My Zero-Waste Challenge: One Day With One Kid
I am father and grandfather but, I think, I can understand the standpoint of this mother…
Using tote bags at the grocery store. Refusing straws. Taking my reusable coffee mug to a local cafe. But after another Plastic-Free July, I realized that my plastic-free efforts weren’t anything new. And actually, my efforts no longer felt good enough compared to being a zero-waster—that is, fitting a year’s amount of trash in a single mason jar.
Ten years ago, I saw the documentary Bag It and started advocating against plastic bags and began using reusable water bottles and carrying tote bags everywhere. That’s when I first learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how plastic waste harms marine life. As the film predicted, things have gotten way worse. Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons currently circulating in various marine environments. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas, and 10 years ago, it was already the size of Texas. The Ocean Cleanup gives me hope, along with local groups like Recology and the Surfrider Foundation, but there’s also the problem of the U.S. running out of landfill space.