Who is responsible for our plastic addiction?
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Katy Perry says you're a firework, even if you feel like a plastic bag. But readers, let's empathize—plastics are used and abused. But, don’t fret, it’s not too late to save the turtles.
Here’s what we’ll cover step-by-step:
It’s time we rain on this plastic parade and shift toward a plastic-free future together!
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
How is our plastic addiction impacting our planet? It’s time to face the hard plastic facts. They're all taken from two articles—one on plastic pollution and another on recycling and ocean trash. Both are fairly short reads from National Geographic, so check them out for yourselves!
You’ll learn that:
It’s no exaggeration that plastics are impacting our ecosystems and are leading to macro problems. However, there are much more caveats to the issue.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Cheers to more plastic facts! Here’s an episode from Science VS on plastic, starting with a simple question about a plastic straw. Listen and save a turtle here!
This episode's lovely host, Wendy Zukerman, asks four questions that originated with all the buzz around straws:
You’ll learn that:
Although the plastic problem is growing substantially, we have SO much power that we often forget about. It’s not too late!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
Here are some tips to ultimately remove plastic from your daily life. It’s ok to start small—action is better than inaction.
1. Wrap your food with the good stuff.
We’re selfishly starting with food-wrapping-related plastic because we’ve realized we use an outrageous amount of Ziplocs and Saran wrap. Three suggestions: put your food in reusable containers even if it's an awkward half-lemon, buy beeswax food wrap like Beeswrap, or use reusable silicone wraps like the ones Stasher sells.
2. Stop getting produce bags at the grocery store.
This is the low-hanging fruit of eliminating plastic from your life. You really don't need produce bags unless you're buying in bulk. If that's the case, Ecobags to the rescue!
3. Try the two-bag rule.
ALWAYS have grocery bags in your car. If you don't have a car or you live in a city, try the two-bag rule (yup, we made it up). Take two reusable bags to the grocery store and keep them at arm's reach from your front door. This means you never have to spend mental energy calculating bags, and it’ll encourage you to reduce food waste and only buy what you need. If you do forget your bags, use paper during checkout! P.S. Ecobags also has some really cute tote bags.
4. Bulk up. Especially if you cook a lot, buy in bulk!
You might be thinking of Costco, but you can also check out your local co-op or organic store. Buying in bulk helps reduce packaging!
5. Ebay vs. Amazon...
Amazon is notorious for its single-use plastic packaging. Consider buying on Ebay (especially since you can get great deals on pre-loved stuff), Etsy, or these sustainable alternatives to Amazon.
6. Get a cute water/coffee bottle.
There's tons of brands you can choose from that sell reusable bottles. Benefits: you save money, time, the Earth, AND you look way trendier.
7. Buy a safety razor.
We found these razors that range in different body types and budgets. They're metal and it looks like they're a lot more financially sustainable than disposable razors too. You can get one anywhere from $20 to $100 ..
8. Swap out your toiletries.
Lush has shampoo bars and other toiletries that are also made with natural ingredients, but a general Google search will give you lots of options for plastic-free self-care that works for you.
Any action taken to promote a plastic-free future can go a long way, even if corporations aren’t following suit.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
The burden goes far, far beyond our decisions as individual consumers. Increasing our sustainability choices makes a huge difference. However, the blame is not largely on us. We're battling against corporations with power, resources, and influence that often exceeds us. This article talks about how deeply ingrained plastic is in our lives, how we got here, and how this environmental calamity has been kept a secret by large corporations for decades. Spooky.
You’ll learn that:
While we aren’t the ones entirely to blame, we have the power to be conscious of our consumption and hold these corporations accountable.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!