40-Day Plastic Free Challenge
The spring is a great time of year to form new habits and ditch ones that don’t serve you or society… or the earth… anymore. It’s like spring cleaning for your soul.
If you celebrate Lent, you can use the next 40 days to go without an indulgence that impacts you, your wallet, AND the earth. And if you don’t observe that tradition, there are 45 days until Earth Day – it’s the perfect time to detox from a habit that is detrimental to the environment.
For the next 40 days, we challenge you to give up single-use plastic.
This means small lifestyle changes:
- Avoid buying things that come in plastic packaging. Choose glass, cardboard, or non-packaged alternatives when you can. P.S. You’ll probably eat healthier: buying food without plastic packaging means that you buy a lot more fruits and veggies.
- Get a zero-waste kit filled with essentials for a plastic-less life.
- Bring your own cups and to-go containers. It’s not weird, hand your barista your to go coffee cup.
- Get a reusable water bottle. We like this one or get a collapsible one that is easy to carry.
- Use plastic bags more than once, then recycle them (if you take snacks to work in plastic baggies, rinse them and use them again or swap them out for beeswax food wraps).
- Shop bulk. Bring your own containers to the store to stock up on items from the bulk foods section: nuts, mixes, oats, quinoa, spices, coffee, sweets, snacks, etc. Find places to shop with less waste here.
- Carry an extra reusable bag in your car/work bag/school bag in case you make an impromptu visit to any stores.
- Want to know something crazy? Over 1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a trillion) plastic bags get used each year, but only 1% get recycled. You can take them to most grocery stores and put them in a designated bin near the front, or take them to your local recycling center.
- Keep silverware with you at work or in your school bag so that you don’t have to use single-use plasticware (and if you do, take it home and hand wash it to reuse).
- Cook at home, with family or friends, rather than eating out or ordering takeout.
- Be intentional about purchases. So many things come in plastic packaging (kitchenware, hardware, online orders, cosmetics, books, plants/live herbs, etc.) if you purchase them new. Buying secondhand or from a platform like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, OfferUp or Nextdoor helps you give something second life and avoid new packaging.
Why say no to plastic?
Plastic takes a ton of natural resources (water, energy, oil…) to make for a product we use once. But even when you’re done with it, plastic never goes away. Plastics just break down into smaller pieces of plastic (microplastics) that make their way into our soil and water and potentially into our bodies – gross. Or the plastics are burned and chemicals are released into the air – also, gross. So us just grabbing a take out container and trashing it makes a lasting impact.
Fact: By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish
… At the rate we’re polluting now
We Are Drowning In Plastic Artist @messymsi collected over 20,000 pieces of plastic for this Art installation called “Plastic Ocean” in the Singapore Art Museum.
Why does what I do matter?
This guy Daniel did an experiment (read more here) where he recorded the amount of plastic he produced in 1 year. Over the course of one year, Daniel threw away 4,490 pieces of plastic. 93% of his collected plastic waste was single-use packaging. 67% of his throwaway plastic was used to package, wrap and consume food. 70% of the plastic that Daniel threw away in a year is not currently recyclable.
We get it – it’s hard to completely avoid plastic.
But if each one of us consistently tries to use less plastic, we can collectively make tons (cubic tons)of difference.
This is a hard challenge. But it’s so worth it. When it comes to plastic, the first R is best: reduce. Post your efforts on social and share it with us, @pointapp. We want to see your tips and tricks, hear your realizations, and encourage you to keep it up!