World Environment Day is coming up on Tuesday June 5th. The annual conference is being held in New Delhi, India. It's the 46th World Environment Day the first taking place in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.
In 1972, it was the first major conference of it's kind. The first to focus on the development of environmental politics, environmental issues, and encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
Each World Environment Day has a theme, and this year's theme is Beat Plastic Pollution.
A very similar theme to this year's Earth Day which was End Plastic Pollution.
And, National Geographic just released their latest issue called Planet or Plastic where they spent two years documenting the plastic problem.
All this is leading up to the G7 summit in just two weeks which happens to land on World Ocean's Day.
We're currently in, what I like to call, the perfect storm. Awareness on plastic pollution is at an all time high. People are making changes to phase plastic out of their life.
Groups and environmental orgs are helping spread education and awareness. Businesses are stepping up proving the demand for plastic free products exist. Now, we need politicians to step up to help us eradicate the plastic choking our oceans.
If there were ever a time to make a statement and really make a move on plastic, it's now.
Now, we don't have anything against plastic. Plastic is a great material. We just aren't using it properly.
As individuals we wield a lot of power. It's simple supply and demand. When enough people start demanding change the supply is forced to accommodate.
But, not all problems can be solved with individual action. We need groups, businesses, and policy change. But, it all STARTS with individual action.
That's right! It starts with you!!
So, let's go over 10 ways you can join this perfect storm.
1. Go Naked:
Instead of grabbing produce wrapped in plastic, opt for the naked produce. Avoid plastic produce bags too.
Most produce is fine sitting in the cart naked. You're going to wash it when you get home anyways. Just let it breathe!
When at any store, say no to a plastic bag. You can either carry your items out or bring your own bag.
If you have difficulty remembering to bring your bags with you, invest in one or two that clip on your key ring!
3. Say No to Straws:
When going out to eat, ask for no straw with your drink order.
4. Water Bottle:
Before leaving the house, make sure you have a full, reusable water bottle with you.
Phone, wallet, WATER, keys - good to go.
If you like the convenience of having filled water bottles ready to go, buy a set of 6 reusable water bottles and keep them filled with filtered water ready for you to grab.
5. Coffee Routine:
Bring your own cup to the cafe. You can also use the water bottle you have on you for a drink to-go.
If you have the time, sit in the cafe to drink your coffee.
If you brew at home, ditch the k-cups. Go for a refillable k-cup or use a low waste brewing method like a french press or an espresso machine.
6. Think Twice:
A lot of unnecessary plastic waste can be avoided just by thinking through your day, and waiting before making any purchase.
Think twice about what you'll be doing and what you're buying.
Before buying anything ask yourself, "What happens when I'm through with this?"
7. Pack In, Pack Out:
Opt for reusables for your lunch or breakfast. Instead of using disposable single-use items like yogurt cups, buy a big tub of yogurt and split it between several smaller, reusable containers that can be washed.
This will save a ton of packaging!
8. One In, One Out:
I find that a lot of the plastic I accumulate is from buying more and more products without actually finishing the current products I have.
In the bathroom, I have implemented a strict "one in, one out" rule. In other words, I can't buy a new mascara, lipstick, deodorant, or face mask until I complete the one I'm currently using.
This cuts down on a ton of plastic waste and clutter!
9. Say No to Freebies:
Another great way to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste is to say no to freebies. When you go to events people often hand out goodie bags of things you don't want.
A lot of it is plastic, which will clutter your drawers until it's inevitable trip to Goodwill/landfill. Go ahead and skip the whole process by saying no to freebies.
10. Say No to Single-Use:
If it's plastic, ask yourself, "Will I use this more than once?" If the answer is no, try and find a better alternative.
Like with the yogurt cups. A one time single-use serving of yogurt, should be avoided. Instead opt for the large tub that will create many more servings!