Now that it’s (almost) summer, we’re outside lots and probably spending more money on cold drinks which potentially means more single-use cups and straws. Gross.
This year especially, I’ve become more conscious of using single-use cups, straws and plastic bags. They are not my friend anymore, no matter how convenient it is to use them. So, I’ve replaced all of those with reusable mugs (I use this Corkcicle mug, a Thermos mug and a Swell water bottle), stainless steel straws and fabric bags. Although there are days where I happen to forget my cup or a drink I order comes with a straw, I’m still trying my best at working on the ‘no plastic’ idea.
My motivation started after I watched a Youtube video about coffee cups in the landfill and how they actually can’t be recycled because there is a thin plastic lining in between the paper lining. Or how plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade, even then it’s still not fully degraded. Plus with working in a coffee shop for over 3 years, I have a strong idea at how many to-go mugs and plastic cups we use and it’s a lot. And that’s only one out of how many coffee shops in my city (and around the world).
So I was doing a little research for this post and here are some facts:
- The world is producing more than 300 million tonnes of plastic each year and 8 million tonnes are ending up in the ocean (www.plasticoceans.org)
- Plastic will only start degrading after 700 years and will fully degrade in 1000 years. This means that all the plastic that has ever been produced, has not degraded yet (www.theworldcounts.com)
- Over the last 10 years, we have produced more plastic than the whole of the last century (www.ecowatch.com)
- Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean (www.conserveturtles.org)
- Half a million straws are used around the world every day (www.earthday.org)
- 500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year (www.earthday.org)
The first step is education and that’s what I’m hoping to do! I’m not saying to live a completely plastic-free lifestyle right this second because well, that’s pretty difficult to do in this time. But just being aware and making small changes does help. I can’t say my lifestyle is completely plastic-free because so many things contain plastic. But I have limited myself and once again, trying my best!
I’ve had so many people say to me, “You’re just one person, it won’t make a difference.” Well my response to that is yes, I’m just one person and I will try my very best to make a difference. A quote I read says, “Don’t expect to see a change if you don’t make one” and I can confidently say that since I’ve been aware, I’ve noticed more people promoting a less plastic-y lifestyle on my social media. I love when people care! It’s amazing!!!
Writing this post has definitely opened up my eyes a little more, and I hope you’ve learnt something new as well! Even if we feel like we won’t make a difference, just remember it all adds up and it starts with one person and some education.
Let’s take care of our home together!
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