Today we're doing something a little different, and we'd like to talk about plastic, and in particular single use plastics.
And while we all love shopping and are lucky enough to enjoy beautiful homes and lifestyles, there's a problem that we should all be thinking about - plastic pollution!! The good news is it's easy to make small changes in our homes and lives that will actually dramatically change the amount of single use plastic waste we are all producing.
Next Sunday, the 22nd April is Earth Day, and we hope that you'll join with us and make some small changes, that together can make a big difference.
This article helps you understand plastic pollution better and gives easy, actionable ideas for how you can reduce your waste from single use plastics. Click to jump ahead at any time.
Be Informed – Understanding The Impact of Plastics
Leo Baekeland invented the world’s first fully synthetic plastic in 1907 and since then, especially in the last 50 years, plastics have become a huge part of our daily lives.
If you look around you, how many things are made of plastic?
Plastics are everywhere and are they are not biodegradable. Scientists have calculated that the vast majority of plastics ever made are still present in the environment in some form.
One of the worst culprits is single-use plastic. These items are used only once before they are thrown away. Half of the plastic ever produced has been used only once and the estimated decomposition rates of these products are shocking:
|Product Type||Decomposition Rate|
|Plastic food wrapper/container||20-30 years|
|Plastic water bottles||350 years|
|Plastic bags||10-20 years|
|Plastic caps & lids||50-1000 years|
|Plastic utensils||450 years|
|Coffee cup||50 years|
Findings: Ocean Conservancy
It is pretty scary to think that the things that the world uses the most frequently are used for the shortest amount of time and take the longest amount of time to disintegrate.
Due to decades of poor waste management policies and plastic consumption habits, a large amount of plastic waste has been dumped into our oceans. A recent report conducted by the World Economic Forum warns that if our plastic consumption habits continue at this rate, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight).
Be Empowered – Shop Good, Feel Good
Although the future of our planet looks a bit glum, we can each take personal responsibility and make small changes in our day-to-day lives to help end plastic pollution.
There are many alternatives to single use plastic products. From reusable bags to environmentally friendly keep ups, giving up plastic can be as simple as a single choice. A place to start is to pick one single use plastic item in your life and swap it for something reusable.
We have created a handy info graphic filled with a number of alternatives to get you started.
Be Inspired - A Journey To Zero Waste
There are many communities, both online and offline, who share information and resources with each other to help reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. Joining one of these groups or creating one with your friends is a fun way to ensure that you stay on track and continue learning new ways to minimise your impact.
We had a chat with some of the members of the Facebook group Zero Waste about their own journeys.
Brittany from Victoria said that she thought that plastic-free living would be “really hard, time consuming and expensive” however after challenging herself to one month of zero-waste she found that continuing was a “no brainer” as she ended up saving money and living a fuller life.
Kasia from New South Wales shared that she has always been a diligent recycler but is trying to better manage guilt when she sees “plastic being used frivolously”. In an effort to spread awareness, Kasia has engaged her employer to establish recycling programs in her own workplace. She encourages others to do the same.
The general consensus from the community was that they found reducing waste to be simple, satisfying and fun.
Join us – make a change!
In many countries around the world, on April 22nd more than 1 billion people will be participating in Earth Day. This is a day of action where individuals show their support for environmental protection.
In the lead up, we encourage you to start conversations with your friends and family about plastic pollution. We also empower you to use the alternatives to single use plastics.
Every coffee cup counts and every ‘no thanks’ to a plastic bag makes a big difference. Feel empowered to be the change!
Special Subscriber Offer
If you are ready to make a change here are two products that can really help reduce plastic in your household - reusable produce bags & beeswax wrap to use instead of gladwrap.
We are offering 20% off and Free Shipping when you buy more than one of these awesome products to help you reduce the use of in your home. It's a small step but a really positive one - every bit does help.
And in case you were wondering, both Bee Wrappy and Onya are family owned, Australian companies with lots of environmental street cred!
House of Home is an online marketplace. We bring together retailers from across Australia and let you search 80,000 plus products in one location. There’s no place like it.
Sources: oceanconservancy.org | earthday.org | weforum.org | Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel
Hero Image Credit: www.helloglow.co