For most people, it is difficult to spend the day without using plastic at least a few times and often without discarding it.
Americans throw away more than 30 million tons of plastic annually-according to the United States, that number continues to grow Environmental Protection Agency.
Only about 8% of that plastic is recycled.
It is for these statistics that some Central Ohio residents are trying to reduce the use of plastics as much as possible. But removing plastic can seem daunting, especially when looking at the fridge and bathroom vanity.
Adria Hall, owner of Westgate’s Sustainable Living Shop Koko, advises people not to be overwhelmed.
“It’s not all or zero,” said Hall, who is constantly finding new ways to reduce the plastic around her. “Sometimes I do it and do it religiously, and sometimes I can’t.”
This month is”Plastic free July“The global move to shut down disposable plastics, hall businesses, and other sustainable stores like Dublin’s Reuse Revolution tells people to try something small to affect plastic pollution. Encouragement. Organizations like Green Bexley have been hosting programs on this topic for a month.
Some Central Ohio citizens shared their efforts to lead a more plastic-free life.
Growing your own garden can reduce the use of plastic
Diane Kadonaga has long taken her reusable shopping bags to supermarkets, refused plastic straws at restaurants, and carried her tools.
But it wasn’t until she started her backyard yard six years ago that she really noticed a reduction in plastic usage.
Initially, North Linden residents needed cheaper options for organic fruits and vegetables, so they started a garden area now known as the “perennial edible forest.”
“Growing what you eat really reduces the amount of plastic,” said 57-year-old Kadonaga, citing that foods such as shiitake mushrooms and mushrooms that grow red wine cup varieties are always wrapped in plastic. I did.
Cooking most foods at home is not only healthy for her, but also helps her mission to not use plastic.
“When I saw the plastic in the trash, it was mostly a potato chip bag-like treat,” Kadonaga said. “Now I grow my own potatoes and make my own potato chips.”
She loves popsicles, so she uses molds to make herself. She harvests beeswax from the urticaria in the backyard to create beeswax wrap. This is a popular alternative to Seran and other plastic wraps.
When she has to buy goods from a grocery store, she tries to buy something like peanut butter in a glass jar.
“The jars I have are completely mismatched, but I reuse them to make jams and spices,” she said. “Everything I choose, I’m thinking, how can I reuse it?”
She said she enjoys learning more about topics such as gardening and beekeeping, although many would call her efforts time consuming or inconvenient.
“I chose a lifestyle that costs little, and I can do everything I like,” she said.
A shift in thinking about the use of plastics
Kelly Brin’s children have been a major catalyst in her and her husband Matt’s mission to reduce the use of plastic.
“I started thinking about how the plastic we have today is there for our kids, their kids,” said 39-year-old Westgate. Brin, the two mothers, said. “I don’t like it.”
Places where they began to eliminate plastic included a grocery store (they bring their own bags) and a coffee shop (Brin uses her own mug).
She is shopping at a local farmer’s market trying to get the fruits that are usually sold in small plastic containers inside the store.
Instead of individually wrapped items, she uses silicone or cloth bags for on-the-go snacks and children’s lunches. She puts hand soap in a glass jar at the refill.
“There are areas where I’m more successful than others,” she said. “We definitely still have plastic.”
Meat that has not yet been wrapped in plastic can be difficult to find and she wants to switch to powder soon, but still uses a wrapped dishwasher soap pod.
“We look at all the different parts of our lives and see where we can be less,” she said. “It’s a shift in thinking.”
It was also important to get her children involved in the process early.
She recycles a piece of paper laminated with what the city of Columbus says in a kitchen where her son and daughter can see it.
“They can see it and make good choices,” Brin said. “Even a 4-year-old can learn what plastic looks like in a landfill.”
Rebecca Ness is trying to wear plastic, especially in grocery stores, to focus on places where plastic can be eliminated from life, such as lunch for two children and the bathroom.
The lunch box does not contain stainless steel plastic bags or disposable items.
“I have applesauce in a big jar,” said Bexley’s 48-year-old Ness. “There is no plastic to eat and throw away three crackers.”
She said her bathroom was about 95% plastic-free.
She uses refills like Coco and resources from the Reuse Revolution to make that possible. Some areas of the bathroom were easier than others. It took me a while to find my favorite toothpaste that wasn’t in a plastic tube.
Her hair styling product, however, despite its packaging, she is willing to let go.
“It’s such a personal journey,” Ness said. “Some are easier to give up than others.”
She is working on making pantry less plastic with glass jars of dried foods such as rice and reducing the plastic in toy boxes.
She wants to buy second-hand children’s toys and support companies like Lego working to find solutions to plastic problems.
When families order takeaway, they usually only order from where there are compostable containers or offer alternatives such as cardboard boxes.
“The family is so busy that I understand they want convenience,” Ness said. “But this is also about the world we want our children to have.”
Hall’s journey to life low in plastic is steadily rising.
“We can’t undo this once-in-a-lifetime learning habit,” Hall said with a finger.
Fortunately for the two mothers of Westgate, Hall grew up with a mother who instilled a sustainable habit of reusing Mason jars and limiting the use of paper towels.
But when she became a mother six years ago, she began to pay more attention to the climate crisis and the world she wanted to leave a boy.
She was happy to find a non-toxic baby product, but wondered how she found it in a plastic package.
She used cloth diapers with her eldest son, but she didn’t use them because her life was so busy.
“I’m very open to the audience and every journey looks and changes differently at different times in your life,” Hall said.
She said she felt that items like toiletries didn’t have the same thing, although some local stores had great bulk food choices.
In May 2020, Hall decided to open Coco in Westgate. She currently has three refills in the area.
Hall said he is trying to pay more attention to bringing pre-packaged cleaners home. Especially when you’re done with bottles and buckets and have no other use.
And she covers half of the avocado with an item like beeswax wrap.
She said that some of her methods require upfront costs, but save money in the long run.
“Two years from now, Hall said with beeswax wrap.” How many rolls of Saran wrap or minigrip bag do I need to buy? ”
However, Hall warns that even if you’re in business, you don’t have to spend $ 100 on a new product to reduce the use of plastic. This is a cost barrier for many.
“The most sustainable thing you can do is use what you already have,” she said.
Tips and tricks for reducing plastic waste
1. Look at yourself first and don’t worry about what’s happening around you.
“Thinking about the impact can cause environmental insecurity and overwhelm guilt,” Adria Hall said. “I control what I can control.”
2. Start small and start in the place that is most integrated into your daily life.
“People need to feel successful in something,” said Diane Kadonaga. “Choose one thing to do and post it on social media to be accountable.”
3. It’s about progress, not perfect
“It will take a while to learn new habits and start finding new brands,” said Rebecca Ness. “It will take time, but you are moving in a more sustainable direction.”
4. Think twice or three times before buying anything.
“How can I buy something else?” Kelly Brin said. “Can I buy 5 pounds of berries in bulk or in a 12 ounce plastic container? Can I grow or produce them at home? Should I buy them new or second hand?” ? “
5. Perform a waste audit.
“What’s in my trash can’s really appealing,” Hall said. “What do you throw away the most? Is it a single use? Choose one small area to try like a New Year’s resolution.”
Want to go without using plastic?Here are some suggestions from Columbus residents:
Source link Want to go without using plastic?Here are some suggestions from Columbus residents: