Let's get real.
We all do it and we all want to change,
so let's educate ourselves and make better choices…
I’m talking about plastic waste.
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I sat here for a long time trying to figure out my entry point for the topic of creating less plastic waste. It's a massive topic that I've been educating on over the past few years. But during Earth month when people seem to be paying a little more attention to their waste, I think I should take us back to basics. I also want to highlight the fact that since last March when single use became king again for safety reasons, it's been even more challenging to live low waste. In a system that is built upon quick disposable convenience, adding the layer that single use is safe has taken away many of the options I relied on for creating less waste.
If you don't already know here are a few top stats on why you should care:
- Humans eat 40lbs of plastic in their lifetime
- Microplastics have been found in 100% of the human organs sampled
- Only 10% of the plastic ever produced has been recycled
- 93% of bottled water was found to have microplastic contamination
- There will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050
Now that we are all sufficiently depressed let's focus on what we can do individually. I think it's important to understand how much and the types of plastics you're using daily. You can follow along on stories this month as I show you what generally gets into our house. I will also highlight if the item is something I used to easily get in bulk prior to covid.
Then look up for your city what are the types of plastics they actively and easily recycle. Every city has different requirements about simple things like should caps be on or off bottles. Almost all cities like recycling unbagged so it's easy to sort and wash clean.
The most interesting part is figuring out the best way to reduce for your individual family. 40% of plastic waste is packaging so that will cover most of us. Since most bulk bins are not open at the moment, can you buy your grains and cereals in larger quantities since these are dry items and don't tend to expire. When buying produce are there options in the store that are unpackaged? This may mean you have to cut the item yourself, but do you think you can do that? Remember many times packaging is just adding to convenience so pre-cut fruit or pre peeled items. Outside of those it's about choosing glass over plastic when you need to buy a packaged item. Many local stores will also take the glass back and give you a credit which is very helpful.
This week's video details some easy swaps in your home when it comes to plastics or single use items. If you haven't already considered these options I'd love to hear about what's stopping you. Also nothing would bring me greater joy than if you texted me questions or recommendations on this topic. I love chatting low waste. 310.349.3741
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Helpful Resources About Microplastics
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