Six months without a Ziploc
Six months without a Ziploc and counting…
I have two kids under the age of ten. I pack 9 lunches a week during the 180-day school year. Each lunch has three items. If I were using single use plastic bags, I would use roughly 675 plastic bags a year… just for lunch.
Nope. Not this mama. Not anymore.
Convenience. That is what a little plastic bag represents. Unfortunately, that convenient little plastic bag doesn’t disappear when my kids throw it in the garbage can. It doesn’t disappear if it makes it to the landfill, and it certainly doesn’t disappear in the ocean.
Plastic does not go away. Ever.
It is the omnipresent and toxic “fabric” of our lives, from our ATM/credit cards, CDs and DVDs, our computers, cars, and cell phones, our food packaging and beauty products. It is the ultimate in convenience, but it comes at a price.
This is what the Surfrider Foundation (photo credit) has to say about plastic:
“You see, plastics do not biodegrade, instead they photo-degrade, breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces. Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.”
The implication of the above fact on our environment is devastating. How devastating?
Watch this trailer about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from the documentary Plastic Paradise.
Okay, that is scary. So what can you do? Don’t be sad! Take action!
- Reduce plastics at home. Skip the plastic lid on your beverage. Skip the straw. Bring your own grocery bags to the store. Don’t bag your produce. Buy a head of lettuce instead of a plastic bag of lettuce. Get a glass water bottle.
- Get informed: Watch the documentary Plastic Paradise. Watch it with your kids (10+) and teach them about alternatives to plastic.
- Get involved: Check out the Surfrider Foundations Rise Above Plastics campaign.
- Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas campaign:
Be the change!
I have not bought Ziploc bags in six months! I use reusable containers for my children’s lunch boxes. I use glass containers with lids to carry around my snacks in my purse or backpack. I bring reusable bags to the grocery store every time. I don’t get a lid on my almond milk latte from Peet’s. When I order take out, I try to remember to ask them to not pack any plastic utensils. I buy bar soap instead of body wash.
These are small steps to address a very big problem.
But they are steps in the right direction. I simply want to move in the right direction. And you?