My White Flag

On February 3, after we had eaten up all the bread that had come pre-wrapped, we started our countdown for 30 days without bread wrappers. Then last night, we stopped again. This time for good. I knew it was time to quit when I noticed my dear husband had put the last remains of our homemade monkey bread in a disposable zip-lock storage bag and the first words that came out of my mouth were, “I hate this blog project!”

It had started as a great idea. To try something new and different and blog about my experiences. I enjoy it when others do this and have appreciated the resulting books and documentaries, but the difference between them and me is that their projects become all-consuming endeavors. Their whole lives are affected by what they’re doing, and it’s their number one focus. I came up with the blog idea around the time my husband started a photography company–the blog was never going to be my number one focus. 

That isn’t to say that I plan to give up on reducing waste. We worked hard to create a system that allows us to use less bread wrappers, and we plan to stick with that system when it’s not an inconvenience. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that I could make all kinds of sacrifices trying to refrain from using bread wrappers, and it wouldn’t make a difference unless the idea caught on at a greater community level.

I came to this conclusion while visiting my mother-in-law over the holidays. She doesn’t have my same obsession for reducing waste as was evidenced by a conversation between her and my father-in-law I overheard one morning:

Dad: “Why is this pizza in the trash?”
Mom: “Because it’s been in the fridge FOREVER!”
Dad: “I put it in there last night!”

But my mother-in-law does have some very environmentally friendly habits that I’ve struggled to implement myself. They’ve been recycling for a lot longer than we have, and she always shops with re-usable grocery bags (something I’ve managed to remember to do a handful of times). Why? Because this is the expectation her community has set. The trash company insists they separate their recycling (we don’t even have a trash company in the area that will pick up recycling!), and the grocery stores where she shops charge extra for plastic bags. 

And so I’ve come to the conclusion that the place where change is going to come from isn’t from little-known blogs but from companies making decisions that encourage everyday people to make environmentally friendly decisions.

Therefore I will not bore you (or myself) any longer with all the details of how to get and store bread without using disposable plastic. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging. I’ve noticed that my most popular blogs have been those that have been slightly off topic, those that were reflections on things I had experienced in my everyday life. To be honest, those were my favorite blogs too. That’s really the blogging style that fits me best.

So with my new focus, I’ll need a new blog name. At first, I figured I’d need a new name before making the transition, but then I thought about how many times I’ve written the story before writing the title. Sometimes you can’t really put a name to something until you know exactly what that something is going to be. 

As we step forward into this unknown adventure (I think I just found my new blog title!), I want to thank you for reading along on my environmental journey and encourage you to stick by as we see what unfolds in the future.

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About Lori Futcher

Freelance writer and copyeditor
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