Ever since I read and reviewed Beth Terry’s book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, plastic has been on my mind… I already knew the dangers of plastics, both for our own health as well as that of other animals and the environment.
But Beth’s book was kind of a wake up call – in a sense, it was encouraging because I realized that we’re actually doing quite a few things to help curb our plastic use. At the same time, however, it served as a reminder that there’s always so much more we can all do to learn about, act upon, and teach others about the realities of our consumer-driven, throw-it-away type of culture.
Yes, since the advent of plastics, our lives have been made much easier and more convenient. But at what cost? Is it really worth a few comforts today to put our sustainability at risk tomorrow? Not in my book, it’s not.
Unfortunately, we’ve become a society which only thinks about the ‘now’, without any regard for those who will come after us and inherit this earth from us. And what will it look like for future generations? Would it be something they *want* to inherit?
I just recently learned the meaning behind the name of the company, Seventh Generation, which takes its name from the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee, which states that
in our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. [source]
I just love that! If more companies followed this philosophy, this world could be a very different place for our children. I also recently came across this very informative, eye-opening infographic from One World One Ocean:
So, here are 5 simple things we can all do right now to help reduce our plastic use/waste:
- Ditch the bottled water! Invest in some stainless steel or glass water bottles and reuse them over and over again. I really love the KidBasix sippy cup for Baby Y, and Mr. Nurture and I have the LifeFactory bottles.
- Rethink the Tupperware. The last thing you want to do is put hot food into a plastic container (or worse – to reheat it!) Watch the sales and pick up some glass Pyrex-type containers in various sizes. They’re great for storing leftovers and packing lunches.
- Make your own bath and body products. You’d be amazed just how much plastic waste is generated from just one small bathroom! Try making homemade versions of things like deodorant, liquid hand soap/body wash, mouthwash, face wash, anti-bacterial spray, etc. and store them in reusable containers.
- BYOB/C (Bring Your Own Bags/Containers): Not just to the grocery store, but also the mall, the craft store, the bulk foods store, etc. And don’t forget the produce section – most items can be placed loosely in your basket (ie: you really don’t need to bag your bananas, do you?)
- Buy in bulk: it’s simple, really – buy larger quantities in one package, instead of smaller quantities In multiple packages. You save money AND reduce unnecessary waste – Win/Win!