We all like it when our house is clean and feel proud when we receive compliments. We all live on this planet. If this planet is our home then why are we not taking care of it? Our oceans are filled with plastic, our air is polluted, and over grounds are contaminated with garbage.
Let’s make it clear that plastic is a creation by the fossil fuel industry. The plastic litter that cannot be recycled is burned causing air pollution. A large portion of plastic litter ends up in the ocean and comes back to us in our food chain through the fish we eat, and a majority is dumped in landfills.
It is difficult to prevent waste when there is a culture of consumerism. We often tend to buy things we don’t need but still buy them because they look “cute” but this is not the only problem. Our biggest problem is that we consume too much plastic every day. How many plastic straws, plastic bags, forks, and plastic cups, do we throw away?
In addition to the culture of consumerism, another problem that causes waste is the lack of importance to family values. What do I mean by this? If you were taught by your parents to keep the house clean when you were a child then why don’t you apply these values you learned as a grown-up in your own house? Instead, we are having big parties at home, and throwing the waste away in the most irresponsible ways. Most of which end in nearby parks or forests. Sounds familiar? It is unacceptable behavior.
Today the amount of plastic waste globally is so much that only recycling will not work because there is new plastic imported every day. The solution is very simple, stop importing plastic which will eventually decrease plastic production. By closing the “tap” (the import of plastic) the management of the existing plastic waste could improve. Then recycling and up-cycling can be actual solutions.
If we are going to wait on the government to do something, it will take forever or may never happen, so we have to take action ourselves, then the government and corporations will take notice. We must realize that as consumers we have the power to demand change from our government and corporations. The earth is our home, and we are killing it. Let’s do something to correct this! So what can we do now?
USE LESS PLASTIC
We can start by taking notice of the amount of plastic we buy. Plastic is everywhere, and it is very difficult in the beginning but it is possible to change. Many countries are starting to ban single-use plastic. Plastic bags are replaced with canvas bags, cotton bags, and tote bags. Plastic straws are replaced with paper, metal, bamboo, or glass straws and plastic utensils are replaced with metal and wooden utensils.
SUPPORT THE CLIMATE STRIKE
Young people are not waiting on the adults to do something about climate change and they are taking action with climate/school strikes inspired by climate change warrior Greta Thunberg Let’s stand with them!
THE TRASHTAG CHALLENGE
The trashtag challenge encourages people to pick a place filled with litter, clean it up, and post before, and after pictures with the hashtag #Trashtag. This challenge helps raise awareness on the amount of plastic waste we have to deal with on a daily basis. This challenge has been around since 2015 but has been recently revived by young people and gone viral. For far too long, viral trends have brought out the worst in us, but this challenge is proof that they can bring out the best in us as well.
What will you do? Let’s share our experiences to learn from each other and contribute to a clean environment for everyone.