Why should you live plastic-free or prefer the Zero Waste lifestyle? As I write these lines, I am a little surprised that I am doing it. Because what does it say about our society that we have to learn to make less garbage in order not to destroy our planet and the life on it? It says that we have become comfortable - but it also reveals lots of opportunities and great potential for improvement.
In this article I would therefore like to tell you now my most important 5 reasons for which we all preferably in the sense of the Zero Waste Lifestyle should live.
Why should you live plastic-free and waste-free?
Hold on. I'd better adjust the question a little more: Why WE MUST live plastic-free and act in the spirit of the Zero Waste lifestyle? After all, there is nothing else left for us to do. Either we live waste- and plastic-free now - or in 2050 there really will be more plastic parts swimming in the sea than fish. Life on this earth would no longer be as pleasant for anyone as we may feel at present.
Here are my five daily motivators to live plastic-free and dedicate myself to the daily fight against plastic waste.
1. because plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time
Plastic is eternal and doesn't just disappear. Trash from any material that is not biodegradable is forever. The plastic may slowly over the centuries become Microplastics decompose - but it remains. A Plastic bottle, for example, takes just under 450 yearsuntil the decomposition process is even close to completion. And since we blithely use such disposable products - such as cups, cutlery, juice packets or straws - the garbage keeps growing. In the meantime, huge Garbage whirlpool in the sea formed. Plastic waste in the environment is a massive, man-made problem. And there is hardly a beach in the world where plastic waste cannot be found.
We humans have thus given ourselves one of the greatest Environmental problems of our time created, which in turn created other challenges, such as the Climate change or the global drinking water supply, makes it a mammoth task.
Why Zero Waste? Because our plastic waste stays in nature forever and endangers all life on this planet.
2. because our garbage kills animals
Every year, according to NABU up to 135,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds on plastic waste in the environment.₁ More specifically, on the consequences of our Disposable society. If you look only at yourself, you may think of the phrase "Oh, it's just the one plastic straw"can easily cross your lips. But if you think of yourself as one of almost 8 billion people, the feeling that everyone thinks and acts like this makes you queasy. Apart from that, even one straw can cost the life of an animal, such as a sea turtle.
Why Zero Waste? Because we must protect and respect nature. And what is more respectful than not littering it and not endangering the animals that live in it with us.
3. because plastic is toxic and mixed materials are difficult to recycle.
In addition to its eternal residence time, the toxic load, as well as the more difficult recycling are further Plastic disadvantages.
Plastic is poison. When the plastic decomposes from its solid state, for example. highly hazardous plasticizers such as bisphenol A (BPA) are released. These Plasticizers endanger children in particular in their development. When Plastic in the food chain it is most likely to endanger us as well. This is the case, for example, when we eat fish that are Microplastics in the sea have eaten and carry the plastic in their cells.
Products such as chip bags or disposable CoffeeToGo cups are also often made of mixed plastics. The Effort to separate them from each other is too great. Therefore, this waste is incinerated and the material is not recycled for new products.
Why Zero Waste? The more toxic materials end up in the environment, the more we endanger ourselves - and everything living on earth. Our development must be directed towards the use of natural and reusable material in order to live sustainably and to be able to manage.
4. because zero waste enriches our life (together)
Does it speak for our intelligence if we pollute and eventually destroy the only planet we can live on? If, contrary to expectations, this should speak for us, then we probably don't deserve it any other way. But we are not completely stupid, we have only for decades the Plastic advantages enjoyed without really being aware of the disadvantages. Now we see them. And are intelligent enough to change. With an extra motivation.
Because here are only some advantages and reasonswhy living plastic-free as a standard in our society will improve our coexistence in the long term:
- Healthier meals (without microplastics/pollutants)
- More conscious consumption (see Minimalism + Save money sustainably)
- Greater togetherness (e.g. Reduce food waste by agreement with the neighborhood)
- Clean environment (e.g. for relaxing time outside in nature)
- Intact ecosystems (e.g. in the fight against climate change, which has serious consequences for all people).
- Satisfaction & happiness (having mastered a major and positive change (or challenge) in one's life).
Why Zero Waste? Because we benefit as individuals, but especially as a society, when we rid ourselves of avoidable waste - and thus also of a major stress factor.
5. because it needs people who lead the way
We humans are creatures of habit. Out of convenience, we like to do what others do. The more people do it, the more convinced we are that we are doing the right thing. But unfortunately, something is not automatically "the right thing to do" just because many people are convinced of it. As a result, many people use disposable plastic products without questioning whether there is not a more sustainable and even cheaper alternative in the long term.
To break this waste-producing habit - which, by the way, only benefits industry, while our wallets, our health and our environment suffer - it takes people to take the first step. And the second and the third. As soon as we know that a change will undoubtedly bring about an improvement, we can also behave better. By learning to live plastic-free yourself, you are specifically counteracting environmental pollution and all the other consequences of our throwaway mania..
Why Zero Waste? Because it is one of the smartest lifestyles there is - and because positive change in a society always needs people who are determined to lead the way.
Why we have to live plastic-free? Because there is no alternative anymore
Strictly speaking, it's good that we have no choice but to protect our planet from disposable products and our wasteful, garbage-producing lifestyles. It's bad that it had to come to this, but good that we now understand the root problem: ourselves. That's why we are now starting to question ourselves - with the goal of bringing about positive change. The Zero Waste lifestyle is therefore not just a short trend, but a lasting movement that is sweeping our global society.
I hope I was able to answer the question "Why live plastic free?" for you today. Start directly and take a look at my article about the plastic free lifestyle. If you like, you can also check out here my book "Plastic-free for beginners" order, with which I support you in your start in the waste-avoiding lifestyle.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then feel free to write me a comment.
₁ NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V..: Plastikmüll und seine Folgen, available at https://t1p.de/tykc. [20.10.2020].