Bagging bananas

I’m a teacher, or should I say, WAS a teacher.

One of my teaching positions a few years back was in reading intervention. I withdrew small groups of kids from their classrooms for intensive, daily reading assistance. I would teach them decoding skills, letter sounds and about punctuation. I listened to them read and encouraged fluency. I worked with their classroom teachers to identify individual needs and planned accordingly.

Basically, there was a problem (lack of knowledge/practice/engagement/etc) and I intervened.

That was my job.

But my passion now is to intervene in a different way.

I want to educate people on how they can help stop the single-use plastic crisis.

Surely you’ve seen, read, heard about the top 4 worst offenders:

X Plastic bags
x Disposable coffee cups
x Plastic water bottles
x Straws

These items are used for a brief moment in time and then thrown away. Or maybe some are recycled. But I am constantly picking this stuff up off the beaches and streets.

So what can we do?

Use less. Say no. Choose to reuse. Go without.

It is actually super easy to give up those top 4 items! Let me teach you how:

Plastic bags Plastic produce

Firstly, do you even need a bag? Popping to the shop for some bananas? THEY DON’T NEED A BAG! Stop bagging your bananas people!

Oh, you do need a bag? Choose a reusable bag. I keep a whole set in my car. I keep a small foldable bag in my handbag (PS I know someone who makes these). Reusable bags are available everywhere you look, in all shape, sizes and materials. You just have to remember them. Get some reusable bags! And use them.

Shopping bags

Disposable coffee cupsReusable cup
Easy to solve – drink your coffee in a mug! Sit down for ten minutes in the cafe! If you can’t do that then you need to get yourself a reusable coffee cup like a KeepCup. Plenty of other brands are around too. Or maybe you need to go without a coffee this time? That is good punishment if you forget your reusable cup! I’m sure you won’t do it again.

Plastic water bottles
Also easy to solve: reusable bottle! Or drink from a cup from the tap. We are lucky in Australia that we have access to safe drinking water. You can find lots of information about tap vs bottle water online.

This is where you can actually go without. Even five year olds can handle not having a straw if you tell them it will save the turtles. Or just buy some metal or bamboo straws and remember to take them with you.

Plastic straw

I think the key message here really is to be prepared. Be organised. Have your reusable items at hand, ready to go. Make it a new habit and then it becomes the norm. Take the plunge and sign up for Plastic Free July. Make it public that you are making a change!

What area will you choose to start with? Or have you nailed these 4 big offenders already? I’d love to hear from you!