When the cast and crew of Growing A Greener World were first asked if we wanted to join in Rodale’s Plastic –Free February Challenge. My first thought was, “As a mother of two young boys, that is impossible for me. I can’t possibly do THAT!”
Although I grow a lot of my own food on my urban homestead, I know that in order to feed my family, I have to buy milk, juice and other foods that I simply can’t grow. And I also know that those food items are not available to me in glass-only containers. Yes, I can purchase milk in waxed cardboard. But the spout is plastic! Yes, I can buy frozen juice (in a cardboard tube), but that defeats my mission of fresh food for my family. And what about things like toothpaste, medications, shampoo and the ice packs I use in my kid’s lunchboxes? Yep. All plastic.
I knew I would fail at this challenge.
If you know me, then you know that I don’t like to fail. At all! In fact, I tend to dive into things with all my heart and soul. Umm…You might say that I am a bit of a Type-A personality. Okay. I said it.
So the idea of “trying” something half way didn’t appeal to me. Instead of “trying”, I always feel the need to win. If I were to do this, I wanted to be really completely 100 % plastic free. But I knew that was not feasible unless I left civilization and hauled my family off to a homestead in the wilderness to live off the land. (Not that I am opposed to doing that, mind you. I would love to do that! But it is just not a practical option on such short notice. There are all those pesky responsibilities like school, jobs, etc.)
So when first asked to participate in the challenge, I initially declined because I knew I would fail. However, after talking this over with Growing A Greener World’s Christa Hanson (who dove into this challenge wholeheartedly), I suddenly realized that I was missing the point.
By trying to eliminate plastic, we are not trying to be perfect. Instead, we are taking baby steps toward a goal and that is so much better than taking no steps at all!
By participating in this challenge, WE DO NOT FAIL even if we are not able to follow all of the rules everyday. In fact, we all WIN simply by creating awareness in ourselves and in others.
Okay, I get it now and I’m in. I will provide my challenges, frustrations and successes here as a mom, gardener, home canner and of course, as the Associate Producer of Growing A Greener World.