A Disposable Lifestyle

As I got off the bus in the city this morning, I was greeted by the sight of a group of young people handing out water bottles to passers-by.  Their message was one of positivity and giving – rehydrate after Australia Day. PS – don’t forget to keep an eye out for our brand in the supermarket.  All I could think was plastic, plastic, plastic.  So many disposable plastic bottles that will just be casually tossed away to end up God knows where.  Australians buy millions of plastic bottles each year, and much of that ends up in our oceans.  The plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, the marine life mistake it for food, and they end up dying because of it.  They end up dying because we must have the convenience of bottled water.

And it’s not just water bottles.  We’ve got a huge issue with the use of plastic bags.  I was sat outside of IGA the other day with Buddy while we waited for Andy to come out with the shopping (Buddy isn’t allowed in) and as I watched people come and go I counted just one person who came out with reusable shopping bags.  I was sat there for about 15 minutes and every other person came out clutching plastic bags.  According to cleanup.org, it’s estimated that 1 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded every year.  I can’t even get my head around that kind of figure.  And where do these plastic bags go?  Into our oceans, into our landfills, all over the world.

Turtle bag

We’ve unleashed a plague of plastic, and once again it’s all in the name of ease and convenience for the human race.  Who cares about the animals choking to death as long as we’ve got bottled water? (and it’s mountain fresh don’t you know.)  Who cares that we’re poisoning the earth with our disposable lifestyles.  It’s not like we’ve got to live on it…

Humans are selfish, and the problem seems to be getting worse, not better.  We lead busier lifestyles and demand everything now, at a cheap price, regardless of the consequences.  We’ll watch as small businesses go under to make way for the global corporations just so we can get our groceries a little bit more conveniently, for a little less money.  We’ll let the wealth gap widen, allowing a small minority to hoard disgusting amounts of money but be content with this because TVs are so much cheaper these days.  We have so many material things, and we just keep demanding more.

And in this world, animals are just as disposable as plastic.  In just one month, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed in Australia alone.  We kill animals for food.  We kill animals to test products on them.  We kill animals for their fur.  We kill animals because they’re useless by-products.  We kill animals for fun.  We show about as much respects for animals as we do for the planet we’re slowly destroying.

Sometimes I feel ashamed to be human.

I think part of the problem is that we’ve all become lazy.  We expect everything handed to us on a plate, and screw the consequences.  We work hard damn it!  We’re far too busy to remember our reusable bags or fill up a water bottle from the tap.  We deserve that slab of steak.

Me, me, me.  We’re selfish and narrow minded, and it’s going to ruin us.

In my ideal world (no doubt hell for some) I’d like to see us all slow down a bit.  Take a moment to stop and smell the plastic.  Wouldn’t it be nice if everything wasn’t so hectic and competitive, and we could take the time to just live?

I’m far from perfect but I’m trying to make as many positive changes as I can to reduce my impact on this earth.  Or rather, I’m making changes to reduce my negative impact.  We need people to make a positive impact to try and bring back some balance to this tortured planet.

I don’t want to lead a disposable lifestyle.  I want to rebel against it.  So I’m going to say no to plastic bags, and refill my water bottle from the tap.  I’m going to wrap your birthday present in pages from the Big Issue and I’m not going to get you balloons.  I’m going to eat some nuts instead of chewing gum.  I’m going to drink from the glass without using a straw.  And I’m never, ever going to treat another life as disposable.

We have one life and one planet.  Why would we want to just throw it all away?


One comment

  1. Since last October shops in the UK are no longer allowed to issue free plastic bags. Sadly I have noticed that some shoppers will still happily pay the 5p charge for each bag, rather than use re-useable bags. But hopefully this law will reduce the number of old plastic bags floating around the countryside.


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