Throughout my life, I’ve been environmentally conscious. I’ve always tried to reuse, recycle, and be less wasteful. To the point where I have been bullied and teased for being a “hippie.” Whatever that means.
Even back when I was vegan, I was constantly ridiculed and shamed for trying to do something right for the environment. I am not vegan anymore because I saw a decline in my own health during that time; but I am still always trying to find things I can do to help out the environment.
Things I’ve done in the past (and present) include reusing water bottles and then eventually buying stainless steel bottles so I never have to use a plastic one again; reusing plastic shopping bags; using containers to store food instead of sandwich bags; recycling anything that can be recycled; using the “Two Square Rule” when it comes to toilet paper; keeping showers under 20 minutes; turning off the lights and television when I’m not using them. These are things I grew up doing.
Turns out, I shouldn’t stop there.
I won’t stop there.
This year, I began the process of going almost plastic free.
“Almost” Plastic Free?
Before explaining why I am making this switch, I should explain what I mean when I say almost.
As I was researching all of this, I felt so overwhelmed about the things I would need to replace and find alternatives for. I became so overwhelmed that I almost said, “whatever. I’m just one person. I won’t impact the world by doing this. There is no way I can be plastic free.”
Then I saw a quote on Instagram that said: “The Earth does not need one or a few people doing plastic free perfectly; the Earth needs a lot of people doing plastic free imperfectly.”
Hence, almost plastic free. I am going on this journey, but I am doing what I am capable of.
My Reasons Why
I think I’ve made it pretty obvious: I’m doing this because I care about our planet. We only have one, after all. Single-use plastics are especially destroying it- something we never would have guessed when plastic was first introduced to society. The issue is that plastic is durable; it is both a blessing and a curse. It is advertised as disposable however plastic is indestructible. So how does this make sense?
Before I started doing my research, my excuse was, “well it’s recyclable. People just need to make more of an effort to make sure that it ends up in the right bin.”
The truth is that a very small amount of plastic is recycled and the rest of it goes into the environment, especially the ocean.
Ever since I moved to south Florida, I’ve noticed what people mean when they say that all litter ends up in the ocean. The views here are absolutely gorgeous; but then I look down and see plastic straws, water bottles, Ziploc baggies, and now in COVID times… face masks and gloves. It is heartbreaking.
Approximately 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year.A Plastic Ocean, 2016.
I am also doing this because I care about humanity and trying to make the Earth better for my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and so on. Everything on Earth is involved in the circle of life… including plastic now.
Plastics and microplastics are now in the ocean. In fact, scientists estimate that there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic afloat in the oceans. Microplastics are consumed by small ocean wildlife; then larger ocean wildlife consumes the smaller wildlife; humans often consume the larger ocean wildlife; and therefore, plastic is in our food chain.
Phthalates are chemicals found in plastic that make them more flexible, transparent, and durable. They are also toxic; they are considered to be endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with our hormones. As a woman who is trying to conceive, a process in which many hormones are involved, this is alarming to me. In addition to that, hormones are involved in more than just reproduction. They also play an active role in hunger, stress, sleep, mental health, and more.
There are so many reasons to ditch the plastic. This post is not intended to go over every single one nor cover everything I learn, and am continuing to learn.
I am just getting started on this journey, which is why I am introducing this new category on my blog, and am very excited to share with my readers the adventures I embark on going almost plastic-free!
Make sure you follow me and my journey on Instagram, too! That is where I post a lot about what I am trying out. In this new blog category, I will be sharing education, my plans on how I am going to ease into this lifestyle, and honest reviews of the products I try.
Let’s try to do our home a solid and stop using so much plastic!