Being in your 20s is certainly a time for development. People say you don’t really morph into your true “self” until you’re 30, and those ten years beforehand are a time to learn and grow. Five years into my twenties, and I’m still getting to know who I truly am meant to be. I’m learning about my true passions, as well as the stuff I can live without. Recently, I found a desire in my heart that I didn’t know existed until a few months ago—saving the ocean.
I grew up in a small beach town on the coast of Connecticut, living so close to the ocean that I still tell friends the beach was my backyard. I spent numerous summer days walking to our neighborhood beach, climbing on the rocks, catching crabs, and making castles with the sand. I know the ocean is something that we all share, but for me, the ocean feels very personal. It reminds me of who I was, and who I am becoming. No matter where I am in life, I can always rely on the ocean. The waves crashing on the shore, one after the other after the other.
Recently while scrolling through Facebook (don’t judge, it’s my job guys), I came across a BBC video about the “sea of plastic” in the Caribbean. I actually watched this video with tears rolling down my face, completely struck by my naivety of the situation. I use plastic every day. And it is never guaranteed that those plastic items are recycled in the right ways. How would I truly know if that bottle of Diet Coke I recently drank isn’t one of the millions floating in the ocean right now?
After watching that video, I got angry. I thought about my hometown beach, and how I would feel coming home to a sea full of plastic instead of seaweed. The thought made me nauseous beyond belief.
I know there are a lot of causes in the world that need action. There are things that we all feel strongly for, and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be one to want to “save the earth.” But now I find myself cringing every time I use a new product with plastic, and I’m starting to make small changes in my life where those cringe-worthy moments will happen less and less.
I’m joining the war on waste
I’ve been listening to a podcast based in Australia called War on Waste that gives practical tips on how to live a waste-free life, and it’s become quite a movement over on Instagram. Just take a look at the hashtags #waronwaste or #zerowaste and you’ll find tons of people trying to do the same thing that I’m starting to attempt.
I’ll be sharing my journey here on my blog
As you already know, I cover a lot of topics on this blog. I write about living in the city, budgeting, meal planning, and living an all-around balanced life. I’ll be starting another category called “Plastic Free” where I’ll be posting new content on my journey towards a plastic-free life. I’ll also post about my journey over on my Instagram.
I don’t expect my husband to join me
Yes, I don’t expect Oliver to join me on this journey, simply because he doesn’t feel the same way I do. And that’s okay! In Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up she comments on how you shouldn’t expect others to live a certain way in your own household just because you want to make a change. During my day-to-day life, I want to reduce my waste to practically zero. But I would never expect Oliver to give up frozen pizza just because it’s wrapped in plastic, or start carrying around a keep-cup every time he goes out for a cup of coffee. Yes, this would mean we would still have a trash can, but I’m going to feel much better about using that bin less and less.
I’ll be writing on a range of topics
This blog has typically been a practical guide for my readers, but I also want to be informative about our trash crisis in the city, the country, and even around the world. A few questions I’ve been tackling already include:
- How does composting actually work?
- How can I reduce my grocery shopping waste?
- What are the state of our landfills?
- What actually happens when you recycle plastic/glass/paper?
- How much plastic is floating in the ocean right now?
- How often do I use plastic, and how can I swap it out?
- Will zero-waste grocery shopping actually cost me more money?
- What are ways I can join the war on waste here in New York City?
- What are some useful products that will help reduce my waste?
I could go on and on with questions, but I wanted to open the floor and ask you instead. What are some questions you have about your garbage? Share in the comments below, and let’s talk trash!