It’s snowing, like full on snowing in the middle of April! Mother Nature has lost it.
Or have we?
This kind of thing doesn’t just happen. There’s a reason behind the strange weather we have been experiencing. Over the years, we have been damaging our earth.
And now we are paying the price for our ignorance and frankly our inaction to correct our bad ways.
There shouldn’t be snow in April there should be rain! There’s a reason there’s the saying, “April Showers bring May flowers.”
Every year, we stand by and see the effects that global warming has on our world. When are we going to say enough?
Well I am saying enough. I can’t speak for everyone else but I at least want to try to make a change for the better.
That’s why for this Earth Day, I am joining Earth Day Network’s movement to #EndPlasticPollution and you should too!
Let’s enter this farmer’s market season with a new mindset and lets support not only local farmers and producers but our earth as well!
I was at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market this past Saturday when I had another meaningful conversation with an individual. His name was Aric Aguonie. Aric is a farmer and is the owner of the organic and certified Demeter farm, Earth Haven Farms.
Aric brought to my attention something that I hadn’t really brought much thought to: Farmers Markets and packaging.
It’s true many market goers bring their reusable bags but what about the vendors that sell their leafy greens and other goods in plastic bags? Shouldn’t they follow suit to our efforts and reduce their plastic contribution?
Aric, told me about his personal decision to ditch the plastic bags and instead sell his greens in paper bags. He also told me the consequences this had on his business.
Can you believe that he sells less of his produce in paper bags than he did when he was selling them in plastic bags?
This seemed absolutely absurd to me! Yet it makes sense. It’s similar to the way we are accustomed to buying our food. Think about it, you walk into any supermarket and what do you see? Packaged to go meals, packaged fruits, spinach and other leafy greens in boxes and bags—almost everything is packaged in a box or a bag. And if it’s not, I guarantee you, there’s a roll of plastic bags within a 100-meter radius.
So if we “naturally” gravitate towards the nicely displayed vendor stands…what about the farmers like Aric? Who may opt to display and sell their products in a more eco-friendly way?
Why should we turn a blind eye on them?
Here’s a farmer and an individual who is trying to make a change for the better but is paying a price for it.
This made me think really about what we are doing as consumers. Sure, we are supporting local and supporting this farm to table movement but in other ways we aren’t helping our planet at all.
It’s great that we are buying more local and reducing our carbon footprint by purchasing products that haven’t travelled miles and miles to get to our tables.
…But what purpose does that serve if we are piling up our earth with plastic bags and plastic containers?
We need to think a little more about all our actions and efforts together, not in isolation.
This means not only for us as consumers to take our reusable bags to the market, but to also encourage vendors to follow suit by supporting farmers that sell their products in paper bags or pint boxes that you can recycle, reuse, or even bring back to refill!
I really think this weather should make us think and reflect on how we are living our lives; and with Earth Day 2018 coming up on April 22nd, the timing couldn’t of have been better.
After my encounter with Aric, I wanted to personally dig into this topic and I came across Earth Day Network’s Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit.
The more I started reading, the more I realized we are a long way to go in reducing our carbon footprint. We may not realize it but plastic is all around us. So much so that we use and discard of it without really being conscious of it.
Plastic is everywhere and we don’t even realize how much of it is unnecessary. Its convenience has allowed plastic to become part of our everyday lives. If you really take a look, you’ll notice that there is plastic in most of the things we buy, in furniture, appliances, electronics and countless of other things!
Plastics pose a problem due to their un-biodegradable nature—meaning we can never properly discard them. This means that basically every piece of conventional plastic every produced still exists in landfills, our oceans or as litter.
Yet, we keep producing it! And we as consumers keep buying, using it, and truthfully throwing it away.
I’ll admit thought that we are trying in some ways. There are more people using reusable water bottles, bag and even reusable mugs now. However, it’s not enough, we are still using single use plastic products like straws and plastic bags!
Did you know that Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day? That’s 182,500,000 straws in one year that goes to landfills and our seas!
Plastic bags are another problem – a plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down and as it breaks down, the plastic particles contaminate soil and waterways. They then enter the food web when animals accidentally ingest them. These affect all sea animals like sea turtles and other marine life like fish, which we eat and consequently absorb these toxins as well!
Even though many grocery stores and supermarkets have started charging for bags at the checkout, they still offer the plastic bags in the produce section. Which now that I look at it, is contradictory to the effort itself.
So what’s the big picture behind it?
That’s a LOT of plastic is living on our lands and in our oceans. And it’s only growing.
The Earth Day Network has put together an amazing toolkit to educate everyone on Plastic Pollution and provide direction on how we can reduce our carbon footprint by the 5 R’s –Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Refusing, and Removing!
I suggest you learn more about #EndPlasticPollution here.
I have pledged to join this movement not just for Earth Day 2018 but I plan to continue to practice a plastic free lifestyle from now on. It will take some time and it may have its challenges but I am determined to little by little reducing my own plastic usage and footprint.