Updated: May 22
Plastics have become a part of everyday life. They are convenient and cheap, but not as cheap as we thought. The price we are paying now for one-time use plastics is far more pricey than anticipated. The cost of convenience is a steep one. Plastic has now become a part of everyday life, but not in the way it should be. It lies in empty fields, in the waterways and alleyways. Plastic trash seems to find its way everywhere. It may seem like an impossible task to get the world to change and create a cleaner planet, but it only takes one person to start that change. Why not choose that person to be you?
Start small: Focus on your own life and the decisions you make every day. Zero waste households are hard to achieve, but they can actually save money and the environment in the long run. Researching and educating yourself on what is actually recyclable is a great first step. Once you know what is truly recyclable, you can then start making conscientious decisions on what you should purchase. A one-time purchase of reusable zip lock bags will save you from having to constantly purchase more bags, while at the same time creating far less waste. Instead of purchasing food in single-use plastics or buying boxes of individually wrapped items, try items packaged in glass or other materials that are better for the environment.
The next step after creating less waste yourself is to get others to join you. You would be surprised how many people in your own community are willing to help; Many just need a little guidance and an opportunity. Educating your community is a great way to get more people involved. Information really helps people to get motivated, especially when it directly affects them. You can use social media or a community group to plan a get together for a monthly, or even weekly, clean-up day. Choose a section of your city that really needs a cleanup and get volunteers to help. If you have trouble getting traction, talking to your local council members could help to get the word out. You can also work with your local representatives to create bigger cleanup programs, or even work out a system with waste management in your city to bring more awareness on how to recycle properly and create less waste in your area.
Here are some helpful tips for creating a waste-free lifestyle:
-Composting organic waste- helps keep it out of landfills so it can decompose properly. Also great for gardening!
- Go reusable whenever possible on things like:
o Dryer balls
o Silicon bags/ beeswax wraps
o Menstrual cups/ cloth napkins
o Reusable produce bags made of cotton
o Reusable water bottles
Remember: All it takes is one step in the right direction to start living a cleaner, waste-free life. Lead by example and you can guide your community into a cleaner future!