Our oceans are drowning in waste (between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons per year). Not only is this destroying marine life, but the waste - especially plastic - is also having a negative impact on our health as it ends up in our food and bodies. So what can we do to solve this problem? We should live in a circular economy.
I explained the concept of a circular economy in a previous post, which you can read here if you're interested. A quick recap though: Our current economy is based on the take, make and dispose model. We take natural resources from our environment, make a product, use it, and then dispose of it. However, we are reaching the limits of our planet and need to rethink the way we produce and consume by ensuring we waste fewer resources in production and consumption.
Today, we're going to look at how you can put the circular economy in practice in your life.
You can set up a composting system to turn your organic waste into fertilizer, then establish your own home garden to make use of that for veggie plants and fruit trees. This means that you can eliminate the plastic that you would normally use for garbage disposal, and avoid the plastic packaging that most fresh food comes in. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to ensure you have healthy food options in your home at all times.
I often talk about how thrifting is good for the environment and your wallet - most of the clothes and other household items we throw away end up in the oceans and landfills - but it's not always easy to reach thrift stores depending on where you are.
A great solution to this problem is to simply host your own garage sale in your neighborhood! This can be once a month or every other weekend, and you can keep it simple - all the neighbors collect the items (in usable condition, of course) that they no longer need, and when the time comes, you can buy the items from each other or trade them for something equally valuable.
It takes a concerted effort to bring about lasting change, and you can be that catalyst. There are so many ways you can do this - you can start big or you can start small.
Starting small: Convince those close to you to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Speak to your family, friends, and loved ones about how important it is (to them and the environment) to live more sustainably. Then, guide them towards making simple changes in their lives. Share resources such as this blog, which can help them learn so much more about how to help keep our oceans and communities free of waste.
Go bigger: Join advocacy groups, start green clubs or even petitions to pressure your local government to take green policies seriously. You can also approach businesses individually, such as convincing your local bakery to sell biodegradable cups or refillable cups instead of plastic ones (it won’t make them broke!)
What first step will you be taking? Share this with me on Twitter.