This image was one of the most discussed one of 2018 and it speaks so many critical issues faced by the earth. This post belongs to the first in the series of Plastic Free July Challenge. You can read the previous post ( in detail) about the Plastic Free July Challenge 2018 here. I have finally passed through one month of this challenge and if you ask me ” What I 100% successful?” My answer would be ” No”. So did I failed? My answer would be “Not at all”. So how was it?
It has been a learning experience where at some point I was able to say No to single-use plastics and thus reduce the number of plastics brought to my home while at some point I did fail and had to accept single-use plastics. So will I do this challenge next year? YES…YES…Absolutely I will do it. But more than just observing a plastic-free life for a month, I am continuing this routine as part of my lifestyle trying to inculcate few proactive steps to avoid the plastic usage. More than being adamant, this is a philosophy about bringing the change. Yes, a few little steps are all that you need to bring the change to reduce the plastic consumption in our day to day life. So what are those little steps that we can easily achieve? Henceforth you will find the practical little steps in upcoming series of blog posts and I honestly believe that it will help you take your little step towards sustainability.
The first step is having Reusable Bags
Why do we need reusable bags?
In most of the cases, used plastics end up in sewage which finds their ways to reach the Seas and Ocean. Many marine animals mistook these plastic bags as their food and end up in early death. Other than this, these plastics become microplastics and enter our food chain through fishes.
What does reusable bags could do?
- It does the exact same job as that of plastic bags. There are a wide variety of eco-friendly bags available in the market for different purpose and durability of different materials such as Jute, Coir, Cotton, Umbrella cloth etc to name a few.
- If you don’t wanna purchase a cloth bag you can always think of a DIY ( do it yourself) to make colorful cloth bags from old clothes from your own wardrobe.
- Many of us agree to the increased plastic wastage and think of switching to an alternative but most of the times we forget to carry them while shopping since many of us are impulsive buyers or buy while accidentally happened to get reminded of something required for our home.
- The only solution starts being PROACTIVE, plan your shopping for groceries ahead and go prepared to get the things from your local market.
- Always keep a set of cloth bags in your office going bags, in the dashboard of your vehicle.
- You can make bags of different sizes and different materials to buy the groceries in cloth bags whether it be bulk of flour or sugar or cereals or fruits & vegetables.
- Once brought them home, transfer to respective containers and keep the bags sorted. If needed give them a wash along with your regular laundry and you are ready to go for the next round of grocery shopping 😊
- Carrying a reusable bag follows the basic principle of refusing to accept a plastic bag as well as Reusing one which you already have.
- If you have got good ( in the sense of durability)plastic bags, continue reusing them until there comes a point when you need to buy a new one.
- Now you might be having a thought is it practically possible. You can guess my answer 😊🤭 YES, I have done it and that’s the only reason why I decided to write about the use of reusable bags.
My personal verdict
- I already had a set of cloth bags as well as produce bags bought last year with me bought online from an Indian brand which is a product of women community in Karnataka. This was the month when I finally started using all of them. Along with that, I did get one tote bag and two produce bags with drawstrings stitched from the local tailor. Thus supporting the local business 🙂 I had shown the tailor the model and got it stitched with a one-meter cotton (polyester mix) fabric which was a leftover from a kurta. I had to pay 110/ for tailor and 30/- for buying 10m white cotton string. I was happy doing this little DIY and was more happy to get the positive responses from all the shopkeepers when they saw these bags from bakery to vegetable vendors. They were surprised plus thanked for doing this little step. For carrying heavy things I bought a foldable bag made of umbrella cloth which cost me around 120/- and which will last me for a lifetime.it can be folded and kept in a tiny pouch. I like it for its water resistance, durability, and lightweight🙂
- Even for my bestie’s birthday, I got her a cloth bag from an online store which made sure to send in eco-friendly packaging sent via postal in cloth cover stitched while inside the bag was safely sealed in a biodegradable wrapper made of corn-wheat-starch ☺️😍
- Even if I forget taking an extra cloth bag, my daily office going bag itself is a big tote bag which itself could serve me the purpose. I have plenty of reasons to continue this little steps as part of my routine and can happily say no to plastics bags from the shops🙂😊 this is one of my little steps towards sustainability as well as reducing my carbon footprint for the better recovery of Mother Nature 🌳⛰🌲🌍
- What about you? Do you find it hard to have a reusable bag henceforth?
It’s been nearly 2 months I haven’t written anything for you. All of a sudden, today I decided to break my silence. Okay so if you are thinking why I was silent excluding several lame reasons on time/stress management, I was getting ready for a journey. A journey which I was eagerly waiting for, to challenge myself. So what was the challenge? It’s called PLASTIC FREE JULY CHALLENGE. Yeah, you read it correctly. This is an international challenge started in 2011 by a small group of participants in Western Australia and now flourished across the globe with one true intention for a world without plastics. This doesn’t mean the complete eradication of plastics when we are completely aware of it’s uses. This is meant to bring changes at the personal level lifestyle to reduce the plastic pollution caused by discarding the single-use ones. It’s promoting better reusable alternatives in several areas of daily life to reduce the amount of wastage. You can read more about this on the website here.
I was taking up this personal challenge along with several thousands of people across to globe to follow one entire month (July) to strictly reduce the consumption of plastics especially single-use plastics. I apologize for not informing this in the blog for helping you to give this a try since I personally wanted to test my own abilities to switch over the alternatives. And now at the 22nd day of my challenge, I had the complete confidence to talk about this challenge to you. On a personal level, it was fun doing it and kept me more conscious about what I choose or refuse to use. This doesn’t mean that we should be 100% free from single-use plastics. More than reaching the full perfection, it’s all about bringing a change in our perspective to take little steps to avoid plastic waste from our lifestyle.
Some of you could have a thong not taking up the chalk since the month of July is gonna get over in a week. Hey, don’t do that. It’s all about taking up the perspectives to be the change and it doesn’t matter which month it may be 😊 In the following days I will be doing a series of blog posts entirely about what each one of us can do and also what all steps I brought in my personal life during this challenge 🙂One more thing, my challenge isn’t gonna end on 31st if this July, I have decided to carry forward the challenge and be the change. I have found that my little steps towards sustainability were inspired from several people around the globe and I was also inspirational for several other people. It’s a ripple effect and does happily join the movement to bring the real changes for the betterment which the EARTH deserves, for all the love she has given for the mankind 🌍
Many of you might have seen this image of how the sea gifted back our trashes this month at the Mumbai. Do you still need more reasons to accept this challenge? Feel free to ask questions and your little steps could be inspirational for the next person 😊🙏🏻 Do give some time to check the image below to know at a glance at what you can do.