Just after Christmas, I looked around and saw all the boxes left over from the gifts I received from friends and family, as well as purchases I’ve made recently, and thought, ‘how is this possible?’ All the purchases from online shopping have caught up with me. Amazon, eBay and ASOS etc, create all this rubbish and for what? They used a 60cm box to ship a game controller that was already in a box that it could easily have been sent in, not to mention the plastic it was packed in.

I made my monthly pilgrimage to the recycling depot, hoping to drop off as much as I could. Most of it was boxes that can be recycled but some of it was bubble wrap, old wheelchair tyres and other non-recyclables.

I already have problems with the amount of waste I create because of having an impairment. Every month I place an order which consists of catheters, night bags, colostomy bags, valves and so on; not to mention all the medication that creates non-recyclable waste. I want to be greener but it isn’t that simple. 

Being a disabled person in a world where your options are limited, means you can’t always be as green as you would like. Some of us have found online shopping liberating, especially when it comes to food shopping because we might find it difficult to drive to the shops, whether because of our impairment or because of the convenience of saving our personal energy. Whether some people require a drinking straw, need their catheter changed daily or food pre-cut for them, there are reasons why we can’t necessarily be as green as we want.

So, what can we do? Well, I guess it’s that old saying, ‘We can only do what we can’. Until the technology is here, we can just do the best that we can. We can try to use products that are environmentally sustainable, keep up with the monthly trips to the recycling centre, and most important of all, try to buy less stuff (just for the sake of buying it). Just remember; don’t beat yourself up over it, you’re doing the best you can.