Hey warrior, let’s cut down on those nasty plastics! Yes, yes, it is possible and actually not at all that difficult!
We all want to keep our planet healthy, pretty, and green right? I know that going fully zero – waste might be a huge life change for you. Or you might not feel quite ready yet to take such a big step. So, here’s a better idea. The plastic-free diet!
What’s the hype all about
It’s about doing our best to avoid all the plastic that comes in our way, refusing it, and replacing with more sustainable materials (like glass, paper, bamboo..).
Plastic is the hottest pollutant right now, and according to the Guardian, if we keep producing it the way we do now, by 2050 there’ll more plastic in our oceans than fish.
Unfortunately, it really makes sense. If you tend to be a lazy beach bum like me, you probably know what the Guardian is talking about. Every time I see loads of trash around the beaches and in the ocean, it just makes me feel really guilty. And I know you as well if you’re reading this post.
We can’t run far away from plastics
When I was a little kid, every summer we used to go for a family holiday to Croatia. I always asked my dad, how was it possible that there were so many weird stuff floating around in the sea. His answer was that to get a nicer beach we had to go further away from the city. Back then, I didn’t think about it anymore.
Nevertheless now, I realized that you can go as far as you want and it’s still going to be at least a bit polluted! When I traveled around South-east Asia, I knew my final stop would be the awesome Koh Rong Sanloem island. This is a super remote island with no wifi and electricity only after 6 PM.
There are only sandy roads, no cars, maybe around 20 people staying there (including tourists in low season), you can find the sea stars, luminous plankton at night, get an unwanted shower with geckos, and have buffalos run around your house every night. Pure wilderness!
No, not even on pure, lonely island
Without a doubt, it’s not the kind of place I’d imagine being so heavily polluted. As much as I loved this island, I couldn’t stop being frustrated with all the trash around me! Besides, I couldn’t get from where was it all coming from.
Walking barefoot along the coast, instead of watching out for all the weird ants or spiders, I rather watched out for all the garbage! It was much more probable that you’d step on a sharp piece of plastic or glass than on a poisonous spider.
Anyway, although this the reality and I’m sure you can relate to this too, it’s not late to fight this. It doesn’t have to be this way! .) Plastic-free diet is a great first small step you can take to make a big difference.
The plastic-free diet
The process with this diet is just like with any other diet. First, you need to acknowledge where you stand (just like stepping on a weight and see the proper numbers), find out what to stop consuming (this time it won’t be carbs) and finally replace it. Simple as that. 🙂
First, know where we stand and what’s the damage
Let’s have a look at the numbers and see how much damage has been done, shall we?
- According to the Guardian, since 1950, 8,3 tons of plastic has been produced. Only 9% these have been recycled. Also, plastics can be recycled only once (downcycled) so even those 9% will end up in the landfill eventually.
- An average person eats around 70 000 microplastics each year. Of course, this is a very general estimation because microplastics are found mostly in fish and seafood. If you don’t eat these, you should be all good.
- National Geographic says that if we keep increasing our plastic waste at its current rate, by 2050, there’ll be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills. CRAZY!!!
- Plastic is killing 1 million seabirds and animals every minute.
- Over the last ten years, we’ve produced more plastic than during the whole last century. Another unbelievable fact. Even so, I remember exactly when this plastic shift happened. I’ll never forget how I was a little girl in the 1st grade going to school with her glass bottle.
Suddenly, one day all the kids started to bring their innovative, super cool, light, plastic bottles. That time my family lived on a very tight budget and we couldn’t afford to buy plastic bottles ( it used to be the more expensive option in Slovakia).
I used to envy all the kids with their plastics and felt ashamed for my glass bottle. Yet, I wasn’t realizing that the smart, cool kid was after all me! Haha.
- It takes 500 – 1000 years for plastic to degrade. Yes, yes plastic apparently is the true long-lasting material. Surprisingly, not many people know this. Not even those in developed countries, not to mention the ones in the third world’s.
When I traveled around Indonesia, the biggest shock I experienced was the amount of plastic. I’ve never in my life seen so much of it! For example, right in there most people don’t know that plastic never fully degrades.
According to my friend, local Indonesian environmentalist, not so long ago they used to use palm tree leaf or banana leaf as a packaging for everything. Once the plastic wave hit, they converted to plastic and they keep treating it the same way as the banana leaf. They don’t know it won’t fully degrade in the landfill.
I’m not saying anything bad about Indonesians, their intention isn’t bad. Most of them only don’t know. Also, there are definitely many exceptions.
On the other side, we aren’t any better! We have all the knowledge, all the abilities to treat our waste different way, yet most of us are just so lazy and ignorant that we end up treating it the very same way, sending it into the landfill.
- Every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some form. Especially the biggest rebel polystyrene that we use for our beloved takeouts.
- Six out of seven marine turtles are in danger because of the marine plastics and 100 000 of them die annually. There are several campaigns, NGOs around the world that help save sea turtles. The animals that have been here the longest. All of a sudden, plastic comes in and they’re dying.
The Bali sea turtle society saves thousands of turtle eggs and lets them into the ocean when the baby turtles are old enough to face the real world. However, The Bali sea turtle society claims that only a few of them survive.
Don’t worry. With our and your effort too, it’s all going to be good again!
I don’t mean to be depressing like all those documentaries on Tv. There are heaps of us working our butts off to make a change. In fact, you might have noticed that zero-waste and plastic-free products, services are becoming highly trendy nowadays. Even Bratislava (a city 100 years behind in everything) is getting its very own bulk stores and package free options.
More and more people prefer choosing eco-friendly products. Or not choosing any at all. You’re not alone in this. 😉
So if you’re ready to make a difference, and join us for the challenge of the plastic-free diet, make sure to read my PART 2! I give you all the necessary details, my personal tips, and insights.
Stay tuned, and as always enjoy the journey!
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