I began living a lifestyle that limits single use plastic and waste as much as possible about six months ago, I don’t use makeup wipes (you can get reusable sponges, which in fact are even better for your skin), I use bamboo toothbrushes, I never buy plastic bags when shopping and menstrual cups are 100% the way forward, but there’s still so much I can do. The planet is slowly dying and we aren’t doing enough to save it. It’s ironic really; people turn a blind eye to it even though if this earth dies, that’s it. We all die.
This crisis on plastic has got completely out of control, and yet, companies still produce plastic as if it’s going out of fashion. Don’t get me wrong, we are seeing more companies slowly making the change from single use plastic, but the time scale and pace we are going at isn’t enough to reverse the major effects we’ve already created.
According to the charity 4Ocean, every minuet, one dustbin lorry worth of rubbish is dumped into the ocean. That’s 60 dustbin lorries per hour, 1,440 per day making a huge 17,280 dustbin lorries into the ocean every year.
(I’ll just let that sink in)
I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel quite sick. And this is why we need to make a change NOW. There are easy ways to reduce this catastrophic number, and it’s down to each and every one of us to take responsibility for.
To make matters worse, just one plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to break down in the ocean. 450 YEARS. Generations, upon generations, upon generations will still be seeing the effects we made.
Changes like packing your own lunch and saying no to takeaway containers, taking your own water bottle wherever you go out (most coffee shops and restaurants refill them for free!), using bamboo or metal straws, being mindful of where your food has come from, not shopping in major supermarkets for produce like fruits and vegetables are all simple and effective ways towards a zero waste lifestyle.
All of these changes are actually a way of saving money as well as the planet, so there’s no excuse.
Getting involved in group litter picking, beach cleans and ocean clear ups are the first steps to reversing these damaging effects. You can find many groups around your area to join. Even if you run your own one, get your family and friends out for an afternoon and focus on one area or part of a coast line if you live nearby. You’ll be amazed at how much litter you find in one small area.
Education is the key to saving this earth. Teaching children and adults to recycle and choose the zero waste option is a sure fire way to raising a generation that will grow up with a whole lot more respect than we ever did.