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"Each individual person is very important. Each person has tremendous potential. She or he alone can influence the lives of others within the communities, nations, within and beyond her or his own time"

- Muhammad Yunus, Prominent economist

Reduce the use of plastic!

By Sharda ten Hove on 13 August 2012

I recently read that Americans use two and a half million plastic bottles every HOUR! And this is only one country we’re talking about. If we want to create a sustainable world we have to start by making adjustments in our daily lives. Start by reducing and recycling plastic and motivate others to do the same!

Using a plastic cup for a drink is merely one example. The beverage only takes a few minutes to consume, but it can take 50-80 years for plastic to decompose in the ground. Plastics made from non-renewable petroleum and natural gas resources threaten the environment, human health and all ocean life.

The facts are clear and now it is up to us as individuals to start making changes. It takes one seed to create a forest, while yes it does take time but every step done today will bear its fruits tomorrow!

Below is a list of things that you can do to start reducing the waste of plastic.

1. Buy products that use less plastic packaging. Buying fresh foods is also healthier.
When given the option at your supermarket, wrap your fruits and vegetables in paper bags.
2. “Green Bags” are available at most grocery stores today. Use them instead of plastic bags.
3. Learn the proper way to recycle plastics. Find out what the rules are in your community. If you have no recycling rules, try finding out why not and help raise awareness in your community.
4. Leave an area cleaner than when you arrived. If you go to the beach or the park, dispose of plastics in approved containers, or bring your trash home. If you see plastics on the beach, pick it up and dispose of it properly.
5. Reusable cups for coffee and beverages should be used as much as possible. Or bring your own mug to work or school.
6. Avoid the use of plastic coated disposable paper plates and avoid plastic silverware.
7. Reuse plastic bags for garbage bags instead of buying new bags.
8. If you live in a country where you can drink tap water, do so instead of buying bottled water. When going to the gym or to your yoga class, bring your own bottle. Water bottles can be found at most health stores, gyms or online: www.jointhepipe.org A fantastic organization who’s mission it is to redistribute water in a fairer way. By purchasing your water bottle from Jointhepipe, you are not only helping in reducing the enormous amount of plastic waste but with your purchase you also help raise funds for Jointhepipe to build wells, pumps and other water projects in Africa.

These are only a few ways to reduce your consumption of plastic. If everyone reduced their plastic consumption by half, the savings of oil needed to produce that plastic would be significantly reduced.

No time to waste, start today and make a difference!

About the author


Sharda ten Hove

Founder, Ethical Vegan, Yogi, Social Activist

Sharda was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Descended from an Indian mother and Dutch father, she received a multi-cultural upbringing during which she gained a broad perspective on life.…  Read full bio

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