So we all know the planet is dying.. right? Well if you didn’t know that then it’s time you educated yourself. Humanity is responsible for creating a society that cares more about cost over quality. We want to buy the cheapest items and the majority of people don’t care about how that affects us as a whole. We want 99 cent Tupperware, cheap Ziploc bags for a one time use, and plastic water bottles on hand. But what happens to those items when we dispose of them? Most of them end up in the ocean. There is literally an island the size of Texas in the middle of the ocean that is caused by excess plastic that wasn't properly recycled.
With more than eight million tonnes going into the oceans every year, it is estimated there will be more plastic than fish by 2050 and 99 per cent of all the seabirds on the planet will have consumed some. It is thought the sea now contains some 51 trillion micro plastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy. independent.co.uk
These plastic micro particles are consumed by fish and the toxins will stay in their body their whole life. So when you eat fish, you're eating the toxins as well. The plastics contains PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) and PAHS (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are proven to be a carcinogen. The future does not look promising, with pollution, climate change, higher sea levels, and the extinction of beautiful animal species is on the rise. Plastic is literally killing us and our environment and us.
But what do we do about it?
If you’re feeling pretty helpless at this point, don’t worry you’re not the only one. Many people are starting to open their eyes at how much plastic they truly use on a day-to-day basis and swapping out these unnecessary items. This movement is called “Zero Waste.” Although it may be super hard to completely get rid of all plastic use in your life, there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling. The newer, more realistic term, is called minimal waste. Meaning that you are aware that going Zero Waste can be time draining and exhausting, you are acknowledging that little things you do on a daily basis can cause minimal waste. Here's a list on things you should adopt today.
Invest in a good quality water bottle
We all know about it, but do you actually use your water bottle that you got from the store everyday? It’s so easy to buy any size, color, brand, etc. but if you aren’t actually bringing it around with you everyday, then you won’t be using it like it’s intended to. My recommendation is to get a good quality water bottle like Hydro Flask or S’well. Something that is made with your favorite color, fits in your everyday bag and you know you will carry it around with you. If you get a cheap one chances are it will leak, be hard to clean, and then you just won’t feel like carrying it around. It’s easy to say no to free water bottles and just bring your own instead wherever you go. You can fill up at any resturant, cafe, free waterfountain. Water is so accessible to us, so let's use our first-world privilege to buy less plastic.
Start buying grain or spices in bulk
So this is something Ryan and I have been doing lately and it has been saving us a bunch of money! Instead of buying rice, quinoa, beans, etc. in plastic containers, just reuse a glass jar that you already have laying around, which is what we did. When buying store bought peanut butter, jam, sauces, etc. we always get the glass container over the plastic one. That way we are able to re use the glass and don't feel the guilt of buying plastic for a one time use. The process it takes to recycle plastic is just as damaging. We buy in bulk at local stores (like Sprouts or Whole Foods). You save money, save the environment, and save yourself the guilt from buying plastic.
Say no to plastic straws or single use plastic
When we do like to go out once in a while and get an adult drink, we try to remember to tell the bartender for “no straws.” This movement is starting to get picked up by celebrities and is gaining a bigger following. It’s such a small, but important thing to remember and you’ll be saving sea turtles in the process! Although plastic straws make up for a small portion of landfill, it still has a big impact. Now in some places plastic straws are banned (unless needed by handicapped people), so that's a great movement that is happening already.
Another small but big impact is one time use cutlery. When you order food to go, try opting out of getting those plastic forks and spoons. You have some at home, use those!
Learn more, our planet is relying on you
One of the big things I learned about this movement is nobody likes to be told they're doing something wrong. We're all guilty of negatively impacting the environment in some ways or another. It's hard to point fingers when also the massive corporations are the ones to blame for not considering their impact as well. But the boycott starts from what you can control. You alone have the ability to adapt healthy habits to make a big impact. With the rise of humans on this planet, Earth isn't going to be around much longer unless we all start today. We don't need only a handful of people being 100% Zero Waste, we need everybody trying at least to be more minimal waste. If you need more tips, then don't worry there's hundreds of resources out there on ways to change your habits. I'm sure to be posting more about this content, because it's something I really care about.