A friend posted this on her site the other day and it keeps running though my mind. As I go through my day and I am shopping, packing lunch or cooking supper this incomplete sentence keeps running though my head. I realize it can’t be answered in one sentence. A general shift has to happen on all levels, from individuals to communities, to businesses, to municipal governments, to our country leaders etc. We live in an industrialized society and we are so accustomed to living our lives guided by consumerism. We have gotten complacent and when given the choice chose convenience. I am guilty of giving in. I buy individual yogourts for my daughters lunches. She gets one everyday. It would make sense to send her with a container that is filled from the larger container in the fridge. It would be more economical and she wouldn’t have to add that plastic container to the recycling bin at school. So why do it? I want her to eat it and have told myself that she is more likely to if it is in that cute colourful little container. Somehow it tastes better and is more fun to eat when its in a package. But is that true? Have we all been tricked and convinced by business and advertising? We need to shift our attitude and not be persuaded by advertising an it is teaching our kids these things. giving them the ability to be critical and mindful so that they have the power to make those choices.
I do my tiny bit, but I want to do so much more. I use my bags at the grocery stores and often turn down the plastic ones at stores. When I pack lunches I use containers instead of baggies. I try to buy bulk if I can and not send in prepackaged treats. Mygirl brings a water bottle and only occasionally brings a juice box.
Packaging is the huge culprit because we live in a day and age where so much of what we have is imported. It is a world of trading and merchandising and with that comes packaging. All our stuff has to be prepared for shipping, prepared for delivery and distribution and then again prepared and perhaps repackaged for us to purchase from store shelves. It is impossible to avoid but we can minimize our impact at our own individual levels. Make conscious decisions of what and how we bring things into our homes. We can put our efforts into our daily lives – make easy switches such as doing away with plastic bottles where you can and carry your own refillable container. Bring your own bags to the stores or use cardboard boxes. Pack litterless lunch boxes. Shop local and eat more healthy whole fresh produce. Print out emails and such only when necessary. Eat less fast or take out foods – use your own refillable wares when you can as more places are beginning to do this. There are so many little everyday things that we as individuals can do. Once we get going and make the switches they’ll become habit and routine – not a big deal.