Goal setting for plastic free July

Go to the profile of Angharad Boyson
Jul 05, 2019
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As some of you know, me and my family have recently moved to Australia so my blog posts have taken a back seat for a while, but today I'm back to discuss two of my favourite passions - goal-setting and reducing my plastic consumption! 

I’ve been trying to reduce my overall consumption, but particularly plastic and single-use plastic for a while.  I only recently found out about Plastic Free July, a global initiative that started here in Australia. 

Now you guys all know that I love my goal setting and I love habit setting and that a month is my preferred option for looking at creating a habit.  Why? Well because generally if you do something daily for a month, you stand a really great chance of being able to keep that habit going.  So if you’d like to get the habit of reducing your plastic use, this is a great time to start.

Know your why

My first step in goal-setting is looking at why do you want to do this?  Get as specific as possible.  Helping the environment is the overarching reason for most, but why do YOU want to do this?  My personal why is because I want to create a more sustainable way of living that will benefit my child and any children she has, because I want to say that I did my bit.*  I want her to be able to grow up in a world where sea turtles can swim without being caught in our rubbish and where it is the norm to have a society that takes responsibility for its own consumption.

What is your goal? 

What exactly do you want to achieve?  I remember several years ago I was inspired by a friend of a friend who was managing to reduce her waste to a jam jar size every month.  Whilst I think as a household, we’re away off managing that (especially in temporary accommodation where we can’t have a compost heap!), I would like to seriously reduce our overall waste.  Last week, we filled our kitchen bin 4 times.  By the end of July, I want to reduce this 1 a week.  I’ve been able to set a realistic and specific goal because I took some time to work out what my current reality is.  If we were getting through 8 bin loads a week, then 1 a week was never going to be achievable.  If we were at 2, I’d think 1 would be too soft a goal.

Who else needs to help or know this?

My goal is quite easy to measure, but I need to make sure that I have the cooperation of others in the house.  I know who to ask for support, who else needs to pitch in and who needs careful management.  A team goal needs team buy-in!

Plan your action

The next step in the goal-setting is the planning. How am I going to reduce our waste? I have bought several glass containers for things like pasta, flour, rice, sugar, nuts, cereal and kitchen cleaner. I’ve identified somewhere to fill said containers (the very lovely Lets Be Natural in Phillips, ACT).  I’ve identified some potential hurdles, such as crisp consumption.  We all enjoy a good packet of crisps, but the packaging is immense.  Whilst I know that it is now possible to recycle crisp packets, I’m looking at alternative options such as our own popcorn put into reusable containers, homemade sweet potato chips (I found this great recipe here which I’m going to try https://www.dinner-mom.com/sweet-potato-chips/) and mixed nuts.  I’m committing to not getting any take-away cups this month so if I forget my to-go cup, that’s it, no coffee.  We already use our own bags when shopping and rarely have takeaway and if we do, we re-use the containers.  

Can you make it a habit? 

Something I’m going to really try hard on this month is stopping plastic straws arriving with drinks for our daughter.  We have some steel straws but they are in our shipping and so we don’t have them right now.  I’m going to ask whenever we eat out if they have plastic straws and if so not to have one.  This is just about habit-forming so I’m mentally linking ordering kids drinks with asking about straws to help me establish that habit. 

Check back in with your goal 

I’ve signed up to the plastic free July challenge, so I’ll have lots of emails and hints and tips to try as well as prompts for checking in.  Also, I’ve told you guys all of this so at the end of July I hope to be able to report a reduction in our waste!  

 

Let me know how you are using goal-setting to aid your own personal plastic use revolution!  

 

 

* I’ve read some interesting articles lately that suggest taking individual steps as consumers achieves very little compared to the steps that large corporations should be taking.  Whilst I don’t dispute that, I also think that we need to distinguish between what we can control and what we can influence.  I may be able to influence corporations by applying pressure to them and to the relevant Government via my vote, but I can also influence them by my consumer choices.  I can also definitely control what we do in our household.  I don’t think it needs to be one or the other; I think we can do both.  But we do need to be mindful that there are wider reaching actions we can undertake in tandem with our individual initiatives.

Go to the profile of Angharad Boyson

Angharad Boyson

Founder and Head Coach, bright rebel coaching ltd

I am a coach who specialises in helping people live fearlessly with passion, purpose and balance. After 17 years in the Royal Air Force, I was ready for a change. But I wasn't really sure what that change was. Qualifying as a coach has taught me a lot about how my self-worth isn't tied up in my occupational identity, that living passionately and with purpose doesn't have to mean working every single hour and that I can feel fulfilled, happy and whole without working 60+ hours a week. It's not an exaggeration to say that my life is very different these days! I work with clients to: Establish your goals and understand what changes you would like to make. Identify why these changes are important to you. Create an action plan to make positive and unambiguous change at mindset, cognitive and behavioural levels. Predict obstacles and how to overcome them. Increase your self-awareness so that you naturally begin to coach yourself. I’m an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation, hold a Masters in Occupational Psychology, trained with Barefoot Coaching, enjoy triathlon training, vanilla lattes and movie time with my 6 year old daughter and my husband. I am currently based in Canberra, Australia (so do come and follow bright rebel coaching on IG if you'd like to see some photos of the gorgeous scenery here)! I do face-to-face coaching as well as audio-visual coaching and a limited number of workshops and webinars on holistic topics such as wellbeing, resilience and goal-setting.

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