Plastic-free July 2020: why it should be about journey, not about destination
The first half of 2020 was tough for all of us. Its second half starts in July and going plastic-free is a fantastic opportunity to make it better half :) Even if it is just for a day!
If the first half of 2020 was as we all expected it to be, this plastic-free July might have been about competition, inspired by Olympic games. Or, it might have been about shaming: for using a plastic straw or not bringing your reusable shopping bag.
But, the first half of the year was nothing as planned. Drastic changes happened in every aspect of our lives and for many people, it might take years to fully process it. The first half of 2020 was full of lessons. In a hard way, we learned about solidarity and compassion, transparency and credibility, leadership, and human psychology. We also learned about the environmental impact of our "normal" lives and we had a small peak into what radical shift is needed to achieve a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
So, with a heavyweight of the first six months of the year, plastic-free July 2020 should not be about quick solutions, light promises, and superficial behaviors. It only makes sense if it is about education, raising awareness, getting inspired, and developing our own individual plastic-free habits and principles. Plastic-free July 2020 should be a journey, rather than a destination.
You might be asking yourself if you should take this journey. If you should become aware of yet another incomprehensible problem. Could it solve itself without you getting involved and stressed about it? There are many reasons (read excuses) you can find to stay in the plastic comfort zone. One thing is for sure, if you join this journey, it will make you feel proud of yourself!
So, take it easy! Learn about the impact of plastic on your health, and the health of the ecosystem around you, and then think about your own journey. Keep in mind that, no matter how small your actions might seem to you, they will have a substantial impact on both your health and the health of the ecosystem around you.
If you spend the first 30 days of July planning and preparing for one single day of plastic-free life, you will relieve your immune system from big stress for that one day.
If you indefinitely ditch a single single-use plastic item, you will save tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
If you have only one load of the washing machine without any plastic materials in it (like polyester or acrylic), you might prevent as many as 700.000 microplastic particles from entering the rivers and oceans and harming marine life.
If you talk to at least one more person about environmental emergency caused by plastic pollution, you are doubling your impact!
Too much plastic in the environment is not a problem we can solve in one month. And one month of plastic-free lifestyle is not a sustainable approach to solving it. But it is a good start of a long and rewarding journey, full of creative solutions, small victories, and joyful moments.