Zero waste. That seems like an unrealistic extreme to hold the world accountable too.
For instance prior to starting this post, I had some greek yogurt that came in a plastic container, which I then sprinkled with granola from a plastic bag, unwrapped my paper covered tea bag , that I took out of a cardboard box, and this is all before 8 am.
How do we change the conversation from an unpractical zero waste to less waste?
Unfortunately zero waste living is actually impossible for a lot of Americans. There are a lot of people who have limited alternative options or there are those who simply cannot afford to purchase the higher cost of sustainable living.
Plastics are subsidized and made affordable by using fossil fuels. So when the prices of oil decrease it actually becomes cheaper to create a new plastic bottle than it does to put effort into to recycling and reusing an old one. The higher cost in recycling and reusing is actually passed onto the consumer. Leaving many of those with few resources as it is being stuck with only one option. PLASTIC.
We are trading in the short term. If everyone could see the overall life time cost of buying plastic vs. spending a one time fixed rate to buy that reusable water bottle it would make absolutely no sense to keep buying plastic over and over again. However, in the moment, when bills are due and cash flow is restricted most people take the short term and more costly option. Not just for them but for our planet.
As more third world countries begin to progress into second or first world countries we will have millions of more people in lower income brackets beginning to see the convenience and cheapness of items like plastic. Not realizing the long term effects of consumerism or fast economies.
We need to lead by example. Voting happens with your dollars. If people stop buying, companies will be forced to stop making. The more people can chose smart, long term sustainable choices the better off everyone will be. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Take small steps everyday and help spread awareness as well as influence change.
Please join our mission of living a sustainable life. Because there won't be enough ships to take everyone to another planet. Let's recreate the one we have.