Recycling simply is NOT enough!
Recycling, especially plastic, is essentially green-washing.
Only a very small percentage of plastic that is sent to the recycling centres are actually recycled. Some plastics are considered to be higher value than others. Most of the time, it is cheaper to produce new plastic than to recycle. Low value plastics are often sent to the landfill or burned.
Then there is the issue of items that are made of multiple bonded materials like cardboard bonded to plastic, or plastic bonded to foil. Some cans and cups even have a thin layer of plastic inside of them.
Plastic that is recycled can only a small number of times before it loses it’s integrity.
Recycling centres vary so much from area to area. Check your local regulations.
The best thing to do is try to reduce your consumption and try to buy the items that involve the least amount of packaging — especially the plastic packaging.
Things last longer!
Non single use items will obviously last longer.
Reusable items are often built sturdier so you can get more life out of them. You can re-purpose items that you have.
Try to buy second hand, as this prevents another item from possibly being tossed away.
You can donate, gift, or even sell items when you no longer need them.
It makes your dollar count!
You save money by not having to constantly replace single use items. There may be a bit more of an upfront cost, but it will more than pay for itself.
The cost is sometimes higher because of ethical materials and labour.
Buying less is important too.
Making your items last and re-purposing items you already have not only saves you money, but prevents waste as well.
When buying new items, support companies who are striving to wards sustainability and protecting the environment.
Don’t forget to check out thrift stores, charity shops, yard sales, or even Facebook sale groups.
Buying second hand is usually easier on the wallet too!
You are reducing your impact!
By consciously making an effort to reduce your waste you are reducing your impact on the planet and it’s resources. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant. Everything you buy or use comes from something and it doesn’t simply vanish.
Change starts with YOU!
Yes, big corporations need to be held accountable.
Support businesses who strive towards being environmentally responsible.
Buy local. Support sustainable companies.
Vote with your wallet.
But individual actions add up.
If 100 people use reusable bags, then that’s at least 100 plastic bags that aren’t being used. The more people who strive towards a zero waste lifestyle, the more people there are who can petition the corporations to act responsibly.