MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Gina Lopez, Director and Co-founder of One Million Acts of Innovation challenges you to take the Plastic Free July Challenge. Photo: Adam Hourigan
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Gina Lopez, Director and Co-founder of One Million Acts of Innovation challenges you to take the Plastic Free July Challenge. Photo: Adam Hourigan

YOUR story: Why I quit plastic

FOR me, being conscious about my consumer choices is one of the most empowering feelings I have ever had. With all the issues in the world, it is nice to know where I spend my consumer dollar is one of the most effective forms of activism and makes a massive difference to my environmental and social impact.

You don't realise something until you realise it. It was only a couple of years ago that I started to understand the massive, long term effects of plastic on the planet and my health. Once I opened my eyes, I would see plastic everywhere. This shift in consciousness made quitting and easy decision. The impact was so huge that suddenly it felt ridiculous to continue to use single use plastic for the sake of my convenience and poor planning. I would think of what future generations would remember us for, plastic andover-consumption.

Like breaking all habits, a shift in the way I thought about things was key to long term behaviour change. I started to see things for what they really were.

I no longer saw a yummy treat. Instead I saw a toxic substance that would last around 100 to 500 years, kills the ocean and marine life and is made from oil, a resource that was created before the dinosaurs.

But don't stress, you can reduce your plastic consumption. You don't need to feel overwhelmed or guilty. You just need to decide to change and be conscious to your consumer choices.

Plastic Free July is an opportunity for you to see how far you can go with it. You might not be ready to go the whole way, but you can start to change. The powerful thing is that because we use so much plastic, when you quit, you are making a huge reduction in your impact and actually making a massive difference over your lifetime. One person can change the world.

Through quitting plastic, my health improved (I wasn't eating processed foods), I saved money (I wasn't buying things I really didn't need), I connected with where things came from and got a better understanding of who I was giving my money to, I became more involved in my community, was happier, empowered and inspired people to make change.

Cold turkey was the easiest choice as it took all the internal negotiations out of it. The answer was simply no.

I was forced to find alternatives, be innovative and resourceful. It was fun, challenging and really connected me to my consumer choices. It made me feel overwhelmingly powerful as I realised I did have control over my impact on the planet.

Our economy responds to consumer demand.

Demand a better future and embrace Plastic Free July and maybe even a plastic free life.



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