2019 was a big year for plastic pollution awareness and the world made some serious headway toward creating solutions to tackle the problem. A lot of countries banned plastic straws, millions of people started to refill rather than buy single use plastic food items and thousands of restaurants moved toward paper based packaging.
Then 2020 hit and a lot of the progress we made went out the window due to the pandemic but the problem of plastic didn’t go away, it got worse.
Unfortunately more than ever, we are consuming, discarding and not recycling plastic waste in the tens of millions of tonnes. In fact 8 million tonnes of non-recycled plastic waste enters our oceans annually and this number is rapidly growing. 2020 is looking like plastic consumption has risen by 30% more than 2019, 30%!!
So why does this even matter and is it a lost cause you ask? It matters for more reasons than we are even aware of. Firstly, our planet is incredible beyond our knowledge and every single one of us should take the time to appreciate how magical it is. You have heard it all before, that the oceans are going to have more plastic than fish within 30 years and that there is a garbage patch the size of Europe in the middle of the pacific, it’s all true and it’s crazy but it’s not a lost cause. Lets change this destiny to something beautiful, let’s evolve as a species and do the right thing.
Here at GoodFor, we imagine a future where the cultural norm is that plastic waste consumption is not cool, not okay and something of the past. We see refilling stores on every corner, plastic free farmers markets in every suburb, metal and paper recycling centres in every town and city. All this takes is a shift in the standards of our culture and we can act right now.
1. Refilling our pantries
We can set up our pantries with containers like glass jars to refill these over and over again. Once you're set up and you know what you consume, you just need to identify a plastic free retailer either online or at a physical store local to you. This simple act of refilling wipes out 50% of your plastic consumption just like that. It also has other benefits like allowing you to save money as you don’t waste as much food and it gives you clarity as you can see your food so you no longer have hundreds of different brands and packages sitting at the back of your pantry. It’s like magic.
2. Reducing our Food Waste
New Zealand households throw away approx 150,000 tonnes of food a year (about $1.17 billion each year). That’s enough food to feed the population of Dunedin for almost three years! Crazy, right. We know we should store our food correctly in airtight containers and most things last longer in the fridge but when we look at the root cause of why we waste food, we think the answer lies in understanding what foods we need and love to eat. When it comes to cooking, we wholeheartedly think the best way to reduce the amount of food you waste is by cooking the foods you genuinely LOVE. And by that, we mean, using good quality ingredients that makes you feel good, full, happy and satisfied. If we love the food we make, we’re not letting that go to waste! If you’re struggling for recipe inspiration, check out our recipe page here.
3. Choosing Organic
There’s been so much misinformation around organic food over the years but choosing organic is crucial to protecting the environment for so many reasons. The most important factor is to reduce the damage conventionally grown food is having on our natural ecosystems. “Organics” is based on the use of local and renewable resources and growing things where they naturally grow best. Unlike foreign crops, which demand more resources and chemical supplies, native crops adapt much better to their local environment.
Organic growing focuses on holistic farming and recognising that we are part of a broader ecosystem – an ecosystem we want to keep around! The less we disrupt the natural ecosystem and interfere with synthetic fertilizers and chemicals the better the holistic health of the planet will be (including our personal health).
Here at GoodFor, providing high quality, organic food, plastic-free is our mission’; however, we do understand that in order for us to create change with more people, accessing high quality, organic food must be affordable. We’ll be launching what we believe is the answer to accessible, affordable sustainable shopping on March 8 so stay tuned!
Every single one of us can make a difference and we can start by refilling our pantries. With every dollar we spend we’re voting for the planet we want to live in, for generations to come.