Have you watched Seaspiracy yet?
I hope you did, but if you are still late to the game, no worries, you can do it this weekend.
One of the things I have been trying to be better at ever since I became an environmentalist, is using less plastic. Maybe one of the most difficult things I have decided to change in my life.
During the pandemic, I kind of gave up on trying to be more eco-friendly in this area because I was so stressed and depressed that I bought countless amounts of gingerbread cookies and instant noodles.
It made me so ashamed of myself because this is not what I value. So I stopped and went cold-turkey when it came to easy meals and sugary sweets.
Just like you, I am starting again this year and I would love it if you joined me! This could be so much fun, don’t you agree?
To start, here are 5 ways to use less plastic this year:
- Buy more fresh vegetables and fruits.
If you use your reusable produce bags to get a kilo of potatoes, a bunch of bananas, tomatoes and lettuce, then you will not need sweets or ice cream.
When you eat healthier foods, plastic doesn’t enter your home in your shopping bag because chips are not on the menu tonight or any other day. That means you are not only eating plants but you are being good to our oceans. Woohoo!!!
If you want plant-based recipes so you can start cooking from scratch, here is my Pinterest board.
- Use reusable totes and produce bags.
A few years ago I spent around 10€ on a handful of reusable totes that I use when I go shopping or to the library.
They have been with me for all these years and remain durable and beautiful. What they have given me is worth way more than what I spent on them, and they are used by the whole family every day.
Similar story with mesh produce bags. While plastic bags rip and are rarely used often, I can fit a whole bunch of bananas in my bags, and when they get dirty just wash them by hand (or in a washing machine if not in a hurry).
- Don’t use plastic straws or cutlery.
This is usually the first step people make when starting to make more eco-friendly choices. It is not hard to avoid straws and cutlery, as most people don’t go to a picnic every month, and can simply refuse a straw at a bar.
You can find plenty of wooden or metal straws to use and carry with you, plus they are so much prettier. There is absolutely no need to end a beautiful day at a picnic by throwing a bunch of plastic knives in the trash that will ultimately end up in the oceans.
- Avoid purchasing things you don’t need.
As someone who does follow the philosophy of minimalism, I actually make smart purchases 99% of the time.
The thought of splurging money on cheap rings from New Yorker or buying my 10th pair of shoes is bizarre to me. I do not understand why anyone would buy things they will absolutely, definitely not use more than once.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? Well, why do you buy all those clothes and accessories when you only wear a handful? Why do you need 100 lipsticks when you only use, probably not even that, 20 throughout the year?
You could instead invest in quality, or in something else. Fewer clothes, more books? Fewer pens, more travel?
- Invest in a durable reusable glass water bottle.
Seeing how we all drink throughout the day as it is what we need to survive, why make the whole process so complicated and environmentally disastrous?
With a reusable glass water bottle, you can carry with you any beverage you desire, for up to 2 litres (to make it easy to carry), and you are not polluting the oceans. Yes, it is that easy.
You wash it before you go to bed and in the morning you are ready to go. Listen, you don’t even need to drink water or a freshly squeezed lemonade, just pour in iced coffee and your summer days are good.
Mine was 10€ and I use it every day; it is the perfect size for me and it fits in my backpack.
Earth is in desperate need of our help and I know you want to do your part.
I encourage you to start with what is easiest. This is completely up to you, as what is easy for you might be hard for me. Only you know what you are willing to take on at the beginning of this journey.
Often we forget about non-human animals who reside in the sea, but it doesn’t make their suffering any less serious or concerning. Seaspiracy really puts it all on the table, challenging us to look at the facts.
As I eat plant-based, my diet does not contain any fish corpses, but being vegan doesn’t mean I don’t use plastic. Seeing how my activism goes beyond just who I eat (or don’t eat), I want us to bring environmentalism to light.
Suffering doesn’t just occur when we kill, it happens when we pollute homes and trick sea animals into thinking straws and plastic bags are food. Other animals still die for us once we go vegan, but we can minimize the number of individuals who will choke on a straw or a fork if we use less plastic.
I am in. Are you with me?