It is widely accepted that our generation bears the responsibility of tending to climate change, brought on by the wasteful practices of earlier generations. We have to start big, and we have to start yesterday. The health of our planet is deteriorating as we speak.
According to the EPA, containers and packaging make up 23% of landfill material. Aside from large purchases that are bound to come in boxes and plastic, we can avoid packaging by reducing online purchases and eating mindfully. It is important to remember that while packaging exists in your life for only a fleeting moment (the shrink wrapped sandwiches and bulky takeout boxes) it continues to live out lifetimes in landfills, beaches, streets and wild food chains.
If this doesn’t call you to action, consider that challenging yourself to avoid packaged goods can help you have a better quality of life. You will, by default, eat more nutritious foods and save money. Bananas, apples, oranges, etc. are grown in their own packaging and won’t leave you feeling heavy, like a bag of cookies.
Carrying a reusable water bottle may increase your water consumption since you won’t be deterred from the recurring costs of a plastic ones. Instead of buying lunch in the excessive packaging (styrofoam trays, plastic cutlery wrapped in plastic, all in a plastic bag), you could meal-prep in reusable containers.
Climate change is bigger than all of us, and is certainly bigger than meals brought from home. Challenges like these start conversations that make unified action possible, which is the one and only way to keep Planet Earth safe and habitable.
This week’s challenge: Use less packaging. Substitute at least 5 packaged meals/snacks with non-packaged ones.
Good luck on this week’s challenge! Send photos of your meal prep to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in next week’s paper!