Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Most people don't think their small change(s) will actually add up. They acknowledge global warming and climate change--nodding their head as you explain how less than five percent of plastics in America actually get recycled. Experts confirm that only about eight percent of Americans end up recycling at all (which includes other stuff like metals, glass, wood, textiles, and paper-based products too).
When you share how microplastics are now showing up in our fresh lakes and coastal water samples--plus from the air we breathe and even in popular food samples (including wine), they gasp and get stressed--trying to figure out if plastic pollution is even a real thing.
So, when it comes to making daily sacrifices--a lot of people think someone else should do it instead. She should pick up that #singleuse medical mask laying in the sand at the beach (that's gross, and you didn't bring gloves--so the sea turtle might eat it, but...what if you kept a pair of gloves in your trunk?). Someone else should take their store-ONLY recyclable plastics--like Amazon packaging, tortilla or bread bags, and candy packages, etc., to the special store drop-off location (since regular recycling bins don't accept those). You're a busy human--and that person probably has more free-time than you do (or you could collect them in a pile at home and transfer them to your trunk for next time you're near that spot).
Someone else should wash and dry their reusable canteen instead of going for a quick-grab with their single-use water bottle. That guy could bring his reusable tote bag to the grocery store instead of paying ten cents for each single-use bag at the store (which would involve thinking ahead and paying around one dollar or less per #reusable shopping bag).
The woman down the street could start her own home garden--which helps honeybees who pollinate most of our foods. Perhaps, she could take her family to the nearby farmer's market--where the produce is often #locallysourced and free of harsh chemicals. Your schedule is probably way too busy though--and besides, how would you even find your local farmer's market info (search by your state if you're not in California)? It's where #sustainablepackaging is generally implemented--since vendors often use cardboard, paper bags, or reusable paper-based cartons.
It's not that you're a bad person for thinking someone else SHOULD #gogreen instead of YOU. But then again, what about making one or two of these #greenchanges? If everyone expects someone else to do all the heavy lifting, what will our planet be like in ten, twenty-five--fifty years?
Written by GIL founder: Dianne Bright