Everywhere we look—from food containers to DVD packaging to the insides of our cars—we see plastic. It seems almost impossible to escape, but is there a way to reduce our plastic consumption?
Yes, we can recycle the plastic we use, but it is actually downcycled. Every time plastic is recycled, it gets weaker. Therefore, we will always have the need to make more plastics. However, not all types of plastic are actually recycled. The list varies from city to city.
Why is plastic bad, you may ask? In a nutshell, plastic is made from oil, which is a non-renewable resource. It actually takes more oil to recycle plastic than to make new plastic. Plastic contains all kinds of chemicals from PVC to BPA to phthalates, which help make the material pliable. These chemicals have been known to seep into the foods we eat, causing health issues.
I have always been pretty conscious of how much plastic I use and buy on a daily basis. I’ve decided to ditch the conventional plastic and store my food in glass containers. I always try to buy food or items that have no or very little plastic packaging.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog, My Plastic-Free Life, and was very intrigued by the concept. How could this woman, Beth Terry, eliminate plastic from her life and have a positive impact on the environment?
After further digging on the topic, I realized that the goal isn’t to get rid of all the existing plastics in our homes, but rather to make a conscious effort to look for alternatives to plastics.
On her site, Beth has documented the amount of plastic she has consumed from 2007 until now. I was amazed by the drastic change in the amount of plastic she uses weekly.
Beth challenges her readers to collect all the plastic they use in one week. Once the week is over, they are asked to consider the changes they can make to their own plastic consumption. Is there a non-plastic alternative? Can this plastic item be used less frequently? Can this plastic item be eliminated altogether?
Naturally, I was up for the plastic-free week challenge. So, for the next seven days I am going to collect all the plastic that my husband and I use. At the end of the week, we will analyze our plastic consumption to see where we can make some changes.
I am keeping you in mind of course! I have decided to begin the challenge on Monday, July 18 to give all of you the chance to start with me. Are you up for the challenge? If so, please leave a comment below letting me know you are ready to start the challenge and go to My Plastic-Free Life to read the rules.
In a week, I will be back with my results. How about you? Let’s make a date for next Tuesday, July 25 to give us time to look through all the plastic.
Let’s get this plastic party started!