In honor of Earth Day, I spent my morning hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado followed by a solo neighborhood block trash clean up. We live in an area that has a lot of foot traffic and it's not uncommon to see trash littered across sidewalks and grassy medians. I took an hour out of my day to do a little clean up and was surprised how much trash was found in just a block and a half. We live by a school, so it came of no surprise when the most common found were:
I anticipate the more difficult changes to make and alternatives to find will be beauty & bathroom products like make up, hair and skin care products, sunscreen, vitamins, frozen foods, dental care products, and food items like protein powder and frozen foods.
Ultimately, this audit helped bring awareness to the amount of plastic that is used to package products. Moving forward, I plan to make a conscious effort to purchase products in glass or paper instead of plastic.
Why is glass better? On top of not leaking chemicals into your food and water, glass does not lose its quality during the recycling process meaning that it can be recycled endlessly. Plastic on the other hand, can not be recycled infinitely. Each time plastic is recycled, the fibers shorten, therefore plastic can really only be recycled 7-9 times. Another thing to consider with plastic is that even though it is recycled, it cannot be made into the same item again, so water bottles are not being recycled into more water bottles. Plastic has to be recycled down, so most likely, that plastic is being turned into clothing or park benches. At that point, the recycling process is over because you cannot throw those items into your recycling bin when they are no longer of use.
Comment below and let me know how you plan to cut back on plastic consumption in 2018!