Thursday, October 27, 2016

Low-hanging, Eco-Friendly Fruit 3B: Bring Your Own!

In our last post, we covered the Just say no! approach to reducing plastic waste and pollution. Here is the follow-up - the Bring your own! method. The idea is pretty simple. Start looking at the single-use disposable stuff that you encounter all the time and find a way to utilize re-usable stuff instead. Somebody on the Mesquite Hugger staff went a little powerpoint crazy and cooked up a few examples for you:

When you are looking for easy (and cheap) ways to go green, BYO! is a biggie. Really, you can reduce, reuse, and recycle all in this one step. Just find reusable things to take with you. I am a big fan of Mason jars. (Are you planning to bring home leftovers? Put them in a jar. Wanting a to-go beverage? Put it in a jar. Shopping from the bulk bins for granola? Put it in a jar - but be sure to register your tare weight. Need a way to keep your phone dry when you are biking home in the rain? Put it in a jar!) I also find that thrift stores and garage sales offer up some amazing re-usables at very low prices: cups, plates, bags, silverware. The list goes on and on. And it keeps stuff out of the landfill and uses up fewer natural resources. Win-win!

The goal here is to stop promoting single-use plastic. Straws, bags, Styrofoam, lids, and drink cups are just a few items that get trashed by the millions every day. Do you want to see how you're doing on this? Make a trash journal. Pick a time period (a day, a week, a weekend) and take a quick note of everything you throw away (and/or recycle). Prepare to be a bit stunned. After you've made your list, look through it. What could you have said no to? What could you have brought with you?

Are you up for a more ambitious project? Try the No Impact Project Experiment. Me, I am not that ambitious, but I do find it very helpful to keep track of how much plastic (and paper) waste I am producing. It helps me to find more mindful ways to live and do less harm.

So, which Bring Your Own! items have you thinking? What simple steps can you to take to stop consuming plastic (and other petroleum products)?

May you Just say no! and Bring your own! way to a much healthier world for us all.