When I was in Hong Kong, I went to a sustainability talk that changed my whole outlook on being environmentally friendly. What is being eco-friendly? Before the talk, I thought I was pretty eco-friendly. Growing up in an Asian household, we have general rules like turn off the lights as soon as you walk out the room, or don’t waste food and don’t take more than you need. But there were so many things I didn’t realize, for example did you know that every time you buy a coffee, those paper cups are non-recyclable? All because of the layer of plastic coating on the inside to make them waterproof. So the cups go straight into landfill. I had no idea… wow.
The more I travel, the more I see how we are causing a huge detrimental effect on our environment. Our animal population have decreased tremendously in our jungles, and our fish and sea turtles are choking on plastic. Deforestation is causing our climate to change and over half of the world’s forests have disappeared due to urbanization, farming and the need for timber. Watch Our Planet on Netflix. Sir David Attenborough can show you more in a lovely British accent.
I’ve started to be more aware of what I’m buying, and where I can save plastic by bringing my own coffee cup to Starbucks, bringing my own container to get take out, refuse plastic utensils, and stopped taking plastic produce bags at the grocery store. I haven’t gone to the extent of a zero waste lifestyle, but hopefully cutting down the amount of plastic in my life will help. I think the most important thing is education. Educating companies and individuals to also try to more eco-friendly. Stop taking 100 napkins at Starbucks, and only take what you need. Bring a foldable container if you know you always have leftovers from a restaurant.
So here’s to starting a new chapter in my life on saving the planet one small step at a time. I’ve included a few links below of some of my favorite coffee tumblers and food containers just to get started on something small. Are you with me?