One of my goals for 2014 is to reduce my waste, which is a VERY big project so I’m taking baby steps. I read an article about someone from my university, who went completely plastic-free, cold turkey, for a month. That’s so hard! Though probably only at the beginning, because after a while you know where to find things or how to do things, and it will be no trouble. And hopefully, not too expensive either (I have the idea that going plastic-free will mean higher costs… which perhaps is weird because you also pay for packaging of food… anyway). But, like I said, I’m taking baby steps (and using the plastic I still have in my house, because if I’m going to throw it away, I might as well first use it.
Why do I want to reduce my plastic waste? Several reasons, actually! First of all: environmental reasons. Plastic is extremely slow to degrade, and lots of it ends up in the ocean, endangering the wildlife there (let alone the sight of it…). The ocean currents collect this plastic waste, making islands of them. This YouTube short documentary from National Geographic illustrates what happens and also what people try to do to make others aware of it!
My second major reason to want to reduce plastic, especially around food and drink, is that some plastic types give of substances that are bad for your health. Not all of them, because they would never be allowed to sell food in plastic if it was that dangerous, but some do. Heating the plastic is even worse (microwaving your meals in plastic bags or containers…), so that is not preferable. I don’t want toxins in my food and drinks! But let’s be honest, food also looks way less attractive in plastic. So many reasons not to use plastic anymore, or at least reducing plastic waste!
What could you do? I started with 2 simple things: just drink tap water from a reusable bottle and stop buying bottled water. And stop using/accepting plastic grocery bags. In the mindmap of Learning Fundamentals that they published during Plastic Free July (no, I had never heard of that) last year, there are other suggestions on what you might do!
I am saving the glass jars some of my food comes in for future storage (which I like way better than the plastic bags, once again), and I will upcycle some old tank tops into bags for fruits and veggies. Pinterest holds many more ideas to reducing plastic, on all fronts. And if we stop using it, hopefully many of us, production will lessen (because, despite the tons of wasted plastic in the ocean, new plastic is still produced) and we might stop poisoning ourselves and the environment. That’s a good thing! Are you in?