Three weeks ago my darling husband and I packed up all our things and moved to New York.
After some hardcore hunting and with the help of two fantastic in-laws, we found a gorgeous apartment in our favourite neighbourhood Park Slope. Ah, we love the Slope.
In an attempt to avoid buying new stuff in plastic when I arrived, I brought as many old items from our London home as I could. I decanted all my old half-full bottles of suncream into one bottle and packed it. I brought a half-used tube of toothpaste. I brought a packet of plasters and an entire kitchen drawer-full of painkillers.
The problem was, when we got here, despite having all the painkillers we could ever need, we didn't have any basics. Such as tea. Or milk. Or bread, cereal, fruit, vegetables. And when we moved into our apartment we didn't have a sofa, a bed, or any of that!
So, in the rush to get ourselves vaguely settled, a trip to Ikea was inevitable. I suppose you have to start somewhere.
Once the bare necessities were sorted (we have a bed!) I could move on to making our life here slightly more sustainable. I set out on some plastic-free missions around the neighbourhood, checking out new shops and slowly learning that things were going to be different here. I couldn't find my toilet paper with biodegradable packaging anywhere, nor could I find my biodegradable bin bags. I don't think I can get a milkman here and waiters keep ignoring me when I say "no straw please"! Maybe it’s my accent?
It does seem that some things are going to be harder. But on the plus side, some things are going to be easier! Our local shop sells loads of loose veggies and I have been able to find plastic-free maple syrup (something that certainly doesn't seem to exist in the UK). There also seems to be an abundance of bulk bins - they even sell loose pasta! It's a miracle!