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Easy steps to live a Plastic-Free life

By: Shubhrika Dogra

Plastic is an integral part of our lives right now. Every item in our lives seems to be coming from plastics. From packaging to dustbins, from food items to all kinds of other necessary items, we rely on plastics faithfully. The impact that it makes on our environment is very well known to all of us.

The aquatic lives of all the fishes and other water creatures to coral reefs, the ground lives of humans and all other animals and the aerial lives too are badly impacted. We are responsible for eradicating more than 12% of our oxygen sources, thanks to our rigidity and stubbornness of not saying NO to Plastics.

Ever since being in school, we have been told to say NO to plastics. It has been five years that I graduated high school and I can’t fathom the courage to count the number of years it has been that we were asked to stop using plastics.

Each one of us is guilty of these two questions we put in front of ourselves before giving up the fight:

  1. Why should I do this alone? No one is doing it; how will it matter if I don’t either.
  2. How do I do this? It is so difficult to lead a life without plastics.

The answers are simple, and I have them for you.

1.Buying bread and other grocery items – Go the extra mile

Bread and other items that we buy as Indians are all available in plastic forms. Since they travel from one place to another for long distances, their preservation matters a lot. This is why most vendors rely on plastics. It is also a cheap source of packaging and easily available. Alas! There is a solution to this.

Alternatives to this problem can be hard to find. But you can ask your local baker to start supplying fresh bread in paper packaging. This can ensure freshly baked goods as well as environmental safety. All our spices and other condiments are also available in glass bottles. Going forward, we can always rely on refill packages. Glass is way easier to reuse and faster to decompose. Items that we use every day and ignore their plastic packaging – Toilet paper, soaps, dishwashers, coffee, tea leaves, bread, lentils, vegetables, etc.  

2. Veggies can produce plastics too

Indian vegetable vendors and buyers are way different than the ones in western countries. We buy vegetables in individual plastic bags and then put all those plastic bags into yet another huge plastic bags. Isn’t there an alternative?

Using a cloth bag and eliminating individual plastic bags

Of course, there is. I know you might feel that the vegetables in a cloth bag may end up messing each other up. There are, however, reusable vegetable nets. Using a cloth bag and eliminating individual plastic bags can go a long way.  

3. Corona-virus and its larger environmental impact

For months, humans got locked inside their homes and our environment healed exceptionally. Isn’t it time already that we realize the toxicity that are – humans? The items like Latex Gloves, Masks, PPE Kits, plastic bags and so much more, are all an impact of the COVID-19.

Here’s what you can do: DIY Masks, Cloth or washable gloves, and most of all – staying home.  

4. Storage items

Storage is a huge problem for most households in a country like India. Storing foods, spices, lentils, clothes, décor items, medicines, stationery, washable, and all tiny household materials are what we rely on plastics for.

plastic pollution crisis

Think a little harder before you buy any storage units which have plastic involved. Your microwave bowls, lentils storage boxes, cloth cabinets, books and magazine storage and more can all get shifted to glass bottles and ceramics, not to mention, cloth cabinets are a huge benefit.  

4. Fashion Impact

More than 50% of our plastic problems begin at the source. We might even be mindful of the things we buy, however, nit being mindful about the brands we support can make all our effort go in vain.

environmental impact of fashion

Learn about where you buy your fashion. Learn about the brands you support, or your local vendor endorses. Boycott brands that do not support plastic free culture and get familiarized with brands that are all for the environment.

I understand that all of this can be daunting. You don’t need to go all out all at once. You can start with simple steps such as your first step being – Say no to single-use plastics.

Saying No to single-use plastics can eliminate the amount of plastic we throw away every day. Items like carry bags, packaged water, ready-to-eat items, packaged foods, processed goods, and other such items are all a part of single-use plastics. Coffee refills, home décor packaging and so much more like dustbins are all made of plastics.

We can eliminate it all with a small and tiny effort. Spread awareness among your friends and families. Make sure you start using multiple-use plastics of plastic alternatives right away. Reach out to me and the team at LetMeBreathe to understand the usage and alternatives better.

If you think you’d need the information about brands you can buy from, for FASHION, GROCERIES, DÉCOR ITEMS, COFFEE, AND MORE, which are environment friendly and make it their lives’ mission, NOT TO USE PLASTICS AT ALL, leave a comment below.

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

    Shubhrika Dogra

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