5 June 2021 was Environment Day. Since 1972, this has been a commemoration of the opening of the United Nations Conference on Environmental Protection. Germany, together with 150 other countries around the world, also drew attention to it with various campaigns, events and measures and wants to make people aware of how important it is to protect our environment and thus our homeland. Because if we are honest: where should we go if our earth runs out of air?
Every step, no matter how small, is good and important if it goes in the right direction.
Environmental protection may sound like an overwhelmingly large topic to some, but with a little patience and time, it shows how simple it can be. There are thousands of ways we can spruce up our everyday lives for Mother Nature.
With this year’s motto, the world is saying no to plastic, disposable plastic to be exact, as this is a consistent and enduring problem all over the world. In Germany, single-use plastics account for around 20% of the volume of all waste. Plastic to-go cups account for about 120 million euros, just for disposal from public spaces.
320,000 Coffee-To-Go cups per hour
Out of sight, out of mind. When we throw something away at home, it ends up in the bin and is picked up. At least it has disappeared from our private environment. Even when we are out and about, the waste from the coffee on the way to work is quickly disposed of in a public waste paper basket. In the stress of everyday life, however, we rarely realize how much waste we produce, and yet every piece of plastic ends up in a landfill or in the worst case: in the ocean! For the next 10 to 600 years, this pollutes nature and food, both for humans and wildlife.
In general, it is assumed that plastics such as plastic become smaller, but do not completely decompose. So-called microplastics can now even be detected in marine animals such as fish. When we eat them, they also end up in our stomachs.
To prevent more and more of it from entering our natural cycle, let’s take a few steps back and look at our own noses. Step number one to prevent plastic waste is to avoid it as much as possible when shopping. In other words, buy products that use alternative ingredients and, in the best case, can be used several times.
Our top 5 tips for saving plastic
- Bypass plastic straws.
A friendly “No, thank you” sometimes goes a long way. Next time you go to a restaurant, bring your own.
- Reuse instead of disposable.
You can also replace a Coffee-To-Go cup with a reusable one. In some shops, you can even get the coffee cheaper that way. Other everyday disposable products can also be replaced with reusable versions.
- Buy lots.
You always have a choice in the supermarket. Fruit and vegetables are available shrink-wrapped and loose, without packaging. It’s in your hand.
- Cardboard instead of plastic.
If it does have to be packaging, pay attention to the materials. Cardboard or paper packaging does not harm the environment as much as plastic. But you should also look carefully at paper packaging: They are often mixed with plastics to make them more resistant.
- Do it yourself.
Many things can also be produced quite simply by yourself. Detergent, for example! It can be made from curd soap, ivy and even chestnuts, is easy on the wallet and does not involve any waste!
The Small Print
Where plastic is hidden everywhere and is sometimes not visible at first glance. From crayons to TetraPaks, baking paper and even books. Often the plastic remains unseen as a thin layer between others. As a Stabilizer and protection for other materials, it certainly does a good job. The problem: you can’t tell it when to call it a day.
At Matabooks, we pride ourselves on not only being vegan but also environmentally friendly. Among other things, this means that our products contain no plastic. Our books are made from grass and sweet grass paper and are waiting for you to discover them in our shop!
When will you say no to disposable plastic?
Image: Karolina Grabowska, pexels.com