It’s a question we ask ourselves every time we take a step to be more environmentally conscious; how much is this really helping?
When we talk about the many issues plaguing our environment plastic usage is always one of the first ones discussed. Why? It can’t possibly be as important as reducing fossil fuels, the number one thing anyone talks about these days. How can recycling or reducing plastic waste possibly create the kind of change? Buying a different kind of car or taking the bus? It’s easy to be skeptical when you’re looking at a single plastic water bottle or bag or toothbrush, but you only have to look at our oceans or landfill to truly understand the scope of how much damage plastic can do to our environment. Plastic isn’t biodegradable, so everything that ends up in our landfills or the ocean will stay there for thousands of years. Yes, certain plastics can be recycled but not all, and even those are rarely put in the correct system to be recycled.
Things like plastic bags, toothbrushes, straws, and plenty of other little bits are completely made of plastic and they’re things we use and throw out every day. It’s things we don’t even consider because it’s used so often that it’s just become a normal part of day-to-day life. Fortunately, we’re already making changes to become more eco-friendly and it’s getting easier and easier to do so. Reusable water bottles are commonplace outside of exercise and reusable sturdy coffee cups make it so that the average person can bring their coffee to work without throwing out a cup every single morning. Reusable cloth shopping bags further help reduce plastic waste, allowing for people to shop for groceries, something we all do regularly, without having to stockpile all the grocery store bags that we eventually throw out.
It’s convenient as ever to be green. Every single day human ingenuity brings new and simple solutions to the pollution problem that is easy for anyone to switch to. Plastic is easily one of the most harmful pollutants out there, being so difficult to make and impossible to biodegrade. Yet here we are, living in an age where reusable bags are right next to the cash register on your way out of the grocery store and reusable water bottles can be found everywhere from a drug store to a bookshop. The state of our planet is at stake but the changes we can make to help are growing every day, we only need to reach out and make them.