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How I’ve said NO to plastic in December?

Emilia - 21/12/2019 - 0 comments

In November I’ve started a transformative journey that made me aware of the impact that my choices affect nature and my community. It started in the world’s largest island Greenland, where for 8 days I have lived with 40 other European youngsters discussing carbon footprint, climate change and how to take meaningful action to protect our home, Terra. The meeting “Back to Greenland” has been funded through Erasmus+ Programme.
The striking moment for me was the trip to Ice Cap, where locals and experts share with us that ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss are much higher than was predicted in the comprehensive studies of global climate science. I hear daily about climate change, yet, only when I’ve been there, staring at the melted ice sheet, I understood the gravity of the situation.
I’ve returned back home and I understood that I was equally responsible for this and I have to extend my efforts towards environmental protection.
So, I have decided to start a 30 days challenge where, as much as possible, I will reduce the quantity of plastic I use.
I’ve made excuses in the past about why living without plastics would be too difficult, too expensive, or downright impossible to do while traveling part-time. No more excuses.
Want some tips to find out how you can reduce plastic waste? The good news is, anyone can get involved. You can start out small, or really challenge yourself as I did!

Cosmetic products
That was the biggest adventure since most of the shampoo bars or toothpaste jars are packed in plastic. Nonsense, right? So I’ve searched a lot on the internet, in dedicated Facebook groups and in shops until I’ve found the ones without plastic. With this occasion, I’ve bought my first bamboo toothbrush that works just fine so far, even though I have ongoing orthodontic treatment.

The best part is that I’ve said good-bye to all processed food and I’ve had access only to fresh food. However, since there are not so many shops where you can buy your food in bulk, I’ve carefully searched for certain products and created a routine.
Before going weekly to buy the food, I prepare my backpack with reusable shopping bags made out of textiles, different sizes casseroles and jars. This helps me go directly to the bulk areas and avoid the packed products. Ask the seller to add even the cheese, cream, olives and other products you love directly in your casseroles. Most of the times they will accept. You just need to find the right shop, but once you find it, your life becomes very easy. The reason why I go only once a week at shopping is that I write my weekly menu in advance so I buy only the things that I need for cooking and avoid food waste. Besides, I gain a lot of time and I manage pretty well with my finances too.
Regarding fruits and veggies, I instantly avoid everything that is plastic packed and go directly to the bulk ones. It’s such a pity that most of the bioproducts are packed with plastic so I’ve had to just stay away from them. Regarding tea, I only buy the bulk version and I’ve started to reuse my french press. And to be sure that I stay hydrated outside too, I never forget home my reusable bottle.

With clothes was very easy since I am already a fan of minimalism and for the last 2 years I have donated more than half of the things that I’ve owned. Instead, this month I’ve bought my first knitting needles and wool and I am following youtube videos to learn how to knit. It will take a while until I become a pro, however, now I understand why hand-made clothes should cost more and last longer.

I can tell you that starting this challenge late November up to December only reminded me that I shouldn’t buy all those wrapped gifts for friends and instead try to make more time, be involved in common activities and create memories together.

What about you? How could you reduce your carbon-footprint starting today?