Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. This is the chant that we were all taught as kids. Let’s be real: the only one of these most of us are doing consistently is the recycle and friends, that isn’t enough. Now I’m not saying that recycling isn’t great–it is. What I’m saying is we all need to do a better job to reduce waste.
Why Recycling Isn’t Enough
I remember when we moved to our most recent house and a recycling bin wasn’t automatically given to us. I scoffed and thought it was preposterous how long it took for me to get my bin so I could do my civic duty and put my plastics in the recycling bin. Friends, did you know that in 2017 it was estimated that 91% of plastic is NOT recycled?
I know. That was my reaction too. So that means that only 9% of all the plastic we’re recycling is being, well, recycled. In 2015, the National Geographic reported that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year. If you think this is insane, that’s because it is. And most of this plastic was recycled.
38 million pieces of plastic cover this island. Video courtesy of the National Geographic
Don’t Freak Out Just Yet
I looked at those numbers and got scared. The amount of plastic that we have used as a family of five whose mother loves spring water is insane. When I see numbers
Drama. I know. So what’s the solution? How do we handle this?
Reuse The Plastic That’s Wading In the Water
Yes. This is an option. In fact, this is something that big sneaker company adidas is already doing. adidas has partnered with Parley to created a line of athletic wear that has been made from plastic bottles found in the ocean. Not only are they reusing the plastics that have NOT been recycled, they’ve made some rather big changes in their business practices as well.
They aren’t the only brand that’s out here reusing plastic bottles that could potentially harm animals. Doris Sleep makes pillows that are super comfortable (yes, I own them) made from recycled plastic fill. I never would have known it just by laying on the pillows.
We Need To Focus On How To Reduce Waste We Produce
Reduce waste: this right here is going to be what makes the biggest impact in the world. I don’t have a solution for this right here and now outside of the really small
Do you have any go-to tips and tricks for waste reduction?