Hey, friends! I met Sabrina, today’s guest blogger, on Instagram after she posted a photo of her last plastic lid – ever! I got stuck on her super inspiring page and asked her to write me a post about plastic consumption, and what we can all do to minimize our plastic waste. For more inspiration about reducing your plastic use, follow her @withsabr, or check out her bio below. Enjoy!
When I was young, I thought that scary monsters wouldn’t exist when I got older. I was right, until I found out about… PLASTIC! Although it doesn’t haunt me in my dreams, it is definitely my archenemy. It might be safe to assume I would hide under my blanket, if I thought a plastic water bottle was in my closet. What’s the big deal, you ask?
Every year, America alone produces over 33 million tons of plastic and only around 7-9 percent is recycled. With this information, people would naturally turn to the “solution” of raising recycling awareness. I have, however, come to challenge myself to join the small amount of people who do their best to reject plastic altogether. I challenge YOU to join me! Here is why:
Reason Number One: Plastic comes in many types and is made out of many different types of chemicals. These chemicals are not only harmful to our health but also to the environment. These different chemicals make recycling nearly impossible because of the toxic risks that come with the recycling process. This is why only a very small amount of plastic is “recyclable”.
Reason Number Two: Recycling plastic is impossible, which basically means that recycling plastic is a scam. Thats right, we have been fooled. Plastic is not actually recyclable because of the substances that it is made from. When it is put through the recycling process, it never gives back the same amount or the same quality as it was originally. Therefore, the very small amount of plastic is only ever “downcycled” but never “recycled”.
Reason Number Three: This is where the big question is asked. If plastic is not completely reusable as glass or metal is, where does it go? What happens to the 33 million tons of plastic produced every year? It stays on our planet. It takes over beautiful open fields and turns them into landfills. There is only so much space on land for useless trash which means that a large amount of the never degrading plastic ends up in the water of our oceans and seas. The bits and pieces of plastic immediately become life threatening to all types of wildlife. It gets worse as we think of the fact that fish may eat plastic, then we may eat the plastic digested fish, in some form…
Now that you have so many reasons to take on this challenge, I shall give you three beginner’s tips to help you towards taking a stand against plastic.
Tip Number One: Study, research, and learn about the effects of plastic. This will help you form the care and compassion that you will need to get started. Looking into consumerism while researching will help as well. If we are not constantly consuming, it becomes easier and I promise you will become happier! Simplify your life, because simple is beautiful.
Tip Number Two: Be prepared to have to verbally reject plastic items. As you get more and more motivated to reject plastic, you will notice how much plastic is used and how much we rely on it. This also means that people will automatically serve you things like plastic bags, straws, and containers because they have no idea that you are unique! You have to be one step ahead of them, ready to decline before they serve.
Tip Number Three: Make things easy on yourself! Do your best to plan ahead by preparing for trips to the grocery store, restaurants, or even coffee shops. While grocery shopping be sure to take enough reusable fabric totes and produce bags, instead of packaging your goods in plastic bags. When going out to eat, be sure to take a little container for your leftovers. Unfortunately most places only provide a styrofoam container, which is horrid. If you enjoy using straws, take a stainless steel straw from home to use instead. Last but not least, don’t forget to take along a reusable mug to coffee shops; most places even knock off a few cents for bringing your own cup!
I hope this post has inspired you to take on the plastic-free challenge! Have fun with this journey. Remember that even the little things count! When you’re frustrated, smile because you are amazing! Embrace the power you receive from consuming less! Enjoy the beauty in the simplicity you’ve gained! And, don’t forget to share your experiences to spread the awareness with others!!!