Well, I have made to the end of my waste-less challenge but in essence, I am only just at the beginning of my less-waste lifestyle. As Claire highlighted in her challenge, the majority of us can’t literally go zero-waste. Waste is created along all aspects of our food production to food consumption. But we can make enormous strides creating a system and living in a way that minimizes our waste footprint.
These past two weeks I have given up food containers and food waste proper. The food containers were a big commitment and I found out that the root of most of my waste is consumerism. Having to think twice about whether a food purchase would create additional waste made me think about every transaction. I don’t drink coffee every day but I wanted a cup mid-week and went to get it. I had my coffee collar in my to-go pouch but not a cup. I didn’t have time to pack lunch mid-week and ended up at a hot bar/salad bar and even though the container was made out of a friendlier plastic, I was disappointed I was going to have to use a plastic container. Lowering your plastic use isn’t convenient at first but it is worth the effort. I need to leave the house with my lunch if I do not want to create plastic waste during my work day. I need to create a go-to list of places that have better carry out containers or the option to eat off washable plates if I eat at the location. Nourishing my body doesn’t have to be at the cost of harming the planet. I frankly didn’t make the connection between my everyday “living” choices and my plastic consumption as clearly before.
This challenge has made me mindful of my daily decisions and the importance of setting an intention when it comes to how I want to interact with the food system and the literal earth around me. So in essence, straws were a gateway plastic. Giving up a plastic straw became a gateway to becoming a more mindful global citizen. Sounds a bit woo-woo doesn’t it? But it DID. I want to encourage you to choose one type of plastic to give up and do it for 30 days. You will see how one small but consistent act can shift your perspective. Imagine if we all just gave up straws? What momentum could that build for other changes to care for ourselves, communities, and planet?
Change starts with me. I hope to see many more non-plastic straws when I go out. And I promise if I see you trying to eat spaghetti with a spork, I will lend you my trusty fork. We have to stick together! I will be updating my waste-less journey so continue to follow Food Recovery Network and help our organization fight food waste and end local hunger. Thank you for being alongside me for this adventure!