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We’ve all heard about the plastics problem and its devastating impact on our planet. But have you ever considered going plastic-free for just one day? Bestselling author A.J. Jacobs decided to take on the challenge and see just how difficult it would be to avoid plastic for 24 hours. The result? It was almost impossible.
Source: PBS NewsHour/Youtube
In an article for The New York Times, Jacobs detailed his attempts to go plastic-free and the numerous obstacles he encountered. From his iPhone to the subway seats to his mattress and pillows, plastic seemed to be everywhere. Despite his best efforts, he ultimately failed, making 164 violations by his count.
So, what did he learn from this experiment? Jacobs realized that while it may not be possible to eliminate plastic from our lives, small steps toward reducing our use of it can make a difference. “It’s not about perfection; it’s about progress,” a social scientist named Dr. Gabby Salazar told him.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the plastic problem, but it’s important to remember that every little bit helps. Whether bringing your own cloth bags to the grocery store or opting for paper straws instead of plastic ones, small changes in our daily habits can significantly impact us in the long run.
As Jacobs noted, “individual behavior does matter. It adds up.” So, let’s all make a conscious effort to reduce our use of plastics and do our part to protect our planet.
Delighted to go on my friend podcast SuperPsyched to talk about topics big and small., and some medium-sized as well. https://t.co/QQJfwvdi9D
— A.J. Jacobs (@ajjacobs) January 1, 2023
According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight). Plastic Pollution is not only unsightly, but it’s also deadly to marine life. Turtles, whales, and birds mistake plastic for food and ingest it, often with fatal consequences. Plastic debris can also entangle and suffocate marine animals.
Plastic Pollution is not just a problem for marine life; it also affects human health. Plastic waste can leach chemicals that are harmful to human health, and plastic particles have been found in tap water, bottled water, and even in the air we breathe.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic Pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic Pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
- Miss USA Wore a Sustainable Homemade Swimsuit Cape Made of Plastic Bottles
- Whales Consume Three Million Microplastics Per Day, New Study Finds
- England to Ban Single-Use Plastic Cutlery and Plates
- New Lawsuit Targets Toxic PFAS, or Forever Chemicals, in Plastic Food Containers
- Dog Named Scruff Collects Hundreds of Plastic Bottles During His Walks to Clean His Town
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!