Plastic Free July
I will forever think of The Graduate when I think of the word "Plastics" however Mr. McGuire, along with everyone else, likely didn't think through the implications of creating a material that would never disappear.
Did you know that EVERY piece of plastic ever made is still on the earth today?
Yup, plastic doesn't break down naturally in the environment. It "degrades" but that simply means that it breaks down into smaller pieces of plastic. These smaller pieces become part of the fabric of our earth; in dirt, sand, water, soil. They never go away. They get ingested by animals, they leach into our soils, they off-gas in our water. Plastic lasts forever.
FOREVER..... as Prince said, is a "mighty long time".
If I told you, you could only use your car once, or your bike, or even your purse or backpack and then you had to throw it away - you'd look at me as if I was insane. But the crazy reality is that each and every day we're throwing Single Use Plastics away. Each and Every Day.
50% of the worlds plastic goes into items only used ONCE!! 50%!!!!!
Half of all the plastic made gets thrown away after one single use. It's mind-bogglingly insane when you really stop and think about it.
So, what can we do?? The Australian organization PLASTIC FREE JULY has created a wonderful site filled with facts, challenges, ideas and inspiration to help us all be a little more conscious about our own personal plastic use.
It's virtually impossible to avoid all plastics but lets take it one step at a time and move towards being more conscious. Let's always bring our own bags to the store. Lets skip straws. Let's keep a fork in our bag/desk/car. Let's invest in a reusable water bottle and a reusable coffee/tea mug. Just doing these 4 acts would exponentially alter the rate at which we're destroying our eco-system.
This isn't about giving anything up. This is about being more conscious and conscientious.
Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you get more conscious about your plastic use:
- Bring you own bag
- Invest in a (non-plastic) reusable water bottle. I love this one.
- Invest in a (non-plastic) reusable hot beverage mug. I love my Hydroflask.
- Bring your own Mason Jar to the coffee shop, that's what I do for my iced beverages! If you need a lid and straw - grab this!
- Say "no thank you" to straws. Do you really need a straw? If so, invest in a reusable one.
- Skip plastic produce bags when possible. I see people put two avocados in a plastic bag. Seriously? Why the f*** do you need a plastic bag for 2 avocados???? If you find that you really need plastic bags at the grocery store - please reuse them as many times as possible or invest in some reusable produce bags.
- Keep a fork in your car/purse/desk/backpack and say no thanks to the whole take-out packet of which you likely toss the spoon and the knife having never even used them. WAKE UP!!!!
- Speaking of take-out - of course it's often unavoidable - but perhaps take 15 minutes and just sit down in the restaurant instead of throwing away an entire plastic bag filled to the brim with single use plastics a few times a week. This is crazy.... where do you think this plastic goes to??
- Buy in bulk - may still be in plastic, but one 5 lb bag is better (and cheaper) than 10 8oz bags!!
This isn't about buying a whole bunch of stuff to live a more conscious existence - hopefully you have bags, jars, forks etc. that you can reuse already. Old ratty t-shirts make for amazing little produce bags. When they're soiled, pop 'em in the wash like you always did! I used to make these out of my daughters too small tank tops but never wrote a blog post about it, so here's MommyPotamus to the rescue! This isn't about suffering or giving anything up. Get creative. Have fun. Make better choices.
This is about being more aware. Being more thoughtful. Thinking about the consequences of our choices. Each choice we make in life effects other people and other living entities. We're exceptionally powerful. Every step we take makes an impact.
Own a business? Stop buying plastic cups!! Buy each member of your team a mug or better yet, challenge them to rethink the offices use of single use plastics!
Own a bar or restaurant? Stop using straws! We seriously don't need them!!
Encourage and Inspire those around you to think differently!!!
Will you join me in a Plastic Free July? Sign up at www.plasticfreejuly.org to register your commitment.
What are some of the ways you help make the world less plastic filled?
Let's all share our creative ideas for relying less upon this unsustainable practice and create more consciousness with each and every move, purchase and choice that we make!!