Remember back in October we shared the Just Eat It documentary about food waste? One fellow blogger (Nadine from Zero Journey) let us know they were the creators of this docu about consumerism and waste (which I hadn’t seen it back then). So, highly recommended if you are starting a zero-waste journey!
Whether it’s being used as a mid-day breath refresher or on the playground to see who can blow the biggest bubble—chewing gum is a daily habit for many people. But what happens when you’re done chewing it? 80–90% of chewing gum is not disposed of properly and it’s the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts.
Chewing gum is made from polymers which are synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade. When it’s tossed on the sidewalk, there it sits until it’s removed which can be a costly, time consuming process. Littered gum can also make it’s way into the food chain. It has been found in fish where it can accumulate toxins over time. Sustainable chewing gums have been produced. These gums are natural, biodegradable substances. Cities are also implementing gum receptacles to cut down on waste. In a six month period these trash cans cut down on littered gum by 72%.
Next time you get ready to toss your gum, consider aiming for a trash can instead of the side walk.
Since plastics were first introduced to the U.S. during the mid-late 19th century, we’ve been dependent on the material for it’s versatility, convenience, and function. Currently, plastics are one of the most used materials on a volume basis in U.S. industrial and commercial life. Unfortunately, the sheer mass of plastic used to make containers, packaging, appliances, plates, cups, and so forth has gravely impacted the environment. An estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic occupy each square mile of ocean and at least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.
Alternative materials—such as reclaimed wood, steel, and glass—can help gradually reduce our reliance on plastic and pose less of an impact on the Earth. Reducing plastic use can range from short term decisions—swapping plastic sandwich bags for washable canvas or throwaway plastic utensils for metal ones—to more long term changes, such as trading in your plastic picnic tables for reclaimed wood barn tables. Making smart swaps can make a big difference over time.
Beyond the landfills and trash heaps moldering in almost every town and city across the globe, manmade garbage has found its way into the natural landscape on a mind-boggling scale. It seems as though there are virtually no places left on Earth free of our rubbish. Junk can be found everywhere – from the bellies of animals and the tissues of our own bodies to the world’s vast oceans.
Mushrooms have a permanent place on my shopping list. I don’t always have a plan for using them, but I know that after a week of slipping them into frittatas and stir-fries, I’ll be ready to buy more. For longest shelf-life, I use two different methods for storing my mushrooms.