The Millennial Mermaid: #PlasticFreeJuly and beyond

Continuing from the last week’s discussion on taking the plastic free alternative in our daily consumer habits, here are other suggestions we can immediately do to become a solution and be plastic free this July (and the rest of the year).

Instead of using the black plastic garbage bags, use old newspapers to line up your garbage bins. You can use as many layers as needed. Old newspapers need recycled anyway and are biodegradable too.

For the doggy parents, we buy those plastic doggy doo bags where we place our dog’s waste. A plastic free alternative to this is again, newspaper! It’s cheap and biodegradable.

One of my personal favorite non-edible items in the kitchen is clingwrap. It’s clean and can easily be wrapped on anything you want to eat for later. I’m changing my preferences now, in favor of the plastic free choice. Instead of wrapping in plastic, I place them in reusable food containers, fabric wraps or paper bags.

As with almost all things in supermarkets, milk comes in plastic containers. Look for milk in refillable glass bottles or in carton boxes instead. Just be aware though, even if the outside looks like carton. The inside still has plastic lining.

In need of a new hair brush? Opt for one that has wooden or bamboo bristles. It lasts longer than its plastic counterparts. Wooden bristles naturally condition your hair, evenly distributing your hair’s natural oils. Wooden bristles are mostly crafted from bamboo which is a sustainable resource. Quickly grows after being harvested and thrives even in damaged soil.

For the parents, one action we can take is buying less disposable diapers and using more cloth nappies or looking for a plastic-free one. Imagine how many babies are there in the world? That’s the amount of trash we produce just for taking care of our babies’ waste and when thrown carelessly, these end up in our oceans.

I remember when I started surfing, I wouldn’t care where I’d surf just as long as there would be waves that would carry me. There’s a spot notorious for its filth and for its easy access to waves in the city. One of my greatest fear would be wiping out and surfacing to breath, only to find myself face to face with a used diaper floating only inches away! Worst nightmare ever!

Buying from local businesses where most of the time, the packaging is at a minimum, even using sustainable materials, are better for us. We create a community that helps each other. Humans helping other humans make businesses sustainable and at the same time, helping the environment.

Sometimes, I’d think it wouldn’t be fair to exert so much effort in reducing waste and segregating trash when other people just don’t care about what they throw away. But every single time, I’d see the effects of pollution in the places that I care about, I say to myself that every effort is worth it.

Let’s celebrate small victories. One small change in our actions each day becomes habit. I still hope for the day where we don’t need to remind people where to throw their trash and what products to avoid. I dream of the day where companies large and small think of sustainable ways to operate, and place a premium on the use of sustainable resources.

You can also check out www.plasticfreejuly.org to learn practice steps on how you can be plastic free for life!

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