Before I begin, I want to reiterate that these articles on sustainable living come more from experience than expertise. My time as web editor at Pure Green Magazine (and now contributing writer) helped build the foundation and fuel the passion and growth. Although I covered this in my first post I feel strongly about having transparency and authenticity when writing about green living: things change and we are always learning, so I’d be silly to claim I know it all. But really, isn’t that the fun part?
I like this topic a lot (a lot, a lot) because it’s truly something we can all work on. Consider for a moment how many times a day you use single-use, disposable plastics (i.e. straws, baggies, cups) and how much waste that could possibly amount to in a year — over 300 million tons worth. Environmental Health News offers us some statistics on the impact, saying,
- Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.
- Plastic debris, laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals, can injure or poison wildlife.
- Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.
- Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
- Around 4 percent of world oil production is used as a feedstock to make plastics, and a similar amount is consumed as energy in the process.
I dislike the scare tactic because it tends to be uninspiring rather than encouraging. Until you know these things how can you really be held accountable for your impact? So take heart. These are steps you can certainly take; One of the reasons why I started really cutting back on disposable plastics is because it is truly so simple and you can take it a step at a time. We’re lucky that these days we have a tremendous amount of small businesses coming out with beautifully-designed, ergonomic sustainable products. Like these BPA-free reusable straws by Zak Designs. My friend Stacy and I had a good amount of fun photographing these spotted straws and it’s even more enjoyable to use them over and over again.
Not only does this bring your attention to waste but also to water. Pure Green has a great article on how to cut back and conserve water in ways you might not have realized were possible for you!
As always please feel free to write in the comments, on social media, or send an email if you have thoughts or even a question or two about green living. I’d love to hear from you.