I tend to consider myself to be an environmentally friendly person. It’s been quite a few years since I stopped accepting plastic bags at the supermarket. I always make sure I go with a backpack or sturdy bags from home. It was such an easy thing to do, that I didn’t understand people who buy one thing and put it in a plastic bag. At work, I would choose paper cups for the water cooler, instead of plastic, and I had long since stopped by single-use plastics. I was doing my bit and I thought I was doing enough.
It wasn’t until I joined a local beach clean-up, did I realize that it’s so much more than plastic bags and cups. The sheer amount of garbage that washes up on our shores is insane. When I got home that afternoon I started doing some research on what else I could be doing to protect the wildlife in our oceans, and the planet overall. The first step to reducing waste is recycling, and I’m ashamed to say that I was not doing my part. I decided to stop being lazy and make the extra effort to find where to take my recycling and was instantly amazed by how quickly my waste was reduced.
Recycling made me more aware of how many unnecessary things I was bringing into my home. I began requesting digital receipts and looking for stores that used minimal packaging for their products. I started looking for apps that allowed people to connect to share food. So instead of throwing away things in my kitchen that I wasn’t eating, I started giving them away to people who would use them.
All it takes is changing a few habits, and the impact you can have is tremendous. The next time you buy toothbrushes, why not opt for bamboo ones instead of plastic, or switch up your disposable razors for a long-lasting metal one, or even an epilating device. If you have the choice to pay a couple of dollars extra to buy something made out of recycled plastic, go for it, it’s worth it in the long run, and helps to support the company behind it. Instead of driving for 5 minutes, try walking for 20, you’ll produce fewer carbon emissions, and you’ll get fitter for it.