It’s taken me a while to truly convert and live more of a waste free lifestyle. Recently, I have been looking at statistics, reading stories and becoming more aware of this global issue of the over use of plastic. My heart has become so passionate toward this and I want to do every little thing I can to reduce my waste, I hope this post inspires you to do the same.
My goal is to strip my life back to basics in all areas, and although society is extremely advanced, I believe living simply, minimally and carefully is the very least we can be doing to honor God with this beautiful planet he has created for us to live on.
“A Cuvier’s beaked whale was found malnourished and dying off the coast of Norway. Experts had to put the animal down as it was in such poor condition and the autopsy showed a terrifying 30 plasic bags and a large amount of plastic packaging with labels in Danish and English in its stomach and intestines, causing bloackages and pain.” – Surfers against sewage.
Below I am going to re-post some statistics found on the ocean crusaders website that are truly shocking and heart breaking in every sense of the word.
“It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year. This translates to about a million bags every minute across the globe, or 150 bags a year for every person on earth. And the number is rising.
• 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found. • Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic. • A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from the bag will decompose and the bag will be released, another animal could harmlessly fall victim and once again eat the same bag. • The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 & 1998 were made more severe because plastic bags clogged drains. The government has now banned plastic bags. • In Ireland they introduced a 15c plastic bag tax and reduced their usage by 90% in one year. It is now 22 cents. • The #1 man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags. • There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean. • It can take anything between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up. I mean break up as they break up into smaller pieces. They don’t break down and those that do, break down into polymers and toxic chemicals. • It takes just 4 family shopping trips to accumulate 60 shopping bags. • World wide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day. • Every year, 6.4 million tonnes are dumped into the ocean. This is the same as 3,200 kilometres of trucks each loaded with garbage. • At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion. • Ocean acidification is a growing problem • Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life organisms can now grow.”
We have the power to change these statistics, make an extremely big impact on our planet and give the wild life a chance to live a full life in our vast and beautiful ocean.
I have compiled a list of 10 simple ways you can start making a change and reducing your waste!
Metal Straws! This one is so simple, so effective and extremely affordable. I purchased 4 metal straws off amazon and they came in the sweetest little plastic free pouch.
Metal drink bottle + reusable keep cup! You’ve probably heard this one MANY times before but I had to list it. We can’t drink water straight from the tap because it makes us sick. We eventually want to install a filtration system in our tap but until then, we use a filtration system we keep in the fridge. It has decreased our use of single plastic bottles significantly and we never get sick from the water anymore. WIN!
Soap + Soap holder! It’s easy to reach for convenience when you are doing your shopping but a great way to reduce your waste is to buy a bar of natural, non-fragrant (fragrance messes with your hormones, reduce it as much as possible) soap with biodegradable packaging, oppose to a bottle of soap. Another amazing product I came across recently was this epic soap holder, not only does it make your soap bar last longer, it exfoliates your skin and helps circulation while you wash. The brand is called Bass and I have been using this product for about a month now and absolutely love it.
Bags! This is a really easy switch with a huge impact. It takes a while to get into the habit of bringing your reusable bags and I admit I do forget mine sometimes BUT if you have a bunch in your car, you’ll be good to go. I have also started using reusable produce bags to ensure I’m using as minimal plastic as possible when it comes to shopping. I have found America have an amazing bulk section in most health food stores but they fall short because they only give you plastic bags as an option to place your bulk items in. Ideally you can bring your own glass jars or you can purchase some brown paper bags to fill with bulk items.
Storage! I’m sure you’ve all heard of the stasher bag brand and the amazing storage options we have readily available to us now! Again this is such a simple swap. I understand the initial investment can be intimidating to your bank account but in the long run it is more sustainable and will end up saving you SO much money. I’m so excited to purchase the reusable bags and glass/metal containers for food storage.
Along with this, another simple swap can be to use glass jars to store your bulk items in.
Metal Razor! This one is a recent discovery for me and I am so excited about it. I think it is such a great idea and such a perfect way to minimize un-nesacary waste in your home. It is also more cost effective depending on how often you shave your legs. I’m a once a week kind of girl and you only need to change the blade every few weeks so this is definitely going on my wish-list.
Menstrual Cup! This is one of my favourite eco friendly swaps yet! Not only does it make your period a more comfortable/ pretty much non existent experience for you, it's better for your body and for the environment. This one is a no brainer for me.
I use a diva cup and I would 100% recommend them to every single woman! Here are a few wild, shocking and horrifying facts women need to be made aware of.
Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives. That’s a bunch of stuff you don’t want near or inside your body!
Most pads contain polyethylene plastic whose production is a pollutant.
Traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen) and the synthetic fiber rayon are also found in tampons. Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process in the manufacturing of tampons and the synthetic fiber rayon can leave residue in the vaginal wall, leading to possible risk of infection and overall discomfort.
In landfills, many of these substances can leach into the environment (groundwater, streams and lakes) causing serious pollution and health concerns.
These are direct word for word facts from the diva cup website.
Live minimally! I understand everyone’s concept of a minimalistic lifestyle is different and I totally get that it’s not for everyone but I really believe we live in a materialistic, self focussed world and I hate it. Learn to be comfortable with less. This means less clothes because a lot of them end up in land fill, it means supporting local farmers, it means taking shorter showers, it means supporting eco-friendly brands even if they are a little more expensive, it means regularly getting rid of clothes that no longer serve you, it means shopping second hand and up-cycling clothing items, it means going without all the materialistic crap you really don’t need to fill your life with “joy”.
Less is more!! These honestly are really simple ways you can start living more of an eco-friendly life. I’m not saying you have to go cold turkey and change everything straight away, it is a transition +process but even if you just change one thing, you are still making such a huge impact on our environment. A little goes a long way. I really hope this post encouraged you and got you thinking about the changes you can be making as an individual to better our planet!