Are we going to clean up our PLANET or continue our toxic relationship with PLASTIC?

In case you didn’t catch it on Instagram yet: National Geographic just rolled-out an impressive campaign called “Planet or Plastic?”. Like the name indicates, this is Nat Geo’s multiyear effort to raise awareness about our global plastic trash crisis.

Three easy ways to reduce plastic waste

Not only are they featuring enlightening articles (with amazing photos) examining all aspects of this problem that we are knee-deep in, they are also encouraging people to take a pledge to reduce personal plastic waste. Considering the fact that all of us have been an active part in causing this crisis, of course we need to be part in solving it.

I am in a situation where I do consume and buy plastic. I love chips. Our kid just got a new ball and a few sets of Duplo Legos. I don’t make my own Cheerios or soy milk (surprised?!).

Because of circumstance, plastic comes in to my life. I am actually pretty ok with that. Living responsibly is about me reducing where I can. Maybe you are in a similar situation? Here are three simple things you can do to reduce your plastic consumption! I can handle all these without stress, being a full time worker bee/blogger/toddler-mom in suburbia. PS. No guilt though y’all. Just inspiration.

Americans toss 500 million

plastic straws every day.

Focus on the big four

Zero waste blogger Kathryn of Going Zero Waste often talks about the “big four” – four items that are key to effectively reducing personal waste. They are:

1) disposable plastic bags

2) disposable plastic water (and soda) bottles

3) disposable to-go mugs

4) one-time-use straws

Start your journey towards less plastic by cutting these four, and you’ll soon discover that there’s very little cost associated with doing so. Refusing straws is as simple as saying “no straw please” and you probably have a water bottle, grocery bag and travel mug at home already, so it’s only a matter of bringing them with you (more often, if not always!)

A trillion plastic bags are used

worldwide every year.

Swap shower gel for bar soap

I love this tip because bar soap is available here, there and everywhere, so you don’t’ need to buy this “eco-friendly thing” online. (Online purchases, even if plastic-free, do come with lots of packaging and miles). Whole Foods has a selection of bulk soap even. Switching to bar soap is easy and family members won’t mind the switch. If someone is worried about “germs” (which is a myth) getting one unique bar for each person works.

Nearly a million plastic beverage

bottles are sold every minute.

Be mindful at the grocery store (and in life)

Buy nut butters, jam and pasta sauce in glass jars – recycle or reuse. Pick pasta, eggs and rice in cardboard boxes – recycle or compost (after removing the tiny plastic film). Skip the produce bags or bring your own. Go for fruits without plastic wrappers. You know, the easy swaps that don’t cost you anything. Also, use trash cans. Don’t dump things randomly outside. EASY.

9 million tons of plastic waste

end up in the ocean every year.

Now that we’re talking about plastic AGAIN (sorry not sorry!), it may be a good thing to actually share some information of what plastic is and how it’s made! Nat Geo is taking care of that with this informative video, a part of the Planet or Plastic campaign.

You can read a LOT more on nationalgeographic.com/environment/planetorplastic and remember to take the pledge to do your best to reduce one-time-use plastic. Honestly, there are so many brilliant articles to read that you can easily spend a whole afternoon just learning and taking your awareness rating to new heights.

More of my personal stories with plastic waste, recycling and such in these Sustainable Anna blog posts and pages:

It’s time to spring in to recycling LESS! (Here’s why)

If you’re not buying recycled products, you’re not really recycling

Five easy ways to reduce grocery store waste – without planning ahead!

My Zero Waste page

Quotes, video and picture above from Nat Geo.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Are we going to clean up our PLANET or continue our toxic relationship with PLASTIC?

  1. ❤️ even when I have a bad day, sustainable-wise, like today, I am aware that I’m not doing good but somehow justify it by the fact that I just don’t have the strength. Today. To be better. Your words linger in my head. I feel bad for buying a bag when I forgot to bring my own and carrying 12 bread rolls, one baguette and one loaf of bread (cut in slices) just won’t work while pushing my baby’s stroller along. At least I walked to the store, leaving the car at home. In 28 degrees. With a moderate fever, and tired toddler. I’ll do better tomorrow 🙂

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      1. Yes! I have! I think Europe is much more sustainable-minded than the US as a whole when it comes to policy and laws. Unfortunately (being Euro myself) the mindset of the people is similar as US: disposable cups, disposable baby-everything, H&M clothes, shopping-galore. Europe is very much in the “as long as we are recycling & donating we are fine consuming as much as we want”. (I sound bitter now LOL sorry) I am sure things are shifting there too tho (like here :))! I do know many are taking giant leaps in cutting down on meat consumption on a personal level – even my parent’s generation :)

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    1. No guilt Linda! You are doing the best you can with YOUR circumstances. I take the car everywhere – that’s just my circumstance. I could do more too, I could stop eating chips… for example. But then there’s that whole “life” part. Maybe keep a bag or two in the stroller pocket at all times :)

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  2. People here in the UK has gotten a lot more aware since the ocean documentary series “Blue Planet II” was aired late 2017. They had a whole episode on how we screw up the ocean and its animals with plastic. I noticed a diffence pretty much overnigth with a lot of people I came across. It was really awesome! They actually call it The Blue Planet Effect…. Though still a lot more need to be done. Thanks for a great post! :)

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    1. I have heard of the Blue Planet effect! Especially from UK instagram accounts. It’s so amazing that the plastic message was “hidden” in a nature show and so many people saw it (not knowing that was the topic) and reacted. YAY. Hope.
      Thanks for stopping in my friend and for being a force of good (in every way) in the world :)

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  3. During my travels in Southeast Asia, it’s been driving me crazy how much plastic they use for food and drinks. I bought a water bottle at 7-Eleven yesterday and they put it in a bag and slipped a straw in before I even noticed (who drinks a water bottle with a straw…)! Even with food that is meant to be eaten immediately, they often wrap it two or three layers of plastic cartons/bags when a paper plate would work just as well. 😬

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    1. This is so interesting to hear from someone who actually is THERE. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we forget this is truly a global problem and we are ALL in it. Now I am thinking of the trash we ship over there to add to their trash…
      I have NO idea why anyone would need a straw to drink out of a bottle! Has the world besome so germ-scared that a packaged straw seems cleaner than a bottle opening? Maybe. It’s complete lunacy.

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