It’s Earth day today. And while I haven’t been writing much on the blog lately, I think it’s time to start my delayed posts about Earth Love. I’m dedicating a category for this.
If you don’t know, or you don’t see my earth- plastic-free- related posts on instagram, I’m also an advocate of a plastic-free life, and I encourage refusing single use plastics. While I’m not yet at the 100% of a zero-waste life, I’m working on it. My journey towards minimalism has enabled me (us) to focus more on what matters to ourselves, our values.
One thing I know: I hate litter. But regardless if I throw my garbage into proper disposals, the world still gets polluted by the minute. In this short post, I share how I became plastic-conscious.
The Initial Trigger: I had to pay for plastic
I remember the first time I was in London some 10 years ago, shopping for food at Marks & Spencer. I see so many new things like, reusable bags, plastic fee, packaging without plastic. Why do I have to pay for a plastic bag, if I bought something? I thought.
This one instance opened my eyes and I became more aware of the steps that other countries’ governments take to control plastic pollution. Back in the Philippines, there was nothing of that sort.
Pasig City Post-Pasig River Rehab
In 2010, I lived in Pasig City. Famous for its biologically dead Pasig River in the 90’s–think a river just flowing with garbage–the rehabilitation of the river was a major wake up call to the city government. By the time I lived in Pasig, the ban on plastic bags and packaging has started. Straw-less Fridays were also a thing, much to the discontent of coffee-jelly guzzling Starbucks patrons. (They were given wooden spoons.)
I felt quite happy to be abiding by this city ordinance, and bringing my reusable bags to the groceries every week. However, I soon realized that this implementation was on a city-to-city basis. To this day, some cities in Metro Manila do not observe the same plastic ban as in Pasig.
It got me wondering why, as a country, we haven’t implemented this nationwide. We’ve seen what happened to the river, we’ve seen the Smokey Mountain (I used to pass by it when I was younger, it’s much better now), and we’ve constantly been complaining about trash on our beaches. Yet we do nothing about it.
We watch and applaud clean up drives like it’s a field trip. You see so many people reposting about the turtle stuck with straw, and whales dying because of too much plastic in their tummies, yet we still do nothing.
We need a lifestyle change.