Plastic Cap Challenge 2021.
Carrot: Four Things
Three things I like and one thing I don’t like about the #PlasticCapChallenge. I like how the challenge has support nationally from the likes of Earth Breeze, SUPERSCANDI, Chalk Cartel, Access Fund, and especially Conrad Anker. To be supported and endorsed by such prestige lends itself to a certain level of validation that is often difficult to come by. I like the local support the #PlasticCapChallenge has received from our friends, readers, and family. Getting updates from these people about how much they’re donating, or how hard it is to go plastic free reminds us that we are all in this together. Seeing posts from groups like The Yellow Shirts, reading encouraging comments from you, and getting weekly reports on plastic use from my mom (Hi Mom) are all reminders that actions matter, and even small steps can make a difference. I don’t like it when people tell us things like ‘there’s no point’, that ‘it costs too much’, or ‘we’re wasting our time’. Maybe those things will turn out to be true, but we’d rather learn that from trying and failing than not trying at all. Finally, I like to think that the fifty plastic items that I didn’t buy this month, and the fifty plastic items that you didn’t by this month, and the fifty plastic items that the next person didn’t buy this month won’t go unnoticed. It’s challenging to reduce our dependence on plastic, and if nothing else, I like that each year it gets a little bit easier!
Gaia: Three Things
One thing that I don’t like and two that I enjoy about the #PlasticCapChallenge:
I truly dislike the fact that this challenge has brought to light how much I depend on plastic. Do not get me wrong, it is a positive thing that I gained awareness about it and that I am working toward improving my consumption pattern. However, it is a challenging journey. Plastic is EVERYWHERE! Transitioning into a zero waste life (or at least as close as you can get to net zero) is a process that requires conscious awareness about the decisions we make and the places we go. I have dealt with my fair share of cognitive dissonance myself and I am working toward changing the behaviour to meet my ultimate goal. I recommend keeping track of the places you go and the products you buy that are sustainable and eco-friendly, so you don’t have to guess next time you have to do groceries 😅
When we decided to start this move three years ago, I never thought it would carry on like it has. Perhaps we would toy around with the idea and challenge ourselves for one year or two, but we have shown commitment beyond what I had initially had in mind. I really like how this challenge focuses on the team effort that it requires to bring it to life. Teamwork to get guest writers, teamwork to put the special podcast episode together, teamwork for cleanups, and ultimately, teamwork to keep each other accountable!
I also enjoy the fact that it has pushed me and my creative self. This year I set myself the goal to create content for every week of the Plastic Cap month, promoting sustainable ways, influencers, and companies. I like that, after a long and slow year (2020, I see you), I am taking steps toward productivity. I wish the move was stronger and reached a wider audience; however, I am proud of the work we are putting to create awareness,- to others and ourselves.
As theDIHEDRAL’s newest member, I haven’t had as many years with the #PlasticCapChallenge as these guys, but nevertheless:
I enjoy crag clean-ups. Often, especially when I’m night climbing, I see things at the crag and I think, “man, what a shame…who would leave that there,” and then I just keep walking. When I go back to the crag and pick up everything in sight it feels like I am making up for, at least in part, the times that I just walked by trash at the crag. Like Gaia, I enjoy the creativity aspect as well. Sometimes, I feel like my subject matter/shooting style can get sort of stale or repetitive in my work, and so I appreciate the new subjects for my photos/the environmental meaning behind them. Having a new theme can be a nice change of pace.
Lastly, it really hurt when I noticed how few non-plastic-covered options there are at grocery stores…especially on a budget. Plastic is just on everything. It is tough to accept that even though you as an individual may want to get away from plastic, it is simply inconceivable in commercial locations; it is as though you have no choice in the matter. But, this is why people like us at theDIHEDRAL and you guys and our friends and people across the nation participate in things like the #PlasticCapChallenge!