’t use this but it would have been easier if we had.
* Of course it should be ‘doing her best to avoid plastic-woman’ but it doesn’t sound quite then same when sung to the Wonder Woman theme music.