Going Green, (or trying to...)
Let's face it, it can be hard to change. Our society has made it very easy to be wasteful, and it's easy to turn a blind eye and continue doing what is convenient and easy. But, the evidence of this destructive behavior is piling up... literally, the oceans are FULL of plastic waste. It's in the water we drink, and the lakes we swim and fish in. We know this needs to change, and many countries all over the world are working on banning plastic grocery bags, and reducing wrapping produce in plastic (so unnecessary). But a lot of places are still behind, and we need to do our part in this mess.
There are so many small things we can do to make a BIG impact. Do you pack your kids lunches with single-use plastic baggies every day? Do the math... that's tons and tons of plastic waste that is never properly recycled and ends up in our landfills and oceans. Plastic can take hundreds of years to break down. Here's a breakdown.
- Plastic Bags: 10-20 years
- Styrofoam: 50 years
- 6 Pack Beverage Holder: 400 years
- Disposable Diapers: 450 years
- Plastic Bottles: 450 years
- Some Plastics: never
Some super simple steps to reduce plastic and paper waste are in the things we do every day. Bring reusable produce and bulk bags to the grocery store. Putting your cucumbers and peppers in a plastic bag just to bring it home and throw it away is such a waste. Other ways to reduce waste:
- Replace this step with reusable produce bags.
- Refuse plastic grocery bags, bring your own.
- Refuse plastic straws, bring your own.
- Use reusable napkins in lieu of paper towels.
- Make your own everyday cleaner with Castile soaps, or vinegar.
- Replace shampoo, conditioner, and dish soap with solid soaps in plastic-free packaging.
- Be a conscious shopper and refuse plastic products, or reuse the ones you have at bulk stores.
- Bring jars and bulk bags to stock up with at the grocery store.
These steps will become a new normal once you put them into motion, and others will follow. We can't all be perfect when it comes to reducing waste, but making small changes can move us in the right direction. I would love to hear more about your journey into reducing waste or becoming a zero waste consumer in the comments below.