Ten days before Christmas I invited my team over to celebrate the holidays together. It was a great time to gather as we rarely see each other in person as most of our meetings are virtual. One of the women commented on how she was surprised that I had a real tree because of my environmental awareness. My response was, “well, where does a fake tree ultimately end up?”

My logic is:

  • Christmas Tree farms are a thing

  • the city collects the discarded trees to put through a chipper to create mulch for Prospect Park, so I can see the cycle of it.

  • fake trees are primarily made of plastic, require storage space and while they may be used for several years, once we’re done with them they become permanent landfill

  • I don’t really like fake shit

I’m not saying I am correct in thinking that all of the resources used to procure this tree are any better for the environment, we would all need part-time jobs to learn the truth of it all.

We have many choices in front of us on a daily basis and once we become aware of them, we can easily transform our habits for the better.

I am not asking that we all become perfect in every aspect of our lives, but if we just choose one thing to change:

  • carry a reusable water bottle

  • always have a spare reusable tote

  • stop taking free pens

  • and the very famous, say no to the plastic straw

We don’t have to turn ourselves inside out and make our lives harder to make a difference. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine not using a straw (my favorite way to suck down my smoothing or iced latte!) but seeing all of the plastic on the gorgeous Bahama beaches almost 3 years ago made it very easy for me to choose not to use them everyday. And yes, I may use a straw in the future from time-to-time and I don’t have to beat myself up about it. A daily habit being reduced to several times a year is something to celebrate.

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My latest decision is collecting all of the plastic bags, including plastic mailers, bubble wrap and sealed air and bringing them to Whole Foods to be recycled. Many people don’t realize that these can’t be collected with plastic bottles and other recyclables because it messes up the machinery. Now, this is a way to create awareness because I am now noticing the volume at which uninvited plastic builds up in my home. I made a deal with my husband that we are each going to keep track of the plastic we bring into the house (including Seamless orders!) and the person who has the most at the end of the week has to bring it to be recycled. This has already made us cook more because neither of us wants to suggest ordering in.

If you need more inspiration about how to reduce your plastic consumption, check out this article.

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