It can be intimidating, overwhelming, and stressful to hear about all of the trash and pollution that is affecting our planet. It often feels like we have to do big things to make a difference. That's not necessarily true! We can start with small changes that are barely changes at all!
Start with using reusable bags rather than plastic bags when grocery shopping. Canvas bags, tote bags, or even Thirty-One bags are perfect to throw in the back of your car and bring when you grocery shop. If you can't afford to buy reusable bags, try to reuse or recycle plastic bags you have received in the past! You can also ask for paper over plastic, which breaks down much faster than plastic in the trash. Millions of plastic bags are used each day. They also take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Whether they end up in landfills or the ocean, they are leaving behind dangerous microplastics that end up in our food and water. They also harm natural wildlife on land and in the water. The more people that make this change, the faster we can rid our planet of plastic bags.
Another dangerous plastic product is plastic straws. Half a billion plastic straws are used each day across the world. These are especially dangerous to wildlife because they are small enough to be eaten by many fish, turtles, and more. It can get caught in their throats, nostrils, and stomachs causing life-threatening health problems. This is one of the most simple and easy things to change. You can simply stop using straws altogether and drink from your cup or buy a metal reusable straw that can be collapsed and carried wherever you go! If you eat at restaurants a lot, make sure to ask for no straws as that is where the majority of plastic straw waste is coming from.
One last easy change is to stop using one-use plastic water bottles. Look into water filters and reusable water bottles. If you don't like the taste of your tap water, filters can provide you with safe, purified water easily! Fill up your reusable water bottle for the day and carry it with you to school, work, or around town. Plastic water bottles are easily one of the most commonly discarded plastic products. Sixty million bottles are thrown away each day. We can change that number!
You have the power to make a difference. It may not seem like it but think about the hundreds or thousands of plastic bags, straws, and water bottles you would save in just a year if you replaced them with reusable products. That makes a difference. And you're just one person. Imagine if 10 or 100 or 1000 people made the switch today. It would change a lot! Make the change for yourself, the planet, our wildlife, and future generations.