Plastic : The bigger picture
Like many others for a long time I had not given much thought about how much plastic I was using. There has been so much change in attitude towards our health, our eating habits and what we use on our skin over the past few years but not enough about what our healthy food is wrapped in or the bottle our skincare is sitting in. A year ago I would go to the supermarket buy my healthy veggies wrapped in plastic, drink from plastic water bottles and buy all my natural beauty products in plastic pots and I used to believe that I was doing my bit and everything was being recycled. Plastic was just a normal part of life, everything comes in it so whats wrong with it?
Whilst I was traveling through India I saw rubbish sprawled along the streets, children playing in the dirty heaps of plastic, I then spent some time in Cambodia in the most beautiful places with white sand and crystal blue ocean yet the beach was covered in washed up plastic....Coming from a country where our waste is almost hidden from us, this was a real shock. Travel enriches usin many ways and for me, it’s been a big wake up call. Our world is a special place and we really don’t collectively do enough to appreciate it and take care of it and I certainly hadn’t really known where our rubbish went or about the people that were handling it so I started to research more about plastic and what harm we are doing to the beautiful planet we live on.
Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas, non-renewable resources extracted and processed using techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems. The manufacture of plastic, as well as its destruction by incineration, pollutes air, land and water. Eight million tons of plastic a year is dumped into our oceans - the equivalent of one garbage truck a minute.
Much of our rubbish is dumped in developing countries exposing people like the little boy in above to the highly toxic chemicals which in many cases contaminates locally produced food and drinking water. I have been to a recycling factory in Mumbai however the “factory” is a small shack in the middle of the slum.
Our bodies are designed to detoxify themselves but, when the toxic load becomes a too much these accumulated toxins can cause cancer, immunity problems, diseases. In a time where so many of us have illnesses our increasing environmental exposure to toxins and chemicals are fueling the risk.
(This is just a small amount of how plastic effects us! Low Carbon Love is really great informative website which is easy to read)
A few months ago I moved to Australia and I knew I couldn’t carry on living the way I was previously back home in London so I've made small steps to live more consciously. With that in mind I recently went to an amazing Plastic Free Indigo workshop with the lovely Victoria Larnach and Kate Nelson/Plastic Free Mermaid (full post to come)( Kate has an amazing plastic free guide which you can download here) creating earth friendly crafts - dying with indigo, making beeswax food wraps and natural skincare with an incredible group of women. I came away feeling so happy and inspired to connect and have these conversations on what sustainability means to us all but it really triggered me think a lot about sustainability in a city life which is so different to living here in Byron but also how changing something in our lives doesn't always have to be difficult or a slog, it can be fun and exciting!
Coming from living a very hectic life in London I know first hand how convenience is so important and giving up plastic doesn't seem like the easiest thing to do ( and I don't feel that I was well informed about plastic in a way that didn't feel aggressive ) but there are changes that can be made and are easy to adopt even when your working long hours or having to travel on the train.
We don't have to be perfect, I'm far from it but every little bit we do will make an impact so I am going to start a new part here on my website exploring not only this but sustainable living as a whole and sharing fun, cost effective and easy ways for us all to live more in harmony with our planet, shifting away from choices and actions that result in harming our environment, ourselves and others starting with Ten simple ways to reduce plastic use.
We are our environment. What we put into it, we also put into ourselves. What we do to it, we also do to ourselves.