Ditch the plastic.

Do you find joy in seeing discarded trash or plastic on the side of the road or while you’re out walking your dog? Me neither. Does it make you feel all warm and bubbly inside when you see garbage washed up on the beach? Yeah… me neither. You guys, I’m not a huge environmental activist. I am only just beginning to learn of the ways our choices are damaging our planet. I am not gonna go all Leonardo DiCaprio on you.. well, not at this point in my life. Didn’t know Leo was a major planet saving hippie?- he is. Not only is he the best actor- he is also hugely concerned for the well being of our earth. I’m actually impressed when celebrities like him step up and really lean into problems. He’s used his voice and resources to support major efforts. Way to go, Leo.

I really want to use my voice to be a joy advocate. I will gladly advocate for all things that make us, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our planet safer and healthier.

I think our safety and our health are closely connected to our joy. Don’t you?

How can we ditch plastic?

WATER BOTTLES: One simple way in which we can make a big impact in how we use plastic is by SWITCHING to reusable water bottles. QUIT buying plastic bottled water on the regular. It’s an easy switch. I know, it’s not as convenient- but it is easy. I promise you, I’m not here to judge you. I don’t look down on anyone. So, if you buy plastic water bottles, I’m not here to get all preachy, I’m just here to highlight some easy ways we can start to implement changes in our lives for the better.

We have a reverse osmosis filtration system through Culligan and we love it. We also have a water softener system through them. We pay about $86 a month because we leased the equipment. When we pay it off, we will only have to pay for salt and for the water we use.

A 24 pack of plastic bottled water ranges from about $4-$8 depending on the brand and store in which you buy them. How many water bottles do you folks drink? And how much of the water do you waste? Have you ever added up how much you spend on your bottled water in a month? In a year? I’d guess you probably spend between $15-$30 a month if you drink only from water bottles. There is a statistic, that on average the American spends $100 a year on water bottles.

Did you know the planet is at a record high for producing water bottles? Which means, there’s a constant battle in what to do with the trash. What many of us don’t realize is that a great number of bottles used for beverages are not completely recyclable. If producing less trash isn’t a conviction of yours yet, you should know that there’s much controversy of whether bottled water is healthier or cleaner than tap water. Here’s a good article to read on the subject.

How to do this?

Maybe you can start drinking your tap water after you do some research on your county’s water system compared to the bottled water you drink. Save the earth and some money! Or look into other filtered water options.

Bring a stainless steel or glass bottle with you when you leave the house. Most places will fill your cup up for you. I have a water bottle similar to this and use it often!

Avoid buying bottled drinks while you’re out, instead choosing paper fountain cups when available or asking for a regular cup or mug.

FOOD STORAGE: Consider how we store our food. Most of our containers are plastic. Maybe we can’t fully escape our plastic tupperware right away, but we can certainly start considering how to start making changes.

Reusable storage containers made of other materials like these are great options when you’re ready to make the switch!

Glass Storage Containers- these are a great option for switching out your plastic tupperware. There are so many sets available with good ratings on Amazon. I chose these because the set comes with 24 pieces, differing in sizes, with 4.5 stars. What’s the benefit of switching? Glass containers stand the test of time and are safer. They are almost always microwave and dishwasher safe.

Reusable Silicone pouches.- These pouches are a great option for travel, kid’s snacks, and storing foods in the fridge. They also have a good feature of keeping the temperature.

BIODEGRADABLE- So many of the items we buy regularly have biodegradable options. Plastic grocery bags, dog poop bags, trash bags, food storage bags…. STRAWS. I challenge you to go to your Amazon search bar and just type in the word “biodegradable.” You’ll be pleasantly met with SO MANY options. Maybe you’ll be inspired to swap out a few things.

Consider your FOOTPRINT:

Topics like these are often intimidating and overwhelming. We know there’s room in our lives to make changes- but we also feel like the small changes we make won’t actually impact much. So, we decide to stick to what we’ve been doing and what’s convenient. My advice is to start like we did. We started implementing a couple easy changes like the ones mentioned above with the goal of growing more aware and responsible. We all are a part of the problem, so we need to also be part of the solution.

Becoming aware stirs up a deeper sense of ownership. Y’all- maybe you don’t want to talk about it, but the reality is- we are really treating this planet like crap. I pray first for myself, that my convictions grow and that I take seriously the call to steward this planet well, while also keeping God’s grace in mind. This planet is fading. It is not eternal- so while I do my best to make the healthiest choices, I also remain hopeful for my new home that awaits me.

Here is an awesome resource to start you on a new journey in your own lives. It is a great website full of research and practical ways to make changes. They’ve even developed an action toolkit to download and print. I recently downloaded it and am excited to take back the control of how I impact the health of our planet. I’ll fill you in on our journey from time to time.

A healthier planet is a better one

&

A healthier home is a more joyful one.

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Shelly Jata