This year, we’re more focused than ever on sustainability and bettering the planet. Yup, it’s 2020 and in case you haven’t considered it yet, it’s time to make some changes when it comes to what we’re putting into the Earth.
Ever heard of microplastics? They’re small, broken down pieces of plastic from literal trash humans have created that end up in the land or the ocean less than five millimeters in size, which then are consumed by wildlife and thus ingested by humans. Plastics are treated with toxic chemicals like Phthalates and bisphenol A–among a wide range of other toxic chemicals, which as you could infer, remain toxic even when the litter becomes microplastics that are later absorbed by marine life and ingested by humans. There isn’t enough research to indicate the potential health risks to humans, but we know these chemicals are toxic to the environment, wildlife and humans, so why don’t we make efforts to reduce this kind of waste now before it’s too late?
Forget 2020, these should’ve been ditched back in 2017. With many accessible alternatives, single-use straws should be a thing of the past. The turtles and generations after you will thank you. Plus, let’s be real, it probably only takes you 10 minutes to finish your iced coffee anyway–is it worth the waste these straws produce? Do yourself and the planet a favor and snag a set of stainless steel straws, stash them in your car, work bag, at home or at your desk so you’re never without one.
Not all plastics are created equal. Plastic bags, in fact, are not recyclable. Don’t use them to bag your recyclables and don’t use them to hold your groceries. Plastic bags end up in landfills, litter our water systems, streets, and pollute the ocean. Get with the new decade and get yourself some reusable grocery bags you can use for every Whole Foods run. Stylish and sustainable–that’s how we like it.
High red-meat diets
Before you red meat lovers write this off, listen–I love red meat, and with the risk of the vegetarians and vegans coming for me, it’s hard for me to give it up cold turkey. Red meat, among other animal-based foods and food products, are bad for the environment for many reasons. They require a lot of natural resources, making their carbon footprint significantly higher than their plant-based counterparts. Hence, the influx in demand for plant-based products. In addition to preventing environmental repercussions, of course, there are a plethora of health benefits to switching to plant-based diets including reduced cholesterol, less bloat, and lower risk of certain diseases and cancers. For 2020, join many others in reducing red-meat consumption. If not for the planet, then for your overall health.
Trust me, we love a good snack with Disney+ as much as the next guy, but reducing consumption of processed foods means reducing plastic and single-use waste as well (think about the packaging!). In fact, back in March 2019, we went plastic-free for a month here at LARQ HQ, and we saw first hand how dependent we are on single-use plastic. If you’re not fully convinced, try it for yourself: be conscious of how much waste you’re tossing away each week.
“Can I get a cup for water?” – something you probably ask when dropping by your favorite taco joint or the movie theaters. You’ll probably receive a plastic cup for water that you’ll probably refill once at the most and then toss into the garbage. Can we just ditch this kind of single-use waste now that we’re in 2020? With so many options of reusable water bottles–and even our LARQ Bottle that uses UV-C LED technology to automatically sanitize the inner walls and purify water–you can truly have water everywhere you go. No need to grab that dinky plastic cup.
Sip on your favorite cup of Joe without adding to all the coffee cups in the landfills. Just like cups for water, coffee cups are just as wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, invest in a good thermos or a tempered glass reusable coffee cup. Some coffee shops even give you a discount for bringing your own cup–you know, to offset that oat milk substitution.
Just like all single-use waste, plastic wrap has got to go in 2020. Believe it or not, there are alternatives that actually work. Try wrapping your loose food items in bee’s wrap, use Tupperware to store food, or use these silicone cling wraps in a variety of sizes that fit everything from bowls to cups to sauce dishes.
Plastic produce bags
If you think about it, a grocery store trip can be extremely wasteful if you’re not conscious about what you’re using. Produce bags are not recyclable. They’ll eventually end up in a landfill and most likely into the ocean. The solution? Don’t be afraid to carry that single apple to the checkout. You’re going to wash it when you get home anyway, right? There are also reusable mesh produce bags you can use for heftier trips. Pro tip: put all your reusables by your keys so you remember to bring them with you when you leave the house.
Small changes make a great difference when more people start to adopt them. Refuse single-use whenever possible and start building habits for a sustainable future. It’s 2020, and it’s time to ditch single-use waste.