More than 70 years plastic is a big part of our daily life and some of us don’t even realize its huge effect of it on the environment. Short and long term damages plastic causes is really frightening and it is time to make sure, every one of us is aware of the situation.
Plastic is spread in the whole world including from Mount Everest, the highest peak, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest trough (according to the National Geographic). Most of the plastic is trashed in ocean and it is being carried by seas and rivers. Plastic kills millions of animals in a year and can be found even in drinking water.
We all can agree to the fact that production is increasing every year and by 2050 it is expected to be doubled. A plastic world, which definitely is not fantastic makes it really hard to live without plastic. It takes extra finances to completely remove plastic from our lives, but it is definitely no excuse not to try and reduce using it.
Living in Germany on low budget and try to live with less plastic is definitely a challenge, but some tips will be helpful for anyone trying to find the way:
- Cloth bags are your friends against plastic and also financially sustainable. Your new pair of shoes or just a pack of sugar can fit in your bag and even in large supermarkets you will never face any problems.
- If you forgot your bag and you have to do grocery shopping, you could easily grab a free box from the supermarket and pack everything and take it with you. You will not have to pay for a bag and I am sure, also supermarket staff would appreciate it.
- Good news is that drinking tap water in Germany is absolutely safe and why would you pay for a plastic bottle of water when you can simply bring your own bottle and fill it out anywhere you want with the fresh tap water?! Again, also financially sustainable.
- Try second hand shopping or looking for free stuff (which is really often in Germany). Before buying new coffee machine or cutting board, check some groups and website in Germany. Most of the times, you could find used stuff for free or much cheaper than a new one.
- Saying no to plastic straws and enjoy your drink without it or get a nice pair of reusable bamboo or recyclable paper straws. I do believe that it’s not that hard.
- Support local markets. In most of the cities of Germany, every weekend there are local markets, where you could buy fresh vegetables and fruits which are not wrapped in plastic and definitely much healthier.
- Have your container with you. Taking a sandwich at work for the lunch break or buying cheese from a market? Always better to have your own container. At the end of the day, you need it pretty often.
- Do it by yourself. There could be many products, such as sweets or any favorite snacks in plastic bags but cooking at home is much healthier and of course possible without using any plastic.
With a little bit of effort, each person can have a positive effect on the environment. Caring is important and for anyone who is willing to know more about the damages and effect of plastic on our lives, I would recommend ,, Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?” - a 2010 American documentary film exposing the effects of plastic bags and other plastic consumer merchandise, and its effects on land ecosystems, the marine environment and the human body.