I don’t know how, or why, or exactly when, but at some point in the last few years, I’ve started to really give a shit about the way we treat the planet we live on. I’ve always cared – tried to reduce, reuse, recycle, but as I get older, it all seems a little more…pressing. Maybe one day humans will be colonising Mars, but I reckon it’s a pretty safe bet that in my lifetime, and yours too, Earth is it. And man, are we doing a good job of fucking it up. This planet isn’t like a shitty student flat – we can’t just treat it like a dump and find a new one next year. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but an eviction notice from Mother Earth means…um…we die. Shit is serious.
I am sure you are now thinking ‘tell me, wise woman, what can I do to make sure I am lessening my environmental impact, and not being a huge, thoughtless arsehole?’. Heaps is the answer. You can do heaps. What you actually do is up to you, but you should do something.
Something that nearly made me shit myself when I read it was the prediction that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. WHAT?! If that thought doesn’t register with some alarm in your brain, then you are either heartless or a bit on the thick side. So here’s something you can do about that. New Zealand (and the world) can do more to cut down on plastic shopping bags. And that means you can do more. You can pick up reusable bags at ANY supermarket and use them FOREVER. You’ve probably got them lying around the bloody house already. That or some kind of tote bag/cooler bag/cloth bag/anything-but-plastic bag. Before anyone starts to have a hernia at the thought of having to buy reusable shopping bags – just stop. A $20 outlay for 10 bags you can use forever ain’t no thang. Especially not compared to the guilt of feeding plastic to sea turtles and dolphins. And before you restart that hernia at the thought of having to remember to keep those reusable bags in your car, spare me the tears. If you can remember the names of all the Kardashians and their significant others, the 13 most effective ab workouts, or how to create the perfect contour in 22 easy steps, you can remember to take your reusable shopping bags to the fucking supermarket. The only thing worse than being a dick is being a lazy dick.
Another thing that’s super easy to remember is to take a drink bottle with you if you think you might need one. A proper, heavy duty, last-for-ages, BPA free number. It takes 3-7L of water and 1L of oil to make a 1L plastic water bottle. That. Is. Fuuuucked. That’s like a recipe asking you to put five cakes into a bowl, mix them with eggs and flour, bake them for 40 minutes at 220, and then you pulling one effing cake out of the oven. WHAT GOES INTO IT IS NOT WORTH WHAT YOU GET OUT OF IT. New Zealand’s tap water consistently ranks among the best in the world – so fucking drink it. ‘But I don’t like the taaaste’. Stop it. You whiny baby. Buy a water jug with a filter. Keep it in the fridge. Job done. The initial cost is nothing compared to what you’ll save by not buying a fucking water bottle at the service station every second day.
There’s more. There’s way more. Don’t litter – and maybe pick up a piece and chuck it in the bin once in a while. Turn shit off when you’re not using it. Don’t leave the tap on while you brush your teeth. Stop using plastic wrap. Get a reusable coffee cup instead of chucking away a disposable one every day. Wash your hands with cold water (For real. When it comes to handwashing, warm water isn’t doing anything cold water can’t). Take shorter showers. Try to eat a couple of meat-free dinners a week. Stop collecting bloody junk mail. Eat seasonally and locally when you can. Throw out that rank facewash with the microbeads. Recycle. Give a shit about where your dollar goes, because where your dollar goes shows what you give a shit about.
‘But I can’t do all thiiiis’. No. Stop it. Whiny baby again. Maybe you can’t do everything. But you can do something. And something is better than nothing. Make a conscious effort to improve the footprint you leave on this planet because (to paraphrase), we don’t inherit this earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. And I don’t want to explain to the kids of 2050 that the reason there are no sea turtles or dolphins anymore is because I needed a plastic bag to carry a bottle of fucking Evian.