24 May The Need for Change
Pre-covid, we often undervalued the “cause and effect” of a single person. When organizations called us into action, we would share a hashtag or sign a pledge, satisfied to have done our part without considering our contributions beyond this point. With so much at our fingertips, we had become accustomed to a lifestyle that required minimal effort, which quickly led to general disinterest as we settled comfortably into our ignorant bliss.
And then Covid-19 happened, and the world began to shift on a global scale.
In the wake of the pandemic, people everywhere have begun to re-examine this way of being. Suddenly finding ourselves isolated from the convenience of the systems we had created forced us to face the reality we previously ignored – as a society, we were fast becoming lazy, thoughtless, and far from self-sufficient. And our eco-systems were suffering. Our animals were suffering. Our natural world was in crisis, and for the first time in a long time, we started to look inwards for change.
It Takes Just One Person
Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”.
This is a sentiment that holds as true today as it did back then. Though the notion of making any profound impact seems near impossible, it is a lot more achievable than you may think. Because when you go about your day, you are not just taking steps that influence the course of your life – your actions have the power to influence anyone you come into contact with as well.
Consider it this way – you are going for a hike with friends, and instead of your usual plastic bag, you use reusable ziplock bags for your snacks. Your friends notice this and enquire about the change. Not only does this open the conversation to discuss environmental issues, but it gets them thinking about their own habits too. It could even inspire one of them to make that change themselves. It may be just one other person, but that one person who felt inspired by you may go on to inspire someone else. And that person may do the same. And the person they inspire may have a child, and this child will be raised with that influence and eventually expose that to everyone they meet. And all because you switched to reusable ziplock bags.
Now that you are aware of your great potential, it’s time to look at all the ways you can get started.
World Environment Day
World Environment Day, established by the United Nations in 1972, was celebrated for the first time two years later under the theme “Only One Earth”. The intention behind the day was to increase awareness and encourage change, and it still calls for action from governments, organizations, and citizens the world over. It is celebrated on the 5th of June every year and has already tackled various global environmental issues, including biodiversity, climate change, and wildlife crime. This year World Environment Day, hosted in Pakistan, calls attention to Ecosystem Restoration.
There are several ways to get involved, from small changes in your daily routine to fundraisers to volunteering your time. This allows you to be realistic about what you can do and build from there. Every contribution, no matter how small, is deeply valued with an emphasis on long-term results.
This is a great reminder, as moving from mindless to earth-conscious can leave you demotivated when you don’t see results right away. The UN has also created a website dedicated to this day, where you can read more about current initiatives or sign up to receive updates and tips (https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/get-involved/subscribe-updates).
How Can You Help?
Although World Environment Day is an outstanding initiative and a great dose of regular encouragement and support, developing long-lasting, positive habits should be your priority. At MHSEcoFriendly, saving the planet drives us, and this extends to the products we offer.
We understand that the best way to promote change is by offering our earth warriors a sustainable and convenient alternative that is easy to incorporate into daily routines. When environmentally friendly changes fit seamlessly into your lifestyle, you are less likely to lose motivation, making it easier to hold your resolve when old habits challenge new ones. We are also big followers of the age-old principle of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and encourage you to do the same.
Our reusable freezer bags are durable, mould resistant, and easy to clean, providing countless uses before they need replacing. Gone are the days where you were buying freezer bags like they were going out of fashion. When the time does come to say goodbye, their biodegradable properties will see them decomposing in less than six months. In addition to this, you are not replacing them as often as single-use bags, which goes a long way in reducing your overall waste. It really does make saving time, money, and the planet a breeze.
These are more than just reusable food bags. These versatile baggies have several alternative uses. Here are 5 of our top picks;
● If you have a toddler, these leak-proof bags are a parent’s dream for sensory play. Fill them with clear slime, glitter, and a handful of beads to keep your toddler entertained for hours. You can also squirt dots of various coloured paints into the bag, zip it closed, and let your toddler squeeze to their hearts delight for some mess-free sensory fun.
● These reusable ziplock bags are the perfect beach companion. The ideal way to keep your wallet, change, and cellphone dry and sand-free. And, of course, you can save yourself some money by packing a snack from home.
● There is nothing worse than cleaning make-up off the inside of your bag. Though vanity cases do their best, they are tough to clean and end up looking less than sanitary after a while. The reusable ziplock bags will keep your cosmetics from touching the lining of your vanity/handbag and are effortless to clean. The added cleanliness also goes a long way in minimising bacteria and keeping your cosmetics fresher for longer.
● The reusable freezer bags are great for storing icy treats for your beloved fur babies. Add water, gravy, and dog/cat pebbles into a bowl and stir until the mixture is mushy. Move this mix into an ice tray and freeze right away. Once ready, pop the cubes into your freezer bag, label them with one of our handy freezer bag labels, and store them in the freezer until needed. This is a great way for your pets to cool down on hotter days or provide the perfect distraction when you need to keep them busy.
● Many of us enjoy a good workout before heading to the office, but it can be troublesome keeping loose jewellery items, like wedding rings and necklaces, from going astray. These reusable ziplock bags are great at keeping your smaller valuables safe and are much easier to locate in your bag. And you don’t have to worry about them falling out, because you know the bag is safely sealed.
● Our reusable ziplock bags are great for travelling. Yes, to store snacks, but also to store clothes. When you’re packing for your trip, these bags are a great way to keep items like underwear, socks, and toiletries separate and neat. As a bonus, if your toiletries happen to leak, this won’t spread to the rest of your clothes. Plus, you can keep the dirty items sealed and avoid spending your trip with a bag of clothes that smell like old socks.
The problem with single-use plastic goes beyond the obvious. Most times plastic used is not biodegradable and cannot be recycled either. Meaning it ends up in a landfill where it can take anywhere from 10 to 1000 years to decompose. Landfills may be the better alternative to plastic in the ocean or littered across the earth but receive upwards of 2 billion tons of waste a year, making them a very unmaintainable – and limited – solution. Our reusable food bags are not just biodegradable, but the box they come in is 100% recyclable.
The best part of all is that products are available for purchase online through Amazon, so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home.
Convenience vs Consciousness
There was a time where paying attention to your carbon footprint was a burdensome and daunting feat. Whether it was unreasonably high prices, lack of availability, or poor quality control, the incentive to go green wasn’t there. In turn, many people didn’t bother to do it.
Thankfully, the reality of being faced with the consequences of our contributions within society, and the world itself, made it much more difficult to explain away our actions. 2020 saw a crucial shift in what drives people. A survey conducted by Accenture that year found up to 60% of consumers had begun actively making purchasing choices that were more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and ethical. Furthermore, Accenture added that nine out of ten of these consumers were confident this would be a lasting change. In the months that have followed, this has proven to be a trend that has continued to gain momentum.
One of the biggest hurdles before was convenience versus consciousness, but the post-Covid era has found companies seeking ways to satisfy both. In addition to online shopping, which has grown tremendously, we now have several delivery services at our disposal. As the emphasis on ethics in consumerism rises, more companies have begun incorporating environmentally-friendly products into their line to keep up with the increasing demand for conscientiousness. As a result, the number of people ready and willing to make sustainable changes within their own homes had soared. As we look forward to this age of environmental awareness on such a large scale, we MHSEcoFriendly are happy to be able to do our part.
MHS Eco Friendly Team