In the last, month, I would say, my eyes opened truly to how much damage we are doing to our beloved planet. Not only in humanity, but everything in nature. I was walking through the local Costco picking up groceries, more specifically I was walking down the candy aisle…guilty. And it struck me just how much plastic I saw, especially plastic bags inside of plastic bags with plastic wrappers. That alone made me think a little deeper. SOME newer plastic bags take 75 years to biodegrade, however, many are made of PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, may NEVER biodegrade and will forever be in landfills. So thinking beyond that, how many plastic bags on average have you thrown away in the last year, times that by 7.8 billion people on Earth, granted maybe not all of these humans use plastics, kudos to you. On top of plastic bags, lets think about plastic silverware, cups, products in general we throw to our garbage that are made of non-biodegradable plastics. Thinking even deeper, think of the factories where these are made, and what they are truly made from. Oil. I could go into this rabbit hole, but to keep you engaged here, I won’t. I undoubtedly fell into this hole. I am guilty of this all too well, absolutely. Not thinking enough about what impact I am making on Mother Nature. And I am now consciously taking steps to lighten my footsteps on this planet. In nature, we are given what we need to sustain ourselves, wood to build homes, food to eat including plants and animals, water to drink, etc. We need to nourish and protect that sacred bond. Here are a few things I am committing myself to doing, and I am welcome to any suggestions or further information anyone feels may benefit my personal challenge.
–Utilizing reusable shopping bags. I recently purchased reusable shopping bags, pack of 10, off of Amazon for about $15. Not only that, but they were made from recycled material. Can’t get much better than that! I am committed to using these from now on for shopping trips or traveling vs using plastic bags. Here is a link explaining why plastic doesn’t biodegrade, for those of you like me who like to research: https://www.livescience.com/33085-petroleum-derived-plastic-non-biodegradable.html
–A few extra dishes never hurt anyone. Plastic silverware is another item I am choosing to cut out. In doing so, I am now bringing silverware to work, on a picnic, etc.
–Recycling my old plastic bags. I made a discovery just today, but Target accepts all plastic bags and recycles them. Maybe some of you already knew that, but I was so stoked to find this out! I have included a link, the one I used, to locate plastic bag recycling places nearby. http://abagslife.com/ I encourage those of you who have saved your plastic bags to check this out and see where you can bring them to be recycled properly. Here is also a link put out by Target in regards to their recycling program: https://corporate.target.com/press/releases/2010/04/target-launches-recycling-stations
–Glass/Tin Water Bottles Vs Plastic. We have a good number of reusable water bottles at home. At home, at work, or on the road, this is a much better solution than plastic water bottles. However, the plastic water bottles today, such as Aquafina, contain 50% less plastic, and can be recycled. Being diligent on choosing the recycling bin vs the regular garbage can makes a difference.
–Growing/Making Food. Instead of purchasing goods at a store – grow a garden full of food, freeze it for the winter if you can, grow your own herbs and grind them to make your own seasonings, make your own bread, etc. Any or all of these are rad ways of being self-sufficient and can be very cost effective as well as healthier choices. I will also say that by doing any of these, you are also cutting down on how much waste you use as well in regards to the production, packaging, and distributing of your food items. Keep it in mind, most herbs are minimum maintenance, add some life to a room, and smell amazing. I am fortunate to have two beautiful garden beds to utilize for growing, and I love maintaining a garden and knowing my food is organic, completely pesticide free, and delicious; I know my family appreciates it too.
It’s hard to fathom sometimes what impact each and every one of us has on our planet, but it is a significant mark we each leave. And I’m now choosing to walk lighter going forward and teach my kids to do the same, one person can make a difference, and our family of five makes an even bigger difference. If any of you are inclined to, or already, practice better habits, please feel free to share in this journey or share what you do to protect our Earth. Love moments of enlightenment such as what I’ve had recently, felt like sharing some things on my blog about it.
Thanks for reading!