Tag: environment

Environment

Lent 2019: Plastics

Lent was always an “iffy” thing in my family.

We were Christian, but Lent is a lot like Ash Wednesday in that it’s often viewed as one of those Catholic-ish things that’s better left to the liturgically minded. There were a few years when I remember friends and family making impishly bold statements about giving up candy or chocolate, but the reality was that these commitments rarely lasted longer than a day or two.

Last year (2018) was the first time that I seriously landed on a goal and stuck with it all the way through Easter. I stopped reading news headlines about Donald Trump and it made my life so much better. This would probably be a great idea to do again, but that’s a different conversation that’s more in life with self-care than Lenten sacrifice.

This year, I am giving up single-use plastics.

A few quick facts about plastic pollution (source):

  • 73% of beach litter around the world is plastic
  • 1,000,000 plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute
  • Around 2,000,000 plastic bags are used worldwide every minute
  • The average person eats about 70,000 bits of microplastic each year (or 100 bits per meal)

Our beautiful planet is slowly (okay, maybe not so slowly…) being covered in discarded plastic. This plastic is so pervasive that it’s completely invaded our food chain and we constantly ingest broken-down bits of microplastic into our bodies.

Rules:

  1. Do not purchase any consumer items that would be considered a “single-use” plastic

  2. Do not purchase any consumer items that are wrapped in disposable plastic packaging (includes plastic grocery and produce bags)

  3. If either of the first 2 rules are broken, a $10 donation per infraction must be made to Sierra Club BC (link)

I will post updates and “Lessons Learned” throughout the process to illustrate realistic plastic alternatives, and also to highlight the difficulty of cutting out such a pervasive blight in our modern lifestyle.