Long ago, that question rarely popped up in my mind. Then, I asked myself several times. Then, all the time. Why? Why should I choose to live an eco-friendly life? To follow the trend? Sure you can’t resist such trendy thing like that.
I was born in Vietnam, a country in which throwing trash on the side of the road is normal. Evenly, if you have done using your single-use food container or plastic cup, you sight no garbage bin nearby, holding that trash in your hand or putting it in your pocket in order to throw it away later when you find a bin, that would make you an idiot to everyone.
I was raised in a developing society, in which cleaning up my own trash is responsibility of others. Those are sanitation workers, the government, volunteers “who have too much time doing things the others will never do, even someone pay them for doing it”. And the list goes on, I can tell.
I was close-minded for a long time thinking that only one “I” can’t change the world. Not using plastic bag once, not drinking water by plastic straw twice, then compares to those 8 billion people using them on the Earth every single minute. What makes the difference? One “me” make no contribution to that worldwide eco-campaign. One “me” is useless and hopeless. So that one “me” continue with my old bad habit: continue to use single-use plastic things.
Then the words spread out, rumor has it that plastics are toxic. “No plastic” campaigns, “Save marine life” campaigns, “Plastic Bans in the US” were all over the press. You maybe once came across the video on Youtube: Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril (recorded by Christine Figgener, marine biologist at Texas A&M University). When I watched this, it’s like a punch in my head.
Baby turtle took the world by storm with his painful face while the biologists tried to get that plastic straw out of his nostril. What did we do? What are we doing? Why on Earth can we do such thing to this poor creature? And above all, why all these plastic things matter, to us? All the questions ran around in my head, for not only my curiosity but also my inner guilty, then I started to search on the Internet.
💥Did you know, several types of plastic are only degradable, not even bio-degradable? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
You know the difference now, then what? Please keep in mind, when plastics degrade (due to sunlight), it becomes micro-plastics.
⚡These micro-plastics are washed away through pipes to the ocean.
⚡️Micro-organism mistakes it for food and ingests it (not digests it).
⚡️Tiny fish eats micro-organisms.
⚡️Bigger fish eats smaller fish.
⚡️Then, human eats fish.
Yep, you know you have micro-plastics in your stomach, then what? Under sunlight and heat, chemical materials that are contained in plastics are easier to be present. Drinking hot cocoa with a plastic straw? There’s a likely chance you’re enjoying hot cocoa mixed with chemicals. Obesity, cancer, diabetes are told to be resulted from storing toxic chemicals in your body for a long time. I’m sure this is not new to you, right?
No, you can’t get friendly with plastics anymore. There, you should not “go ahead” with plastics, for what it did, it is doing and what it will do to your health, your life, your beloved ones, your Earth. Therefore, eco-life is no more a trendy thing. It’s a choice. Choose to be greener.
🍃Luckily, I got companies who show sincere interest in solving this problem. To know HOW AND WHERE TO COPE WITH THESE IRRESISTIBLE PLASTIC PRODUCTS, I learned 3 simple steps to help first steps towards eco-life easier. Hopefully it fits you well.
Initially, JUST REFUSE.
A single head-shake is what it takes. Simply say “No, thanks” when vendor/ cashier gives you a plastic bag or plastic straw. You may find it hard denying those auto-insert straw/bag. “No demand, no supply”. I hope you have your own tote bag/ glass cup/ bamboo straw/… anything but plastic is great. Then things would be easier ^^.
Secondly, if you can’t refuse, JUST REUSE and REDUCE.
I constantly get every single plastic bag for every single item I buy, especially when going to the market. One for chilly, one for onions, one for pork and one more to cover outside. Storing several items in just 1 bag is okay, doesn’t it?
Lastly, if you can, then RECYCLE.
There, too easy, right? It’s still a hotly debated topic whether WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IT IS. Why the government? Why the others? Why not us. And WHEN? Why then? Why not now? I know changing a habit takes times. Some feel awkward for carrying a glass bottle to order drink in a coffee shop. “It’s only 1 plastic straw” – said 8 billion people. One “me” sure can’t do much to change the world’s mindset. However, one “me” can save the turtle from got a straw stuck in its nostril. One “me” can save the Earth one less plastic thing. Every action counts.
🎈Gratefully, in today’s world, there’re lots of campaigns, companies, groups who support this zero waste style. “Anything but plastic”, “Zero waste”, “Laiday Refill Station”, “Nói không với túi nylon“, “Stop Sucking” campaign, “Plastics Ban”, so on. You guys can join in these ecofriendly communities to catch up all the news and share your own story.
Above is my own perspective. I mean no harm or disrespect to any living style. Any point of view and discussion are welcomed. I am looking forward to learning more from you.
Choosing to live a greener life sure did struggle me a bit right from the start. I learned that, just give it a try, you’ll be thankful later.
✨From a weirdo just want to give the earth a little bit love.✨