Note: Since writing this article, we were elated to see in Tuesday's email from The Hustle that WeWork, who is setting the bar on banning plastics and much more, will be followed by Starbucks and American Airlines in terms of plastic use. Now Starbucks, might we discuss how many paper cups (our trees!) are being used globally every single day?
Long time No Plastics advocates know change doesn’t come easy. Much like changing habits within holistic health, change for the better of our environment takes first and foremost paying attention. It involves a shift in mindset. Our environments play a large part of our holistic health, so at Après Sessions, we are lifelong environmental advocates and activists. We must put attention on all environmental toxins and waste such as plastics, and yes paper, and pay attention to every single time we employ them.
Spending a lot of time in the oceans and mountains, as the decades go by, we have unfortunately seen quite a rise in the appearance of plastics in our great outdoors. From surfing amongst plastic grocery bags in the waters of Southern California, to hiking trails and happening upon plastic silverware and water bottles left in the backcountry of Wyoming, to seeing plastic at the bottom of a pristine lake in the middle of nowhere British Columbia, it seems plastics, single-use and otherwise, are literally everywhere we go. Over the past couple decades, the increase has been nothing but obvious.
And this is only what we actually see!
We have all heard about plastic buildups the size of small countries in the vast waters of Mother Earth’s oceans, tormenting and killing wildlife, not to mention polluting our human bodies and brains.
As we travel spreading our passion for holistic health, our desire to better our environments for our families, teams and everyone we come in contact with, is ever increased. Third world countries and first world countries alike, due to lack of education, have no idea what is happening. Triple-bag those six-packs of bottled water at the grocery check-outs in progressive Oregon and rural Virgin Islands? Sure! Jeez, let’s please stop this madness. Still seeing this mindless offering of plastic bags all over the U.S. at this point is downright ignorant.
But even when we are mindful, the potential for using more plastics when we travel – especially of the single-use variety – goes sky high. We really have to be on top of it.
Here is a brief list on how to Say No to Plastics & Stop the Madness. And if you are already aware of these, how often are you employing them? How can you add a new habit to your list? How might you avoid single-use plastics altogether?!
~ Avoid grocery items in plastic containers
~ Avoid grocery items wrapped in plastics of any kind
~ Bring your own cloth grocery bag to the market
~ Forgot your own grocery bag? Ooops guess you should purchase another one.
~ Ask your local grocery to discontinue use of plastic bags
~ Boycott grocery stores that ignore this request
~ Call and Write your government officials regarding plastic grocery bags. Start local. For example, the city of Los Angeles banned the plastic bag several years ago. If a major U.S. city can make it happen, yours can, too.
~ Look for food items in glass instead of plastic – often they are available. But it’s not the brand you love? Write the brand you love and ask them to end use of plastics.
~ Reuse those same glass jars and containers
~ If you must buy hummus in plastic. Reuse plastic until it falls apart. Yeah it probably won’t for a long long time.
~ Support your local farmer’s market – have yet to visit one that offers plastics
~ Travel with your own coffee mug that can double as a water bottle
~ Travel with your own silverware so that you never have to use plastic to-go ware
~ Own a coffee shop? Offer a deposit for customers to bring back mugs versus offering to-go cups of any kind. BOOM.
~ Avoid plastic straws - preferably all straws - all the time
~ Ask restaurants that automatically serve plastic straws to please ask customers first or even better please stop offering plastic of any kind
~ Avoid purchasing water in plastic bottles – your personal health and the environment’s depends on this.
~ Next time you lose your plastic water bottle, replace it with a bottle made with sustainable material
Short list actually, but a super start. Even for experienced environmental activists, it’s easy to get lazy, we all forget, no one is perfect, but paying attention and becoming mindful can be motivation.
We would not be who we are as people nor as an organization and community without this beautiful environment we have been gifted.
Let’s make great choices. Stop the madness. #SessionIt