I've always been passionate about recycling, conserving energy, and wasting less... We've been influenced by this capitalistic society to consume as much as possible, to upgrade to the newest phone, car, technology... and where do these obsolete items go? Some of our trash ends up in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", a big patch of plastic and trash accumulating in the ocean, where this plastic island is twice the size of Texas.
If you simply add all the times you order take out, postmates, drink out of a plastic bottle, plastic straw, or the times you use a plastic bag every time you shop at the grocery store, these things add up quickly.
NEWSFLASH, PLASTIC IS NOT BIODEGRADEABLE. IT DOES NOT DISINTEGRATE. IT BECOMES "MICROPLASTIC" WHICH IS THEN CONSUMED BY FISH, OTHER ANIMALS, WHICH MEANS WE BASICALLY INGEST THE PLASTIC. WE EAT 39,000-70,000 BITS OF PLASTIC EVERY YEAR. Most of where you are ingesting plastic is mainly from seafood, beer, sugar, salt, alcohol, and honey. We ingest an extra 90,000 bits of plastic when drinking from plastic bottles annually. Have you seen those viral videos of plastic straws that are stuck in turtles' nostrils or turtles eating plastic bags because they mistake it for jellyfish... these videos really break my heart that our (human's) ignorance can lead to animals' harm.
Alright, so I'm not perfect, but I am willing to educate myself and make a difference. I understand that you probably feel like, you're only one person, so these little decisions won't make a difference... but they really do! YOUR ACTIONS ADD UP. Here are some ways to help the environment, and really help your HEALTH, and the future generations to come. The less plastic we use, the less plastic we consume. literally.
1. When you can use reusable items, please do so. Get glass straws or portable straws that you can take around with you. Use reuseable bags for the grocery store. Yes to be frank, the tap water in Los Angeles tastes like shit, so I really didn't like drinking out of the tap. Instead I got a water delivery service like Sparkletts where the service switches out empty containers - that way I didn't have to buy plastic water bottles! I would simply refill my reusable water bottle from this water delivery service. Also, I know this might sound absurd, but when you go to a restaurant, ask if they have an option that's not plastic to take the left overs. Maybe even consider bringing your own tupperwear if you REALLY don't think you'll finish your food. Someone I used to live with, would always order postmates, and order TO GO boxes every time we went out to eat... I would just think about the waste of bags and to go containers that accumulated and would just go into the trash; and I felt gut-wrenching guilt about her TO GO containers...
For example, instead of using saran wrap, you can use a reusable silicon cover.
2. I realized to be the most eco-friendly is to eat what the Earth provides you. Fruit, Vegetables, etc. things that are NOT packaged or processed... that DO NOT COME IN A BAG. Think about how efficient a banana or tangerine is. It literally comes wrapped up in its own biodegradable yellow and orange packaging. I started noticing how many of the things I ate came out of plastic, whether it was chips, ramen, candy, cereal, etc. Okay if this sounds too intense, maybe ease into shopping at farmers' markets, locally sourced foods, where they're not packaged in plastic.
3. My vegan friends have all explained to me how harmful eating meat is to the Earth. Eat less meat and dairy products. As stated in "Game Changers" all the protein we are getting from meat are really from the plants that the animals ate.. AKA WE REALLY GET OUR PROTEIN FROM PLANTS. In order to produce more meat and dairy products, trees are being taken down (DEFORESTATION), in order to have more land to raise cows and grow more crop to feed the animals. This means more water is used to take care of the cows and grow the cows' food, then all the cows' poop then release methane into the air causing more pollution and a carbon footprint.. The trees that have been taken down (which we need) in order to get rid of CO2, methane, and pollution.... well we basically dug a deeper hole, getting rid of our solution (trees).. yet providing more pollution (cow poop). By being vegan each day saves 1 animal's life, 4200 liters of water, 45 lbs of grain, 20 lbs of CO2, and 30 ft of forested land. THIS IS PER DAY PEOPLE!
4. If the product is something you can pick up from the store, do that vs ordering it to your doorstep. It dawned on me this week that yes although Amazon is FREAKING convenient..think about HOW MUCH MORE WASTE you're producing. With each item you order, it comes in plastic packaging + a box that has tape with it. Think about allll these packages that start piling up. If it's something you can easily go pick up from a store, you can make that trip to the store and buy it there. Really at the cost of our convenience, we are hurting the Earth. Also these food deliveries that come with an entire packaged recipe - where each ingredient is covered in plastic when normally it's not from the grocery store. You can do the research to figure out a recipe and buy the ingredients - package free from the store!
5. We need to realize that just making donations is not enough. Let's make changes so that we don't HAVE these problems anymore?! Let's try to lessen the problems. Let's try to prevent these disasters from happening vs. dealing with the consequences. I really encouraged my mom to stop purchasing plastic water bottles and straws, and she asked why... in her mind, these fires in Sydney, aren't affecting her personally. Within her life time, she most likely will not see any drastic changes.. However, for us. and for our generations to come, our children, and our grandchildren, they will have to live with the consequences, because we were ignorant and not taking responsibility for our actions and our capitalistic culture. Just because drinking with a straw is the norm, doesn't make it FUCKING OKAY. I'm sorry but I'm getting passionate about this. Think about OUR FUTURE BABIES THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH NATURAL DISASTERS THAT WE ESSENTIALLY CREATED. (The fires in Sydney are so hot that it's generating lightning and thunder.)
If anyone has concerns or updates regarding this post, please comment or let me know what else I can add to this blog. I really really hope that you all understand how dire this is. Climate change is real. We don't need to feel helpless about it. We can really educate ourselves and change our ways. Simply getting rid of "plastic bags" and "plastic straws" will not fix this ever growing problem!