How plastic-free can we live?

One year ago, some smart Finnish people created an event on Facebook called “Muoviton Syyskuu”– Plastic-free September. They wanted to raise awareness to how much plastic waste harms our wildlife. I got invited to this event and I took it really seriously: I did not directly create any plastic waste during that month. It was hard, but it was possible. Even when a friend offered me cookies from a plastic package I politely said no thank you.

This year I’ll do it again, but I also will not be completely that strict. I’ll just pay extra attention to not producing plastic waste this month. I am actually trying to pay extra attention to reducing any kind of waste, carefully keeping my keep cup with me at all times. I haven’t taken a plastic bag in two years so that isn’t even a challenge anymore. Check in every now and then this month to get tips about a how to minimize your waste!

There were a few but very necessary areas where it is particularly hard to avoid plastic packaging: toothpaste and toilet paper. They seem to be packed in plastic everywhere, and I prefer not to live without them. Things that are not so necessary but still nice to have, that also seems to always come in plastic is makeup. My solution is to use less makeup, therefore saving on plastic too.

I would be really happy for comments, what do you think? How plastic free can we live? What disposable plastic-products would you never give up?

When it comes to food it’s possible to minimize the packaging material. Get rid of the habit of putting fruits and vegetables in a plastic bag. Buying a kilo of potatoes and you don’t want to put them loosely in your tote bag (which is actually possible too)? Use a re-usable bag for them, make one yourself or buy one from here! Eating fresh vegetables is really good for our health, so shifting your diet from meat more to vegetables reduces waste and is good for us. Make your own food from scratch instead of buying processed food! Buy products packed in recyclable carton packages. Even the ones with aluminum on the inside can be recycled.

Why is it important to minimize waste, especially plastic waste? Plastic bags sadly often ends up in nature, creating disastrous effects for fish and birds who suffocate from trying to eat plastic. This happens in Finland too. Three days after Wappu this year I could still pick up various plastic things at the beach: bags, plastic forks, bottles, candypapers etc. They never decompose, possibly harming an animal 50 years after the person who left the plastic rubbish there has died. Secondly, by reducing waste there will be less traffic. The less material we ship around, either to stores or landfills the less vehicles with emissions. Plastic is also made from oil, so if we use less plastic we need to drill less oil. Check this out to see how horrible things oil drilling can result in…

I always try to be optimistic: by making small changes, buying a little less disposable plastic we contribute to a better future. By simply choosing not to buy your tomatoes in a plastic bag or a box you already made a decision that counts.

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