So many factors contribute to making a mind-shift towards living a more responsible life. I’m not talking about being boring and judgemental, I’m referring to our responsibility as custodians of our natural world. For us, it was definitely moving out of the city and to the coast. It is as if our attention transposed from material to natural. One of our main passions is the ocean and the integral part it plays in the fine balance of our whole existence.
Before I completely philosophise my way out of your reading, let me say this: everything we do has an impact on our environment, and I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Plastic Free July is a wonderful campaign for everyone to make a difference by pledging to do one thing to reduce the use of plastic.
What is it so important about eliminating plastic from our lives? It’s such a cheap and easy solution to packaging, storage, furniture, cutlery and crockery. Who is sitting on their thrones and telling us to stop using it?
Well, years and years of plastic accumulation on land and more significantly at sea made such an impact on our oceans and animal life that it simply could not be ignored anymore.
Around 8 million tonnes of plastic went into the ocean in 2010, according to the most comprehensive study of plastic pollution so far.
We go about our daily lives without blinking an eye, it is quick and it needs to be easy. Who wants to wash a cup if you could just throw it in the bin and stand in the queue for another takeaway cup? It is all about convenience; who wants to worry about taking the shopping bags if you can get it at the store.
No-one in their daily life within a period of 10 minutes isn’t touching something that is made of plastic,” said Professor Andrew Holmes, an emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne
Well, have they not developed degradable plastic since I last checked?
The problem is that normal degradation leaves particles that can still be harmful to living things — nanoparticles and microparticles,” said Professor Holmes.
This is not the only problem, because even if bags break down over the course of six months the real problem is the impact it has before this. That is what I am so passionate about, the entanglement of animals such as turtles in this plastic debris.
Dr Wilcox estimates that that between 5,000 and 15,000 sea turtles are entangled each year by derelict fishing gear washing ashore in northern Australia alone.
Then there’s the issue of birds ingesting plastic. The problems are endless, the effects are fatal. Why can’t we as humans see this and do something about it? Most of the time we are not even aware of these devastating statistics, we just go about our daily lives, rushing around and making ends meet.
The shift is inevitable but the timing is imperative. We need to act now, every little bit helps. Our family is committed to doing what we can, to avoid plastic straws, to carry our coffee mugs in our cars on our outings, we do not use any plastic shopping bags anymore (if we forget we have to carry the groceries, hehe).
Plastic Free July gives you the opportunity to make your pledge (and stick to it)
Go to the Plastic Free July website and register your intention:
- To avoid all single-use plastic packaging;
- To target takeaway items (like plastic shopping bags, plastic bottles, straws, and takeaway cups and lids); or
- To go completely plastic-free.
But for all the benefits plastic has given us, disposing of products — particularly those designed to be used only once, such as packaging — has become a major environmental issue. The ocean is full of waste because humans have disposed of it carelessly,” said Professor Holmes.
We are all capable of doing something, just start with where you are with what you have, soon it will become part of your daily routine and before you know it you will have made the mind shift and go plastic free!