10 Reasons Why a Plastic Free Life is Hard

This post is part of our monthly focus on the yoga principle of Satya, which could be translated as speaking your truth.  I’ve been reflecting on ways that I live my life.  Today, I would like to talk about something that is very important to me – the environment.


Some might say that my brother and his family are crazy. They took on the “Year of Plastic Free” challenge last year with seven other families from Vancouver, Canada.

When I asked my brother about his “plastic free” year, he shared their struggles and what they had learned from the process. For example, my brother and his son were refused entry into the family skate session because they wouldn’t wear the plastic wristband, even after they had paid for the skating class.

This made me think of how much we rely on plastics in our everyday life.  What would life be like without plastic?  Would it be worth it?

Ten reasons why a plastic free life is difficult:

1. You can’t order coffees every day from your local coffee shop. You will have to remember to bring your own coffee mug.

2. You can’t eat cereal. Unless you can find some without plastic packaging, you’ll be going without cereal. You’ll have to make time to cook breakfast in the morning.

3. You can’t buy packaged fruit and veggies from your local grocery store. You might have to wait and go to a farmer’s market on the weekend.

4. You can’t buy dairy products as easily. You might have to travel to find milk in glass containers or find a cheese shop that will serve your cheese without a plastic wrapping. If you eat yogurt, you might have to take the time to make your own.

5. You can’t order take-out that comes in plastic containers. You might just have to cook your own food every night.

6. You can’t use commercial toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, or soap. You might have to make your own. And toothbrushes are tricky.

7. You can’t carry your lunch or grab things “on the go” in Ziploc bags, plastic containers, or grocery bags. You might have to make your own cotton bags or make use of your collection of totes. Even glass containers often have plastic lids.

8. You can’t grab a quick snack. Unless you can find a snack that doesn’t have plastic packaging. You might have to eat an apple.

9. You can’t pick up a juice or water bottle. You will have to remember to take your stainless steel water bottle and fill up your water wherever you go.

10. You can’t buy convenient household goods or toys that are made of plastic. You might have to make your own cleaning tools and products. And you might have to entertain your child by reading books or playing outside. Or even do some family yoga together!

Just this week, I started noticing what it would be like to live “plastic-free.” No veggie pouch for our daughter’s snack. No Amazon order. No Indian take-out. No buying grape tomatoes in a plastic container. No diapers in a plastic wrap.

Now, that’s inconvenient.

So why take the plastic-free challenge?

For our children.  And our children’s children.  It’s simple.  It’s not so hard, after all.

Start slowly by reducing what you can.  And recycle!  Be honest with yourself about what is necessary and what is convenient.  You might need a bike helmet, but do you need a plastic grocery bag?

I think my brother and his family are amazing.  Their commitment to making the world a better place is awe inspiring.

I’ve clearly got a lot of work to do…

Please watch this video trailer from Plastic Manners and consider donating to their Plastic Free video project.  Fundraising closes June 25th.

Join the Luke’s Beach Day virtual book launch in June 2013 to celebrate an Australian-inspired yoga story (a book dedicated to my brother and his family).  The main character notices the garbage on the beach and thinks of ways that he can make a difference.  A subtle environmental message to discuss with children.  Get details and free kids yoga resources in your inbox by signing up for our weekly Kids Yoga Stories Newsletter (add your name and email in the box at the top of the page!).

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