Reduce Plastics

Have you seen images like this before?  In real life? I have.  It wasn’t in a place where you might think people didn’t have the infrastructure to deal with it well either, it was at Sandridge Beach, inner Melbourne where I used to kayak and Eliot used to be a surf lifesaver.  It’s pretty gross having to pick it up too.  

We all know plastic is bad for the environment and us, right? If you’re not sure, here’s a good article from Nat Geo that outlines the effects on the environment and an article from the UN that describes how they get into everything, soil, water, and then we consume them.  I’m pretty sure none of us want a side of micro-plastics for breakfast with our granola/muesli.  

pollution-beach

At the end of my latest favorite documentary, Kiss The Ground, there were a series of clips from street interviews where a number of interviewees all stated that they had stopped using plastic straws as doing their part for the environment.  I know we can all do better than that.  There are so many little things we can do to reduce all of our single use plastics and the options out there now for plastic-free alternatives are endless. We just have to make better choices.  

The plastic packaging industry produces by far the largest amount of plastics.  Not surprisingly, this includes all our consumables packaging, plastic bags etc. which are usually made from Low-density Polyethelene (LD/LDPE) and are difficult to recycle due to their tendency to clog up the machines.  It’s why a lot of our Recycling Centers won’t take them.  Aside from that, the plastic can only be recycled a couple of times anyway so reducing our usage is a far better way to deal with the issues it creates.  

So what are some things we can do?  Here are some small, easy things to start:

  • Stop using plastic straws 😉 –  you can put the cup to your mouth or maybe get a reusable straw.  Grace & Monty have metal ones with silicon tips.  
  • BYO water bottles – unless you are living in a country where the quality of the water might make you sick, there aren’t really any good reasons, in my opnion, to buy bottled water.  It just takes a little preparation.  If you’re a bubbly water fan like me (and our kids), get a soda stream.  
  • BYO bags for your groceries & produce – A lot of our fruit comes in its own packaging and hopefully you’re going to wash the rest before you eat it so there isn’t really a need for them to be in in their own plastic bags.  If you plan on getting a bunch of green beans, buy yourself a mesh bag to put them in that you can wash and reuse.  It’s better for storing them in the fridge anyway.  We order our groceries online and ask for no bags as we have collapsible reusable crates in the back of the car to load them into.  I know this one has been a little difficult during the pandemic because a lot of stores wont use your bags.  Fingers crossed, with the vaccine on the way, we might be able to start doing this again.  
  • Buy in bulk – If you buy a bigger package and decant what you need into reusable containers, you’re minimizing your packaging.  Try and avoid all those single-serve snack bags.  I know the single serves are super convenient with kiddos but it’s most likely cheaper to buy a big box as well as being better for the environment.  
  • Look for plastic-free alternatives – this was one of my missions this year to gradually replace a large number of our consumable products with plastic-free alternatives from ketchup to deodorant to laundry soap.  There will be more to follow on this one!

Making intentional changes is how we are going to regenerate our planet and ensure its survival for our kids and their kids to come.  Remember that  progress, not perfection is key.  If you want to implement changes in your and your family’s lifestyle but are struggling with where to start, or feel overwhelmed, I can help you to find focus and build long-lasting sustainable changes.  Please contact me to book in a Pie of Life session.  

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