Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mother Nature Speaks: Give Plastic the Boot

Last week Hong Kong was hit with the largest typhoon since records have been kept. The government called off school for an unprecedented two days without a signal 8 warning. No part of Hong Kong was left unscathed by downed trees, broken glass and more.

Perhaps the larger impact of the typhoon wreckage is how much garbage has been washed ashore. A reminder of just how much we humans consume and then discard. Beaches are strewn with plastic bottles, styrofoam and more. It's disgusting, like Mother Nature has said I've had eough of this shit, now you deal with it.

And I feel like Hong Kongers are beginning to...

But, then we still have those who walk around in oblivion of what's around them, blind to their own consumption of single use plastic, not even paying attention to how they dispose of it. They step over the debris from the storm like it's any old typhoon and don't even think to make a change. It's a thought that is keeping me awake sometimes. Are we too late? Have we wrecked our world for our children?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound so depressing, but those are my honest to goodness thoughts. In our house, we're working hard to rid ourselves of our dependence on plastic and packaging to try to minimize our waste. Just take a peek on my stories at the #ecofamily highlight. You'll see all the things we're cutting out as a family and ways we're changing our habits to teach our children about making healthier choices for the planet.

Watching A Plastic Ocean changed us.

We've always recycled, but we decided we needed to do more.
Here are just some of the changes we've made:

No more ziplock bags (we reuse the big ones we have and have bought Stasher bags for kids lunches)
We have reusable cloth produce bags
We use cloth napkins
We use bar soap
We use cloth hankies
We use beeswax wraps instead of saran wrap
We make sure to buy things in paper or cans where we can
We buy in bulk to eliminate our plastic consumption
We buy package free when we can (Live Zero HK)
We refuse straws and plastic utensils
We bring our own containers for take away
Everyone in the family has a reusable bag they take whenever they go out (just in case)
I've gone zero waste for my periods and I'm teaching the big girl, too (more on this in another post)
I use washable cotton facial pads (no more cotton wool pads)
We're learning to make natural cleaners (vinegar & water)

And the list goes on...

Some days, I feel like I'm on a mission. What unnecessary plastic use can we eliminate next? Other days I feel defeated by the lack of plastic free options forcing us to get things in plastic.

It's an uphill battle, but definitely one that our family is determined to win. And we plan to bring our community along with us on this journey.


briancsmith said...

Thank you all for your dedication and passion. I have noticed the awareness raised around our school community. We have also been making small steps toward reducing our use of and reliance on plastic. Thanks for leading the charge Nolascos!

Sharon said...

I watched A Plastic Ocean this past summer as well, and it spurred me to action with some great conviction. I am working on eliminating plastic entirely, and sticking with my love for all things vintage and thrift as well as investing in sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical brands. I'm also working on using all non-toxic products, it's all quite a lifestyle change. Excited to read that you guys have done the same, your post was educational and I need to research and look for different products!

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