PECT Logo Teal Outline
Skip to Content
Donate now

From the blog

To question, or not to question?

by Laura Fanthorpe

Yes, I admit it. Growing up, I was one of those slightly irritating children who had a question for everything, and nothing seemed to quell my curiosity. 30 years later, and I confess that not much has changed. I still like to ask questions, and I’m very rarely satisfied with the answers!

Working in the environmental sector, I have to wonder whether this is a good or bad thing? I’ve mentioned in a previous blog about suffering sleepless nights over the amount of single use plastic being produced worldwide, and this is still top of my mind, several months later!

The more I ask, the more I seem to find out that perhaps I didn’t want to know. Or at least it’s certainly not helping me to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep!

My partner is vegan and has been for two decades, while I largely eat a vegetarian diet. This seems to be a good choice for environmental reasons, although when I started googling the downsides of some protein replacements, the sometimes destructive farming practices for palm oil and soy soon emerged.

Ethically, almost the best choice would be to grow our own food, because wherever massive demand exists there tends to follow industrial farming practices on a grand scale, sometimes at the expense of biodiversity and wildlife. Consumer choices and demand tend to dictate supplier practices.

I came back to the plastics question yet again recently, when I discovered that plastic is included in the majority of tea bags. I know I’m late to the discussion on this one, but it massively surprised me, after being an obsessive tea drinker for most of my life. British tea drinkers consume millions of tea bags each day, yet the vast majority are only 70-80% biodegradable.

How did I not realise this before? I have always been an avid gardener, happily adding used tea bags to my flower borders and compost heap. Not to mention the fact that around eight times a day I’m stirring plastic tea bags around in my drinks!

But despite this new knowledge setting me off on a new spiral of worry, I am pleased to still be asking questions. Because without people questioning, how would we be able to look at creating change? I, for one, am altering my long-standing tea bag allegiance, perhaps to a brand like Teapigs (plastic free, bleach free and 100% biodegradable bags).

Maybe a growing awareness in consumer choice, and small steps in the right direction, may one day change the world? I like to think so, even if it just helps me sleep better at night.