I don’t think it is an individual’s intention ever to live a life full of plastic and completely full of debris and waste; however, no human is perfect and we all have been trained to always engage and consume products that are at our convenience due to our hectic and busy lives. The question to be asked though is if you had the opportunity and resources to change, would you? I think most people would answer yes to that question, myself included, because, with the freedom, resources, and opportunities to do better for our world, most people, especially my generation would be willing to take the small steps they need in order to become more plastic-free.
I would consider changing many things, it’s more about the sustainable products cost and the availability to me readily as a college student without a car. However, it is my intention through this class to learn ways to change multiple little things in life that will hopefully transition my patterns and habits into more sustainable options that will continue to influence those directly around me. I do believe that making small changes in my daily life, whether it’s encouraging my friends to buy groceries from the farmer’s markets on Sundays, or consciously choosing to opt-out of straws when dining in, will leave a subtle impact on those around me to slowly change small habits as well that can make a small difference in their plastic consumption habits as well. It’s valuable for humans to make multiple little changes in order to increase sustainability because no matter the size or value of the small contribution towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle, the more sustainability mindset increases.
Deli meat. Deli meat has been the hardest, although not specifically a plastic item, to replace to be completely plastic-free. Whether I am buying the turkey, ham, salami, or whatever it may be, from the shelves lined along with the grocery store or asking for fresh cuts from the actual market within the store, there typically is always some plastic element involved. Whether it be wrapped or packaged, there is hardly anyway I have been able to avoid the placement of one-time usage disposable packaging on my deli meat. Granted, if I was a vegetarian this issue would be completely avoidable; however, experiencing life in a big family [Eight people total] deli meat was always a staple as a convenient way to grab a quick source of protein and move forward with the day, and this was done with little to no throughout of the aftermath of the plastic wrappers and containers that all of it was kept
Although there is good news, with many different companies realsing more eco-friendly products, there is hope to create a more sustainable everyday lifestyle. I have created a list of ways to create a less plastic waste lifestyle from Beth Terry’s examples, and have consciously tried to find more reusable and sustainable products when I go shopping.
There was three things this week that I replaced with more sustainable options:
- Fruit– instead of buying fruit in plastic packaging from the grocery store, a friend and I were able to find compile fresh fruits into a small tote bag we had brought last Saturday at the a mini market they had after the Cooper River Bridge Run. This little change of how I receive fruit was not only a fresher and healthier option but also cut out any plastic packaging that would have been used in the production and consumption of fruit at any grocery store. As the market was so close to the dorms I faced no challenges getting the fruit and only reaped benefits from the interaction and will most likely to continue to search out food markets in downtown and strictly buy my fruit from that.
- Milk Jugs– After realizing the amount of milk jugs disposed off, with little ability to fully recycle them into new products, I have moved to buying cartons in hopes to produce less plastic waste overall. I actually found I liked this option more as I didnt necessarily need a full gallon jug of milk complelty for myself and have discovered I actually not only waste less plastic, but food product.
- Ziploc-After going to the store this week I decided to buy some small reusable bags for small snacks and products I take with me from place to place. While I found it more convenient to just throw out a small bag after using it in the trash as I was walking by, making the conscious decision to put it in a reusable, washable bag has made me feel better and more sustainable in my habits overall. From this point forward I hope to continue using this method and get rid of Ziploc all together.
In my advice I would say go for it, make the small changes, only positive interactions with yourself and the world can come from the little things in life!