Plastics are everywhere
As the doors at a local supermarket glide open, shelves stocked with mounds of endless foods provide a sense of freedom and excitement for consumers. Here's the catch: they are all wrapped in plastic!
What picture does this imagery paint in your head? With lives so infiltrated by plastics, this supermarket visual exemplifies just one way we encounter seemingly unavoidable packaging on a frequent basis.
Why care about plastics?
Let’s face it: plastic is convenient. Strong, durable, and cheap, this material provides producers with an inexpensive, short-term solution for packaging, encouraging a single-use lifestyle. With the use of plastics, we don’t need to plan ahead. We don't need to make upfront, large investments on single-use alternatives.
However, plastic comes with negative impacts to both the world and those that inhabit it.
Due to the chemical makeup of plastics, they struggle to decompose. In fact, these materials only break down into smaller and smaller pieces, refraining from biodegrading, clogging up landfills, filling the oceans, and seeping into nearly every place on earth. As this material enter ecosystems and spaces, chemicals also leach out of these materials and into our bodies, blood stream, and tissues. Thus, these toxins build up inside of us and the animals around our globe, significantly impacting human and animal health.
Your consumption habits matter
God calls us to take care of one another and the planet. By transforming our lifestyle habits, we can fight against this pervasive material, encourage environmental restoration, and facilitate a healthier planet for humans and animals. As consumers, we have an incredibly significant role in influencing the norms of economic production. Pledging to reduce plastic consumption directly communicates to producers to cut the plastic and find alternatives.
It’s okay to be picky!
So many of the items we consume contain plastic embedded within them or are wrapped in plastic packaging. To take a stand against plastic consumption, it is suggested to purchase foods and groceries with less packaging than others. For example, instead of purchasing pre-chopped, plastic wrapped watermelon slices, find the whole, non packaged watermelon and slice it yourself! With mindful purchasing, you help influence what grocers by, ultimately informing stores that we don’t want their packaging!
Bring your own ________
We all have heard this before. Bring your own bag, bring your own mug, bring your own water bottle, etc. Really though, bringing your own reusable option of typically single-use products sends a message and often saves you money!
Let’s examine the water bottle industry. Single-use water bottle cases typically house 24 bottles and cost around four dollars. If you buy a water bottle case every week of the year, this will cost over $200 every year.
Thus, by purchasing a reusable water bottle, not only will you save potentially hundreds of dollars a year, but you also reduce your waste, exposure to chemicals, and support a healthier planet! In addition, reusable bottles come in many shapes, sizes, and colors! We suggest picking one that matches your style!
Most importantly, encouraging friends and family to reduce their plastic makes an impact! Approaching conversations around plastic with kindness and enthusiasm goes a long way! Educate yourself, support legislation that works to limit plastic, and say "no" more often to single use plastics. By implementing these steps in your life, you can help make a difference!