NOTE: I’m going to spend some time this summer on some non social media topics that I find interesting although hopefully tying them back to SM at some point in the post. If you have any topic ideas that you would like me to discuss comment below!
Plastic Free July is almost at an end. Which means July is almost over! Madness! I hope these last few blogs got you thinking and gave you some options on how to eliminate some of the plastic waste in your life. There is always a lot of attention given to trending plastic problems (the debate over the Starbucks straw ban rages on) and you can definitely end up feeling overwhelmed by the issues. Or underwhelmed by the lack of new suggestions. Or just whelmed (but only if you’re in Europe)
The good news is that if you’re reading this or any post regarding plastic you’re on the right track! You know there is an issue and you know what you can do to help. But being “plastic free” isn’t going to solve all the problems. There are so many people online claiming to be waste free and that their waste for the last four years fits into a jar or something along those lines. And while I truly believe that they are living with less waste, you can’t be alive (especially if you have an online presence) and truly be waste free. Phones are plastic, computers are plastic and they both not only are packaged in plastic but take a lot of energy and waste to produce. (This article is old but does give you an idea of your phones carbon footprint). The clothes that they wear hopefully produce less microfibers than others, but they still took energy and created waste when they were made. The special waste free things that they bought were made somewhere and they probably had to have them shipped or travel somewhere further than their local grocery store to get them. So, don’t let those people shame you into not being good enough! Doing what you can is what matters. And if you choose to buy a shampoo in a plastic bottle at your grocery store across the street instead of driving to a mall to buy a shampoo bar (or have it shipped in packaging, plastic or not) that might be an all-around better choice. If you reuse when you can and try to buy bulk or larger containers instead of multiple small ones but still have to use plastic containers that’s a great step. It’s all about balance and finding what works for you.
A few years ago we did a run that claimed to be for the Climate and to be sustainable and waste free. We showed up and found that they had foil bags of chips and foil wrapped protein bars. Plus, they didn’t take back any part of our racing tag – the tracker, the actual bib we had to recycle ourselves and they wouldn’t even take the safety pins! On the day we also discovered that the money they were collecting went towards protesting certain issues in our city but yet they still claimed to be “helping the climate.” Just because “sustainability or “eco friendly” is stamped on something doesn’t mean it really is. Always look at the whole board before making your decisions.
Regardless of what you did this month, even if all you did was look around and realize how much plastic was in your life, you didn’t fail at Plastic Free July. If you bought a straw or a mug or ordered a bamboo toothbrush then three gold stars! ??? The best way you can win at Plastic Free July is keeping it going all year round. Remember to think about plastic during back to school, and the holidays (soooooooooooooo much waste!). When you do your spring cleaning is there anything that can be reused or refurbished? Look at what you are getting rid of and try to remember how little you used it next time you are online shopping at 3am.
When summer comes around again make a new challenge for July 2019. Pick one plastic item that you didn’t think you could get rid of and see if you can live without it for a month (or even a week). Be willing to try, be willing to change and be willing to help even if it is just picking up the straw on the sidewalk and throwing it out.