Mindfulness is about living with more awareness and attention. People can, for example, be more mindful about their eating behaviour, their emotions and also about the way they use plastic. Have you ever heard of using plastic more mindfully or becoming more conscious about the use of plastic? Do you sometimes have the feeling  that you are using more plastic than necessary? Or do you have no idea about how much plastic you actually use in daily life? In this article we want to create more awareness about the consumption of plastic. 

Indispensable but not always necessary

Plastic, it seems like we can’t live without it anymore. But does this mean that we actually can’t?  For example: is it necessary to provide drinks from one or even several straws? And is it necessary to use plastic cups, plastic cutlery and plastic plates at parties and/or barbecues? There are plenty of examples to think of how often we unnecessarily use plastic. 

Do you find it odd that for example peppers and cucumbers are wrapped in plastic one by one? Do not worry, fortunately it has a function. Before the vegetables end up on your plate, they first need to be transported. Because they need to travel for a long time, they are wrapped in plastic to protect them and to preserve freshness. So, there is a good reason for packaged vegetables, but this does not mean that you should always buy veggies wrapped up in plastic. It is convenient to think about your ‘eating schedule’: when you would like to eat certain vegetables. Within a few days, you should opt for unwrapped vegetables. Choose packaged vegetables once you know that you will only eat them by the end of the week or so. In short: try to consciously think about your weekly schedule.

How can I mindfully deal with plastic?

It is important to take it step by step. Try to wonder if it is necessary to get a coffee-to-go or to put a straw (or multiple straws) in your drink. Perhaps the coffee is just as good at work or at home and you probably will not be harmed if you drink your refreshment without a straw.

Below you will find some tips about how to reduce the usage of plastic:

  • Replace plastic bottles for a nice drinking bottle, in this way you will not have to throw your bottles away! Some people even drink their water from empty jam jars: anything is possible, just be creative!
  • Purchase a stainless steel straw and in this way you do not have to use plastic straws. Jenna Jambeck, professor of technology at the University of Georgia, states that if you decide to stop using straws, you help to raise awareness about plastic in the oceans. Jenna published a study that measured for the first time how much plastic ends up in the oceans every year. In addition to the straws contributing to plastic in the sea, the straws also end up in the noses of turtles which causes them to choke. Reason enough to purchase a set of reusable straws, right? At bol.com you can order a set of stainless steel straws!
  • Bring your own neat or a cool cotton bag while shopping. In this way you will not use plastic bags from the store. And let’s be honest, it looks way better to wear a cool, reusable bag than a boring, plastic bag?  
  • Purchase some blocks of soap instead of plastic bottles of soap. This is good for the environment and also better for your wallet because it takes a long time to finish these blocks of soap. 
  • Recently, Albert Heijn started selling reusable cotton bread bags. This means that there is no longer any reason to put your fresh bread in a plastic bag 🙂 

With these tips you should certainly manage to be more mindful with plastic. Want to more about the effects of plastic on your body? Read this article of Psychologist Ilya. On behalf of the NiceDay team, good luck!

 

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Britt Stoker

Hi! My name is Britt, psychologist coach at NiceDay. Through online coaching I can guide and help you with what’s on your mind. Loves animals, traveling, photography and delicious food.

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