Early this year, National Geographic published a cover that went viral for showing that the plastic bag akin to how an iceberg is usually portrayed. And that’s the truth, plastics are becoming a huge problem these days.
Time is running out and it’s predicted by 2050, there’ll be more plastics than fish in the oceans. Moreover, money can’t help but real efforts by each of you can.
Image by nationalgeographic.com.au.
If you think it has nothing to do with us, here’s a fact to digest. Plastics never truly disintegrate. Instead, the plastics will decompose into smaller pieces called microplastics. Later, small sea creatures and fishes will eat the microplastics. Birds and larger fish will then consume these smaller fishes. And guess who’s the lucky winner eating the bigger, seemingly delicious fishes? You of course.
This video below depicts how a salesgirl is asked to serve free sushi with plastics. In the video, people complain about the dangers of having plastics in food.
But do you know that microplastics are likely to be present in the seafood we are consuming these days? Even our drinking water is contaminated too. In small amount, they won’t be dangerous. But in long term, you surely understand the impact.
While we used to learn the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, there’s the more wholesome concept of 5 R’s. You choose instead to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. So what are they?
First, start by saying no to single-use disposables. Examples are bags, straws, cutlery and cups. You can also opt to say no to junk mail and promotional freebies among others. Don’t take the fragrance and makeup samples, head to the stores to check out more varieties.
Other than that, buy in bulks in which items are not packaged separately. Shop at local markets. Get free water refills for the water bottle, go to cafes accepting reusable cups and dine at places that use reusable containers.
Secondly, reduce your consumption. Let go of household items no longer of use. Then, donate or sell those. You get to remove clutter and increase space in your home.
Focus on what you really need to buy. Be careful with fast fashion, cheap electronic gadgets and processed foods. Let yourself think about shopping for one or two days before purchasing. You’d even save money!
The third thing you can do is to use reusable items instead. As an example, if you know you’re a frequent visitor to cafes and Starbucks, get yourself your own reusable coffee cup and straws instead.
Meanwhile, this R of reuse also includes repair. Repair your items such as clothes with buttons torn off instead of buying a new piece of clothing.
Next, don’t throw your contact lens casings and small medicine cases away. Repurpose them to keep your rings, earrings and necklaces.
Furthermore, you can even repurpose your kitchen scraps. Just turn them into healthy fertilisers for your plants through composting.
After you have followed each step above, and still have wastes left, don’t worry! Just proceed to recycle them. Sort them out accordingly and rinse off dirt and stains.
Nowadays, almost everything made from metal, wood, most plastics, paper and cardboard, and electronic e-waste can be recycled.
There you have it, the five easy steps for a better waste management and healthier lifestyle! Why a healthier lifestyle? By doing your part in reducing the amount of waste thrown, you’re minimising the risks of microplastics and chemicals to enter your food and drinks.
So, don’t wait anymore but be proactive starting today!