Happy Earth Day everyone!
Today is not just about protecting the environment – throwing away you litter in a bin and using bags for life, etc. That should be something you do everyday. Today is a day to encourage and spread the message about saving our lovely little planet.
Every little detail in the environment, in nature, is significant to the how it functions. Every detail from a shred of grass to a hover fly is significant, even if it’s not completely obvious, but with the way us, humans, are treating Earth, those significant things are being damaged and killed.
This year’s Earth Day theme is about changing human attitudes towards plastic consumption and encouraging people to reduce that.
10% of the plastic we use end up in the oceans. In fact, there is an island in the North Pacific Gyre, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, mostly made up of plastic waste, 1.6 million square kilometres in size. That’s bigger than the country I’m from. That’s bigger than the UK by a lot! And imagine the animals that have to suffer because of us. Chemicals from plastic pollution can accumulate in bodily tissues of bird’s, causing harmful effects to their reproductive abilities, immune system and hormone balance.
Synthetic plastic is non-biodegradable. One single (I repeat: ONE SINGLE) plastic bag can take up to 500 years and longer to degrade.
If you don’t care about the harm it does to the environment or the animals in nature, then maybe you should start caring because it also affects you. Toxic chemicals from the manufacture of plastics contain carcinogenic (potentially cancerous), neurotoxic (damaging to parts of your nervous system), and hormone-disruptive chemicals, which eventually find it’s way into our water, land and air. And it pollutes the ecosystem and your own bodily systems.
But you can do little things to stop it, everyday.
- Use a reusable bottle instead of constantly getting new plastic bottles of water, etc.
- Use a bag for life instead of using plastic bags (in the long-term, it’ll probably save you money too.)
- Stop chewing gum, or at least reduce the amount you chew.
- Don’t spit your gum out on roads.
- Throw your litter away (in a bin)!
- Try to always recycle!
- Pick up litter you find and throw away.
- Use glass containers instead.
- Use a stainless steel travel mug.
- Use bars of soap instead of bottles of soap.
- Don’t use straws (even request ‘no straws’ at restaurants).
- Use matches instead of lighters.
- Don’t use makeup, skincare, or any beauty product with microbeads. (including toothpaste.) Check before you buy!
- Bulk shop to reduce any plastic you might use for bags.
- Think before you use plastics. Can you use paper instead? e.g you can use paper bags instead of plastic. Still gets the job done.
- Don’t complain about having to pay for a bag. (I know this won’t reduce plastic consumption but I find it so annoying, especially as someone working in retail.)
- Reduce the amount of bottled fizzy drinks and crisp packets you’re buying. (Better for your health too 😉 )
- Shop at farmer’s markets instead.
- Use baking soda to wash dishes instead of fairy liquid (or any bottled soap you use).
- Reuse plastic containers when you get them, like from takeaways.
- Learn to preserve food without plastic.
- Make your own snacks instead of buying in the shop, where it’ll be packaged in plastic.
- Compost food waste.
- Encourage others to reduce their plastic consumption.
Obviously, it can be hard to reduce the amount of plastic you consume because plastic is practically everywhere and in everything. The point is having the right mindset and working to make little changes even if you do one of the above day by day. Be aware and cautious about the amount you use and spread the word.
We only have one Earth. Let’s keep it green.