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Plastic Free July and the quest for perfection by Cathy Earle

Friday, June 26, 2020 7:31 AM | Valentina Vélez Rivera (Administrator)

Over the past several years there’s been a movement in the blogosphere and social media world where influencers are constantly telling their audience to “let go of your  quest for perfection.”

This has never sat well with me. I mean what’s wrong with striving for perfection? When did perfection become such a dirty word?

I wouldn’t say I’m a “perfectionist” by any means, however I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with striving for perfection. Why would we not try to do the very best we can? Why give 80 per cent when you can give 100?

When I speak to people about their journey in living a life with less plastic, the most common thing I hear is “I’m not perfect, I still have lots of plastic in my home but I try to reduce my waste as much as I can.” And there it is . . . there is a quest to be perfect, along with an acknowledgement that they aren’t doing things perfectly, but they are doing the very best they can and constantly trying to do better.

“Do the best you can, until you know better — then do better.”

When we’re first learning about the issues surrounding plastic pollution it can be incredibly overwhelming. Instead of getting overwhelmed at all the changes — simply do the best you can. When you learn there are better ways to live life with less plastic — opt for the better ways.

Take a simple plastic shopping bag for example. A perfectionist mindset is to eliminate all plastic shopping bags. This act really isn’t as hard as it sounds. Take your own bags to the shops, bring the bags home, clean and repeat. That’s one problem down, and not only have you done it perfectly, but you also know reusable bags are better — and therefore you’ve done better. Are you still buying products packaged in plastic, and therefore you still have plastic bags in your house. Probably but you perfected the first step, removing the need to use plastic shopping bags. Perfect!

My belief . . . strive for perfection but acknowledge in some circumstances, such as removing all plastics from your life, that perfection doesn’t equate to 100 percent elimination.

In other words be realistic — it’s okay to be imperfectly perfect.

This “Plastic Free July” strive to do your best at eliminating as much single use plastic from your daily life as you can. But remember not to get disheartened because you bought a bottle of milk that’s packaged in plastic. The aim of Plastic Free July is do the best you can, and then continue to do better. In other words be imperfectly perfect.

If you’d like more tips on living life with less plastic head on over to where we’ll be sharing weekly tips on how you can start the imperfectly perfect process of eliminating single use plastics from your day-to-day activities!


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