The Wednesday was Earth Day 2018!
So what is Earth Day all about?
In it’s own words Earth Day is ‘It is a day of political action and civic participation’, and the aim is to take action to increase awareness of the things we can all do to be more environmentally friendly and to put pressure on governments and corporations to take action to be more sustainable.
The theme for this years Earth Day was End Plastic Pollution. There are many reasons why single use plastic is devastating our planet, including harming marine life and entering our food chain (which bit surprise is not good for us).
Every year 300 million tons of plastic are produced a year and only 10% is recycled! This statistic alone should make it obvious that this is not a sustainable use of the world’s oil resources! It also means that 90% of this plastic ends up in landfill and litter. This pollutes our environment both land and water polluted, this harms the wildlife especially marine life!
So how can you help? First of all you can sign the pledge to reduce your own plastic footprint here and sign the petition calling for governments and world leaders to take action to reduce plastic production and use here.
You can also make these 10 lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of single use plastic you use (I’m also going to try and make these changes), these go in order from the easiest change to the one that will take the most effort:
- Take a fabric bag to the shops with you or at least a bag for life.
- Use a reusable water bottle (preferably glass or metal) and reusable coffee cup, even when you get take away drinks.
- Use a flannel and facewash instead of cotton wool pads or face wipes! Both of these come in single use plastic packets and you have to keep buying more!
- Buy biodegradable teabags. Most people don’t realise that some teabags have a fine plastic mesh in them and wont degrade in landfill! Just check the box (some of Aldi’s teabags are biodegradable so it’s not just posh companies) or buy loose-leaf tea and use a tea infuser!
- Stop using food bags and cling film, instead use sandwich boxes (preferably made of bamboo or anything other than plastic) or reusable fabric and bees wax wraps.
- Try and take lunch with you because 1) you will save money, 2) it’s healthier and 3) you wont be using as much single use plastic packaging!
- If you are going to get a takeaway lunch get it from somewhere that uses biodegradable packaging (like Grounded Kitchen on Queen’s Road! I’m also pretty sure the vegan café on campus packages it’s paninis in paper, although don’t quote me on this).
- Use bamboo toothbrushes with natural fibres (yes, they are a bit more expensive but when you think about the fact that every single toothbrush you have ever used is sitting in a landfill site, because they aren’t even recyclable, you’ll probably realise it’s worth it) and toothpaste in a pot not an unrecyclable tube!
- Try shampoo bars and soap which don’t come in plastic bottles (try Lush, which also uses all recycled materials and is cruelty free).
- Avoid buying vegetables that come in black plastic, which isn’t commonly recycled, and if you’re really keen go to a green grocers or market where you can buy all your fruit and veg in paper bags (just remember to recycle)!
I’m not expecting that you will make all these changes immediately, but maybe one a month and by this time next year you will have cut out a lot of the single use plastic that you use for food and drink and toiletries. While there are a lot of other things you will use plastic in your life (just think of stationary, cosmetics, clothes and that’s just the start. Plastic is everywhere we look) it’s single use plastic which creates some of the biggest problems.
And whatever you do RECYCLE, separate that rubbish, was that pot out, if it can be recycled there’s no excuse! Let’s make sure we are the reason that the amount of plastic that is recycled increases above the current 10%!
Happy belated Earth Day!