Can we use less?
Many of us have seen the horrific photos of oceans filled with plastic garbage. We’ve seen the photos on the news of the fish that fill their stomachs with our garbage plastics, and then die because it won’t digest. This has got to stop to save our fish, our oceans, and our world! So what can we do right here in McCauley and in Edmonton?
First, we have to take a good look at what we buy and use. We may not realize how much plastic we use Look in your garbage and recyclables bag and write down what you see. Can we find a way to reduce our use of various plastics? A lot of what we buy is packaged in plastics, so maybe we can refuse to buy products packaged in single-use plastic.
We can complain to stores that we don’t want everything packaged in plastic. One option might be to ask stores to only use reusable plastics in packaging, or to stock only products that come in compostable plastics. We know the stores are aware of the problem, and they are moving away from using plastic shopping bags for customers to carry products home.
Ask the grocery stores if all their plastic bags are compostable. We can take reusable bags to the store to get veggies and fruits. We can request the meat department to wrap meats in compostable paper, like in butcher shops, instead of using foam trays. We can take reusable containers to the store for bulk items.
Get your family involved. Take inventory of your own household garbage and recyclables. Write it down.
We can change the way we buy everyday items like coffee. One of the latest ways to buy coffee is in single-use pods, many of which are not recyclable. I was given such a coffee machine and feel guilty every time I use it! We can write to the companies to tell them to only use recyclable materials. I understand that Keurig has changed its process to use recyclable pods. Maybe these companies should make a reusable pod that we can fill?
Get your family involved. Take inventory of your own household garbage and recyclables. Write it down. Discuss how to change household habits to use less (or no) single-use plastic? If you can, take your children on a tour of the Waste Management plant to see the plastics problem first-hand.
This is your challenge to change your habits to use less or no single-use plastic at home. Then, please write to me via the paper to tell us how you have changed your habits. At the end of the summer, we can all celebrate our achievements in reducing our own waste, to make our world less full of plastic garbage, and more healthy for us all.
Joanne McNeal is a McCauley Senior who is trying to become more aware of her own use of plastics and change her habits, so she is using way less and hopefully NO plastics that are single-use.