How will one plastic harm? Said 7.8 billion.
Hi! I am glad you could make it to this blog post. 🙂
This definitely means that there is a high chance that you are well aware of how terrible is single-use plastic and you want to know what are the ways to reduce plastic use. I have contemplated the idea of writing this blog piece after my recent talk at work. I would keep it very short and to the point to talk about why we need it and what I am doing and what you can start doing from this day!
So let’s start with this picture:
Looks all normal, nice and convenient?
Now look at the next one:
This could remind you of the last road trip you took and you stopped by to buy some water and cola.
The next one is where they end up forever:
But what can you do alone, you ask? Surprisingly all 7.8 billion people ask the same question. 😀
But before I move on to what can be done or what I am doing; I want to share some stats which I found from Google.
20,000 plastic bottles are used every second. That’s more than a million bottles every minute.
300 million tons of plastic is produced each year. And, 50% is one-time use! 9% of plastic gets recycled globally.
1 million seabirds die every year due to plastic
83% tap water samples have plastic
1 fish in every 4 fishes have plastic
Half of the world’s plastic come from Asia
Stats can be validated here: WWF Video
Shocking and depressing isn’t it? Is it overwhelming? Do you feel helpless or do you think there is somebody else who will fix it? It’s complicated. Yes, the govt. and the corporates should stop the origin but in the meantime what can you do to reduce plastic? And, eventually, save money too.
The truth is, it is almost impossible to get rid of plastic due to our lifestyle and industry usage but we can still start with few things to contribute less to our own carbon footprint.
I want to introduce ‘The Mantra’ of reducing waste to you. The 5 R’s for waste reduction:
- Refuse – Avoid single-use plastics and paper products by opting for re-usable.
- Reduce – Downsize what you purchase, opting to be more mindful of what you really need.
- Reuse – Always find a way to keep an item out of the landfill by keeping it in great condition, repairing or up-cycling it when it breaks.
- Recycle – Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass or metal that comes into your life you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
- Rot – Set up a compost system for your food scraps, or find a food scrap drop off centre (like a farmers market, or community garden) near your house.
How to rock at work? aka How to reduce plastic at work:
- Get your own mug for tea/coffee.
- Ask cafeteria personnel not to give plastic spoon/straws
- Carry your own bottle for meetings all the time
- Don’t wrap food in foil, opt for beeswax wrap (if at all)
- Reduce paper usage, go digital wherever possible.
How to chill right at home? aka How to reduce plastic at home:
- Use a bamboo toothbrush
- Get your own tiffins for takeaways
- Borrow/rent plates and cutlery for parties
- Always carry a bag for shopping
- Use no/less plastic bag at grocery stores
- Adopt a menstrual cup or reusable cotton pads
- Use reusable diapers for babies
- Say no to fast fashion
- Stop wrapping gifts
How to be a pro-traveller? aka How to reduce plastic while travelling
- Carry travel cutlery
- Keep a reusable water bottle
- Get your trash back
- Cleanup where you travel
- Take your own toiletries
- Motivate your friends and family
Now after all this preaching, the question is – where have I reached in all of this fight against plastic?
This was my reusable bottle when I attended a conference recently. In this two day conference, I at least saved 20 of these small monsters. The hotel was more than happy to refill the bottle for me from their filter.
Above set of pictures denotes my personal use items which are helping me to reduce so much waste while saving me money.
- I swear by my reusable menstrual cup which is helping me save almost 50 sanitary pads per year which will otherwise will be on this planet forever.
- My reusable cutlery helps me to save so much plastic every time I travel now.
- I have started making and using homemade toothpaste and orange peel facewash with no chemicals which don’t come in any new one time use bottles.
- And this is my dear bamboo toothbrush will is helping me to send less plastic to the landfill. 🙂
- The last picture is how I do takeaways now, I carry my own boxes to get food.
- I use homemade soapnut liquid cleaner for shampoo, bathing my dog, dish-washing and laundry.
- Honestly, I am quite proud of my small accomplishments. :)As a last takeaway from this blog I want you to remember this picture before you pick up your next single-use plastic.