In the year 1907 Leo Baekeland in Yonkers, New York developed the first synthetic plastic “Bakelite”. That was just the beginning and it didn’t took long before there was a race to replace almost everything with plastic. Followed by this event soon arise the need to follow an Eco-Friendly lifestyle.
The industries started manufacturing plastic in an unprecedented manner. In last six decades we have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic and most of it ends up as trash.
Table of Contents
- Plastic in our daily life
- Why say no to plastic ?
- Eco-Friendly alternative for plastic in our daily life.
Plastic in our daily life
Ask this question to yourself and think of the places you will find plastic in your day to day life. You will end up to an answer i.e. “Everywhere”. It starts with that toothbrush first thing in the morning, then the plastic water bottles, then the plastic packaging etc. you get the picture. But how did we end up here? For answer to this question let’s go back in time.
Our own extravagant love for plastic was the one with repercussions. Repercussions which nobody gave much thought to or simply turn a blind eye.Eventually what once thought of as a boon soon turned out as a bane.
The exploitation started going out of control, not only we humans started facing all sorts of issue; we dragged other innocent species with us too. I am quite sure no other living species in the world pushed for plastic or wanted it in the first place. Let’s discuss how horrific the situation is right now.
Why say no to plastic ?
We have delivered one of our great inventions “Plastic” to those who never wanted it in first place, for example the turtle living in the sea, the birds and road side dogs and what not. These innocent animals are paying for a crime they never committed. Before we move forward checkout these scary stats:
- Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced in the last six decades, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste.
- Only 9% of plastic is recycled.
- 79% of plastic is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter
- One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from plastic pollution in our oceans.
- In one study by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control, nearly 93 percent of people tested positive for BPA (a potentially harmful chemical present in plastic products)
- Going by present trends, by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills
Sources say that it takes about 500 – 1000 years for plastic to decompose. Just imagine with the current rate of manufacturing and landfills being dug, the plastic mountains being built how much toll it will put on the upcoming generation.
Not to mention with much harm plastic causes to flora and fauna, we are stealing from the future and robbing them of a beautiful planet.
One thing I would like to point out is that in a way plastic has become the necessary evil. One can agree that plastic has helped a lot in the development of human kind, but we produced more than we could handle.
For a while we got so comfortable that nobody was interested to go out of the box and we are witnessing repercussions for the very reason. Fortunately we are beginning to see some changes, for example few years ago who would have thought that we will be using Mobiles made up of Glass or Metal.
The major packaging industry is also coming up with alternative like Corn Starch packaging, Mushroom packaging, even we have options of carton water and carton wine now.
10 best Eco-Friendly alternative for plastic in our daily life
Scary stuff so far right? Fortunately the age of internet has bestowed such power in our hand that we can cope up with this situation and make world a better place to live.
I am firm believer of “Change should start within” and it’s a simple game of demand and supply. If we the consumer will shift towards more Eco-Friendly substitute for the plastic goods, eventually we will see the results.
So let me introduce with few alternatives for plastic in our daily life.
Instead of collecting plastic bags for future use and eventually throwing most of it, why not move to something with longevity? Unlike plastic bags reusable has lot to offer in terms of variety. You can find reusable bags made up from jute, canvas, denim jeans etc. Not only they are pleasing to eyes, they are very sturdy. It’s not necessary to buy one; you can make one out of a t-shirt or jeans in your home.
It’s not easy to recycle a water bottle; you have to separate the cap from it. Just search the term BPA on the internet and that would be enough for you to say goodbye to plastic water bottles. You can opt for a stainless steel bottle or the much talked about copper bottle. The copper bottle is not only good for environment, but it’s good for your body too as it helps in a better immune system and other health benefits.
The next time you get something to drink, just say no to that plastic straw and take out your cool looking bamboo straw.
Local Farmers Market:
Buying from a local farmer will not only keep you away from that plastic packed food in the supermarket (don’t forget that small plastic sticker) isle, you will be also helping the local economy. Don’t’ forget the reusable bag on your way to the market.
Bamboo is the future and it will play a major role in replacing plastic. There are toothbrush made out of bamboo in the market, go get one.
There are so many companies focusing on organic clothing nowadays you will easily find a one. These clothes are made from different materials like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.
Would you like to live in a plastic container? No right and so do the plants in your home. So, give them the environment they are more comfortable in. These pots are made of wood fibre, coir, peat etc.
Glass can help you to replace plastic from various areas. Few areas where glass can be used are as follows:
- Water bottles.
- Meal containers.
- Storage containers.
- Glass Utensils.
This is one area we encounter daily, whether we are packing our lunch or packing up something else. But this process needs not to be Non Eco-Friendly anymore. Next time packing lunch for yourself or your kid, use a small reusable snack bag, which you can completely make it at home.
Need to fill the gaps in boxes, give the Air Pillows a chance as they can be reused, recycled, and are even biodegradable.
There is too much you can do in this segment. Start with the biodegradable, compostable leaf plates. Generally they are made up of Palm and make no mistake these plates are sturdy. Even you can use banana leaf as a plate, just like they do in southern part of India. Next you can go for the Bamboo towels, not only they perform similar as the paper towel, they are reusable too.
Minimizing the use of plastic and replacing it with Eco-Friendly products has become an absolute necessary. Also, you need not to spend a fortune to go Eco-Friendly, there are lots of DIY (Do It Yourself) products that can be made at home at minimal cost. So go ahead and do your part for Mother Earth.