April 22nd is Earth Day 2018 and the campaign being highlighted this year is ending plastic pollution. There’s an excellent pdf to read through if you want much more information on how the plastic we produce and throw away is seriously damaging our world, our marine life and ourselves. Here’s the link to the downloadable pdf: Earth-Day-plastic-pollution-pdf.
What can we as individuals do to make a difference?
- If you don’t do already, RECYCLE all your household waste, using the recycling bins provided by your local Council waste department. If you don’t recycle, all your waste goes into landfill and can take hundreds of years to break down – and some of it never does. Leave a nicer present to your children and grandchildren by helping to reduce the mountains of landfill rubbish.
- Much of our plastic packaging comes from food shopping. When you are next at the supermarket, try these suggestions:
- pick the fresh produce which is not wrapped in plastic.
- favour glass and canned packaging over plastic.
- Ask supermarket staff for paper bags to place unwrapped fruit and vegetables in. If we keep pestering supermarkets, they eventually change their ways to retain our custom.
- Take your own reusable non-plastic shopper bags to pack your food at the checkout.
- Ask the supermarket manager when they will be introducing “plastic free aisles” such as those in Ekoplaza Dutch supermarket stores. Plastic-free means using alternatives to plastic packaging – compostable biomaterials made from plants and trees.
- Ask when they will eliminate plastic packaging in their own-brand products, as one UK frozen-food supermarket chain (Iceland) has already pledged to do by 2023.
- Use bio-bags (100% compostable and biodegradable; made from corn starch) for home bin liners and doggy poop bags. I buy mine online but some local Councils have a supply of bio dog poop bags which you can uplift for free.
- If, like me, you don’t like the metallic taste of water straight from the tap, you could consider buying a filter tap for your kitchen sink rather than buying bottled water. I’ve only just started researching these filter taps and they seem very expensive!!! So, the search continues.
- Stop buying antibacterial cleaners, complete with plastic packaging. A study carried out by the BBC television programme Trust Me, I’m a Doctor showed that bacteria grow back within 20 minutes of using antibac products, and that soap and water were much more effective at keeping bacteria at bay for longer. There’s a good article in The Telegraph about this. I’ve also started using bicarbonate of soda mixed with a little water to make a paste. I wipe this all over the surface to be cleaned (it’s great for restoring a stained sink to sparkling white!), leave a few minutes, then wipe off. It’s really effective. If you add vinegar, it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and fizzes as you clean. Who knew cleaning could be such fun.
I hope you’ve found some of these suggestions useful and food for thought. If you’d like to share any of yours with others, please do leave your comments. Anita.