I’m back again! My exams are over and my final semester at university is just beginning. I have my final deadline at the start of May so the countdown to the end of my student life is fast approaching. What this new semester brings for me is the start of the next chapter in my life, but also some interesting modules to finish off my academic career. I’d be lying if I said that one week in I’m not stressed, but then again would I really be a final year student if I wasn’t?
It’s all fun and games until graduation starts to sneak up on you! But before I get to all that, I actually have to pass (and do well) this semester! My modules this semester seem really interesting, and there’s one I’m particularly interested/excited for.
I will be studying global environmental politics this semester so if you haven’t seen my posts on plastic check them out, because I try to do my best when it comes to the environment. I’m not an eco-warrior, but I aim to have a conscience when going about my everyday. I’ve been working hard when at university to reduce my plastic waste; I’ve switched to a bamboo toothbrush, I no longer use plastic water bottles, I am to buy package free produce in my weekly shop and I always have my canvas bag with me so that I don’t have to use the dreaded plastic bag. Of course, I still have loads more to do, but you have to start somewhere!
Ultimately, I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to avoid plastic or try and reduce my consumption. Ideally, supermarkets and producers would try to avoid it so we don’t have to. Why put a bunch of bananas in a plastic bag when it has absolutely no need to be in one?
I feel as consumers, we are separated from what we buy. How it’s produced, where it comes from, and what needs to happen in order for us to have it right in front of us. The amount of fossil fuels burnt, petrol used, air miles tracked and chemicals/pesticides used in getting us bananas is quite frankly disgusting. And all the while, we have no (or very little) idea of just how much this is. We are separated from the production process, so it is very easy to disassociate ourselves with the implications of our purchases. We don’t see the mountains of landfill on a daily basis that our rubbish creates, so it’s very easy to forget about that plastic wrapping when we throw it in the bin.
As people, we need to start taking responsibility for our own future. It’s very easy for me to say to you “cut down on plastics”, but you actually have to do it. I’m not saying we all have to go extreme and cut it out for good, because for some people that is too hard. However, what I am saying is that we can all reduce, or opt for better alternatives when faced with the need for plastic. Simply switching from cling film to tin foil is a way to eradicate unnecessary plastic waste (you can also reuse tin foil a lot easier!)
Include cutting down on plastic as one of your RAK’s! Not only will it help the environment, but reusing a bag whilst shopping or cutting down on certain food products you could end up saving money too! My canvas tote bag cost me just £3 from Tiger, Tesco’s plastic bags cost 10p per bag. Although, £3 might seem a lot, before I used my canvas bag I would usually use about 2-3 plastic bags for my weekly shop. At 10p per bag, after 15 shops I’ve spent more than the canvas bag. I’ve now used this canvas bag for around a year so that’s well over the 15 shops! Plus, I’ve not contributed any more to plastic waste from carrier bags.
*Little fun/scary fact*
The average plastic carrier bag is used for just 12 minutes, and yet it will stay on our planet forever.
Probably a bit more scary than fun that fact! But that’s why it is crazy that we are still seeing so many of them being used in supermarkets! If you don’t want to buy canvas bag reuse the plastic one. When the plastic bag tax was introduced, companies redesigned the bags to make them more durable so people could use them as a bag for life. I always carry at least one bag with me wherever I go so I’m never caught off guard. I’m proud to say I cannot remember the last time I had to pick up a new plastic bag or had to pay for one as I’ve either carried my items in my hands or used one of my own.
Would people be interested in hearing more about plastic and what it does to our environment? As I find ways to cut down my own waste, I’ll post about them here! It’s great to be back with time to blog!