Going Green: the Domino Effect

Bonne année 2018, readers of Salut Le Monde!

The travelling adventures are over, and I’m taking my blog in a new direction: on the journey to living as sustainably as I can. If that interests you in any way, if you are also somewhere along this bumpy road, looking for inspiration, or a place to vent frustrations, then welcome, my green friends.

I had always considered myself to be environmentally friendly, mostly due to the fact that I always recycled my household waste carefully and, when living in Lyon, used a bicycle as my primary mode of transport. I threw away (wherever ‘away’ is) all sorts of unrecyclable waste, but as you would never in a gazillion years have caught me littering or flushing ridiculous things down the toilet, I thought I was doing just fine.

Rewind to arriving in New Zealand (have I mentioned I moved to NZ for a year? No? Yeehh I don’t talk about it much) and realising just how much further Rona and Dave had taken their ecological habits. Rona abhorred the clingfilm we brought into her home at the end of Road Trip #1, and commented on the avocados we had picked up in polystyrene and plastic covered packaging- but they were so much cheaper than the loose ones on the shelf!

At first I felt slightly defensive. As if, environmentally responsible as I thought I was, that I still didn’t need to worry about buying the odd overly-packaged product when I wanted what was inside the layers upon layers of plastic. But the seed was planted, and once it was there I thought about it every time I went shopping. How can you argue with the pointlessness and wastefulness of 3 avocados nestled in a clingfilm-wrapped polystyrene tray? They’re already in watertight cases of nature’s own creation!

This is how steps towards changing the habits of a lifetime happen. Slowly but surely I started to avoid the overly packaged products, and other habits crept their way into my daily life which seemed so simple and obvious, such as purchasing a reusable water bottle. How had I gone 27 years without owning one? Shortly after this I watched the documentary A Plastic Ocean (on Netflix- a must see), and that was the Big Moment when I told myself “no more”. I had to make a greater change in my habits, and start thinking far more carefully about what I bought.

So this is how it went: Rona and Dave changed their habits, which inspired me to change mine, which inspired Adrien to change his. That’s 4 fewer people in the world buying plastic bottles, picking up apples in plastic bags, and using plastic straws in restaurants. If we each tell one person about our habits, we could have 8 fewer. We all tell one more, we’ve got 16.

So tell a friend, inspire someone, and let’s lighten the planet’s load together!


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