Earth Day should be everyday!!
This past year, we have made a huge effort to LOVE on planet Earth! We've cut WAY back on the amount of plastic and paper goods we use and have made a conscious effort to utilize reusable goods when possible. I started thinking about how much we threw away every day, and then thought about how if everyone threw away as much as I did, how much that would be. Think about it! It makes my stomach hurt!!
Here are some interesting statistics:
- 85% of plastic used globally is not recycled.
- 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. According to University of Georgia environmental engineer, Jenna Jambeck, that is enough to line up ‘five grocery bags of trash on every foot of coastline around the globe’. Many developing countries have grown so quickly, but their waste management strategies have not kept up.
- There are five known garbage patches in the world. GARBAGE PATCHES. In the ocean. Trapping marine life. Killing 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals such as sea turtles, whales, and seals, every year.
- According to reusethisbag.com, only 1% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide. (That makes my stomach hurt!)
Think about what you throw away every day. Some say that each American produces 10 times their body weight in trash each year. Does that kind of give you a stomach ache? Now multiply that by 316.5 million, which is the population of the United States of America. I know there are readers in New Zealand, so if you live there, multiply by 4.47 million. For those of you in Argentina, multiply by 41.45 million.
I compiled 9 SUPER EASY ways to produce less waste. I hope you will consider adopting some of these ideas!! PRETTY PLEASE on behalf of myself, our future generations, those who call the ocean their home, and Mother Earth!
1. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. ESPECIALLY places that use plastic bags as their first option. When I remember my reusable bags, I feel like someone should give me an award or a gold star. It has become more of a habit now! Plastic bags are the WORST. They float easily, travel long distances in some cases, and never break down completely in the water. I really like my Scout bag because it is super sturdy and you can fit TONS of stuff in it. They are a little bit more expensive than your typical reusable bag, but will definitely be with you for a long time! Keep your bags by your car or better yet, in your car! Some grocery stores will even give you a discount for using a reusable bag! Whole Foods does!
2. Use your arms if you can! For those small trips, for picking up your prescriptions, for the 12 Picky Bars (those can be stuffed into your purse!!!), you get the idea!
3. Shop in the bulk food section! In highschool, the bulk food section was where I went to buy pounds of sour candy (I mean POUNDS). Now it is a permenant fixture in our grocery store trip. Why are bulk foods so great?
- Bulk foods require less transportation because they can be packed into a truck so densely due to their shape, meaning less carbon impact on the environment.
- They require MUCH LESS packaging. Often times these items can be found on the shelf in a box, and then inside they are in a plastic bag.
- They are also quite a bit cheaper, and can save consumers about 89% according to a study done by Portland State University.
4. Bring your own reusable jars. This will reduce the use of packing one step further! Plus they look pretty, and it is easy to see what you have and how much you have with a quick look before you go to the grocery store! All you have to do is stop by the Customer Service desk and have them weigh your jars before you fill them.
5. Bring your own silverware to work, stop using plastic silverware!
6. Get a refillable water bottle!! Someone who I have known my whole entire life, since the day I was born, name is WOW upside down, drinks bottled water every day. At least she recycles the bottles. You will always find me with my giant SIGG water bottle sticking out of my purse.
7. Stop using plastic baggies!!! I was the worst culprit. TERRIBLE. I am the queen of snacks, I judge purses by how many snacks I can fit in them. My snacks used to go everywhere with me, in plastic baggies. I started thinking about how many I used even just for one packed lunch, then I started thinking about how many people also use plastic baggies. Even though they are small and thin, if everyone used as many as I was, it would create quite a large stack!! Now, we have switched to glass pyrex containers OR fresh fruit that doesn’t need a package.
8. Quit using K-cups!! They are AWFUL for the environment!! Green Mountain has pledged to make K-cups recyclable by 2020, but if only 25% of waste is actually recycled, how many of the K-cups will make it to the recycling bin?? And until then, they will go to the landfill where they will sit for hundreds of years. If you must, use the fillable k-cup. I don’t like k-cups anyways, they were never strong enough, and they are super expensive. Now we use a Chemex, which makes the most delicious coffee I’ve ever made on my own!
9. Here’s the easiest one; stop using straws. I know they are convienent. Maybe sometimes after the dentist, they might be necessary.
10. Use biodegradable poop bags to clean up after your doggies. Did you know that plastic stays in the environment for HUNDREDS of years? Biodegradable poop bags are not that much more expensive than regular ones. At least that is one good thing you can think of when picking up yucky dog poop....
Most of the things we touch on a daily basis are things that we will use for a short amount of time, and then casually toss into the garbage can. Think about that while you go about your day!
How have you celebrated Earth Day? What changes or steps have you taken to reduce your footprint on the Earth? Share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below! Or, post a photo on Instagram, tag me @corrielanderson and use #itsallofit. I would love to hear from you!
p.s. The beauties below were propagated and grew over the winter. I planted them in leftover vegetable bouillion jars and used them as table decor for my husband's birthday! I love these little guys!