Beat Plastic Pollution
This year's World Environment Day theme was "Beat Plastic Pollution." Right up my alley, right?? We certainly push the benefits of our BodyGlove Filter Bottle to replace plastic bottle water on the go, and our BodyGlove systems for the home. But, the #beatplasticpollution got me thinking, specifically about single-use plastic that our family uses. I mean, I am ANTI-bottled water, but what about all the other stuff??????? Not so much.
I grew up in Southern California, where environmental concerns were at the forefront even 30 years ago. We were raised never to pollute the ocean and campaigns like "Keep Tahoe Blue." I always cut the six-pack, plastic ring, soda packaging because I didn’t want it to end up in the ocean hurting a fish. We saw the trash and crap that washed up on OUR beach at it was sad.
Personal Plastic Inventory
Fast forward, after settling in land-locked Colorado, I have become complacent, not really noticing plastic and just buying whatever, regardless of the packaging. The giant ocean trash patch and marine life dying from ingesting plastic garbage are real things and real problems. It’s just easier to ignore when you don’t see the ocean each day. We have a large family, a whole gaggle of kids, and we can accumulate a lot of trash. So, I experimented on myself and took a “Personal Plastic Inventory” of my weekend. Mind you these are only the things I can remember, so you know there is more!
Newspaper first thing Saturday AM, in a plastic bag. I know. I still get the paper and love it. Call me a dinosaur. They always wrap the paper in a plastic bag now. I remember growing up they only did it when the forecast called for rain. At my favorite local flea market, I had Panera for breakfast. My bagel was on a regular plate, regular knife but the cream cheese was in 2 little plastic containers. I got my coffee-to-go which of course has a plastic top. I found this impressive garden statue circa 1930. Since it is old, it is solid concrete, not the plastic resin crap they make now. So that was a score. When I bought some dresses, I did decline the bag, putting the goods in my stroller. Kettle corn was smelling my name, and that was in a plastic bag.
Next was Whole Foods. My milk, sushi for lunch, pre-cut mango chunks, buns for hamburgers, and prewashed lettuce, all in big bulky rigid plastic containers. Even my bulk peanut butter had to go in a plastic bottle of course. Plastic produce bag for my potatoes. I did skip the bag for my avocado and tomato. And I forgot my reusable shopping bags. Damn. But they supply paper at WF.
It was hot, and the kids had fun playing outside. Drank Gatorade. Honesty, I think they each had at least two, and for the three of my kids that partook, that’s at least six plastic bottles, and one of my little stinkers loves to drink and get a new straw out with each drink.
Dinner preparation with Blue Apron. All that packaging!! Its so amazing though and delicious and most of the stuff is recyclable. We used paper plates for dinner. Not plastic, but still extra trash for the dump.
Another newspaper bag….washing strawberries for breakfast I did lament over the two large plastic containers holding the berries. Whatever happened to those cute green cardboard ones? Grocery shopping at King Soopers again - my broccoli, snap peas and mushrooms were in plastic containers. My cucumber was wrapped in plastic, baby carrots and big carrots all in plastic bags. The peonies I bought for a friend covered in plastic. And I forgot my damn bags AGAIN. Four months post-partum. Can I still blame this on baby brain??
We planted our garden…then the hubby ran to the garden store to get our tomatoes, peppers, etc. Some were in the biodegradable cups, some in plastic. Note to self - buy all bio cups next year.
WEEKEND PLASTIC INVENTORY LESSONS LEARNED:
Things I am doing good:
- I’m a BodyGlove filter water lover of course and always use this to fill my Hydroflask and Yeti SS bottles & cups
- I love to use my Planetbox to pack my hubs and kids lunch so no plastic baggies
- I LOVE using my Life Without Plastic SS cups and plates for the kids instead of plastic kiddie crap.
- I am now paying much closer attention, that’s half the battle I am sure.
Things I am doing bad:
- I fall into the “easy way out” trap with pre-packaged stuff
- I buy lots of single serve items and snacks for the kids out of convenience.
- Just figured plastic is OK as long as I recycle, but now am taking the time to remember all the crude oil that goes into just making the plastic itself.
- I forget and don’t plan and bring my reusable bags.
- I have plastic straws for the kids. Will NOT buy again after my recent research.
- Plastic silverware for lunches out of convenience.
- Buying premade electrolyte drinks in plastic bottles when I can make my own with filtered water or REHYDRATE from my friend @mytrainerjill.
- Signed up for FinalStraw
- Put reusable bags in the car so can’t forget them next time
- Buy reusable produce bags and reusable snack bags for the kids
- Make better choices when available. Ex: buy the mushrooms in the cardboard, not the plastic box
- Make electrolyte pitcher each day for kids to tap into quickly.
- Join the #plasticfreetuesday campaign and DO IT
- Shop at Farmers markets this summer because they will sell without packaging
- Lack of time (No more prepackaged, prewashed and pre-cut items).
- I do the online shopping thing most of the time from a local grocery. I pull up at the store; they load my car with the plastic baggies. Wonder if I can swap it out right then and there and put in my reusable bags??
Little things add up! Let's all do a self-check and look at what we can do to use less plastic. With my big family, I want to do something drastic and cut the plastic! With all the plastic pollution taking its toll in the world, let's beat plastic pollution.
Open for any great ideas from you! Email me email@example.com or DM on Instagram
Michele Avignon Gravina
Water, Inc. Brand Ambassador
& newfound single-use plastic hater and straw refuser!