PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN DANIELS, ALAMY
After reading recent reports about how rapidly the environment is declining, I feel a sense of dread. The impact every one of us is causing today may not affect us too much, but it will definitely impact our children. The earth has warmed 2 degrees (F) since the late 19th century; the ocean is warmer, the ice sheets are melting, snow cover has diminished, and the sea level has risen. Even the recent natural disasters have given us pause. The facts testify that we are the setting the stage for a tragedy. The best way to treat the impending situation is through awareness and action. I say when tragedy strikes, let’s get into the solution.
Collectively, we can each start making small changes. Change is a choice to be conscious and committed. It takes recognizing and breaking bad habits that have become the norm. It takes being inconvenienced, and it takes sacrifice. In our privileged culture of plenty and comfort, we can all afford a bit of sacrifice.
I came up with the idea for a “challenge” from the plastic refuse I amassed from one supermarket shopping run. After unpacking the groceries, I looked at the pile of plastic bags, bottles and packaging on the dining table. It was daunting; I felt selfish. For several weeks now I have done my best to limit my use of plastic and reduce my plastic “footprint.” Plastic is nearly impossible to avoid. However, today, I make conscious choices about my use and consumption of plastic. Plastic has many health and environmental hazards: it’s made from petroleum, chemicals used from plastics are absorbed by the human body, plastic debris is ingested by marine life, and plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater. Plastic is everywhere. According to PlasticOceans.org, “8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year.” How long can that be sustained?
For the week of Oct 16th @mindandmotion, @yourzenmama, and @green4ema have teamed up to present the #NoPlasticChallengeOct16. For this week we are challenging ourselves and YOU to reduce the use and consumption of plastic. It may not solve the global warming crisis but hopefully it will give us a change of perspective, shed some light into our behavior and show us how small changes add up. Our children will learn good practices and engage in dialogue with us about the environment.
By challenging myself and documenting it through social media I hope I can do even better. Next week I will share some of my conservation practices with you through daily posts on Instagram. I will also share the challenges of avoiding plastic! Change in numbers creates dialogue and solutions and, best of all, feels supported. I can’t wait to start this challenge with you all. We will raise consciousness and search for solutions together. I’m dedicating this challenge to my daughter, Henrietta.