Back at the beginning of the month, I made a bold decision that our Beach School activities were going to go totally single-use plastic free and that anything we made would be totally biodegradable and compostable. And we did it. And I feel very proud.
Modelling environmental stewardship is possibly the greatest way to teach young people about how to care for the natural world. Tiny ones aren’t ready to hear frightening messages, but they can learn so much from just watching and doing. Such important work. However, what I have learnt this month is that going plastic-free costs more. A lot more. Buying the loose fruit and bread for snacks costs more, buying the totally biodegradable tape costs more, researching which art mediums have less impact on the paper recycling process costs more… I’ve had to get really inventive and think outside the box. At Beach School we’ve taken reusing and recycling to extremes – hello building melon skin boats. And I’ve totally had to acknowledge how privileged I am to be to be able make these choices.
Going plastic-free is just not possible for many. Increasing costs, as a small business owner is really hard. But not recognising and using the privileges we hold to improve the environment for others is, ultimately, making things even harder for someone else. So I’m carrying on on this imperfect journey – always listening, always learning – because we can’t expect our children to look after the planet, if those of us that *can* don’t try.