Happy leftover turkey week! I hope you all had some time with loved ones and had a chance to relax and think about all the things we each have to be thankful for.
Often it gets overwhelming with all of the TO DO lists and the daily grind and information about the issues in the world and it can impact our ability to be thankful in the presence of stress.
One area where I feel this overwhelm is the issue of plastics and pollution and its impact on the environment and animals and us. When I start to worry about things, like this, I try to narrow it down to what is something that can be helpful to lessen the worry. Here is what I have to offer for this area.
Please note my comments on this are purely to be of help and to cause some possible tiny catalyst of change and not about being perfect or negative. I know for myself, I try, I plan, and when I forget, I just plan to try again. No judgement here.
When we focus on our own health, it has a definite ripple effect on our environment and to our planet. Every tiny act is important.
This can be seen when we personally add more whole foods into our daily eating plan. Whole foods do not come with any packaging, other than their own peel, so we can limit our impact of plastics directly there.
The excessive amount of packaging for processed foods is a concern. If we support companies who limit packaging and those who help us remember to use less plastics in our shopping habits, we are collectively making a difference, one shopping trip at a time. As we start to demand these things companies will find ways to make it happen. Companies want us to be happy and buy their stuff. Let’s help companies make those changes by knowing what we need in order to improve our plastics issue and then we demand those changes.
Quality Greens is one of those stores where packaging is limited due to their fresh fruits and vegetables and they offer boxes and reusable bags for sale to carry your items instead of plastic bags.
What else can we do?
Using your own reusable bags for buying produce (you know those light thin bags for apples, etc). This can be hard to remember to always have on hand but I’ve seen for myself when stores stop offering plastic bags we learn how to do this much more consistently. We just need to create new habits to have long lasting benefits.
And when we do have plastics, recycling is a great option, but just using less is an even better plan as it takes resources to recycle and most does not end up being recycled. Did you know that LESS then 11% of plastics are recycled according to this report from the EnvironmentalDeference.ca website - see below.
As a side note, straws have come up recently as a big source of concern for plastics. I myself didn’t realize they were not somehow recyclable. Every day, every straw, adds to the pile. Crazy! It’s inspiring to see companies looking for less impacting alternatives. However, I will now try hard to plan to just stop using them as well as other disposal one time use plastics. This will include taking a go mug to coffee shops. A little inconvenient but when it is 1 less cup and lid, and that seems worth it.
Just the awareness alone helps to make better decisions that impacts the health of our planet.
I am thankful for all the people and organizations who think about and make tiny changes in how we can clean up our world.
Some helpful resources regarding plastics and recycling:
List of what all can be recycled - https://recyclebc.ca/what-can-i-recycle/
Environmental Defence - Less than 11% of plastics is recycled: https://environmentaldefence.ca/2018/05/03/plastic-pollution-canada/
Have a great week!