2018 finally saw the world wake up to the awful fact that humans are destroying the planet. Suddenly we realised that plastic really was a huge fucking problem. Scientists told us that it was going to happen and not many people listened. People knew that there was a risk of plastic waste making an awful impact on the environment, but it still remained ‘out of sight out of mind’ and the theories were kept on paper. But 2018 saw this all change. No longer was it just a hippy theory shared with scientists, suddenly it became a mainstream topic of conversation. Social media, television shows, radio and news all made every single one of us aware of the effects that we were all having on the planet. Plastic was a problem, whether you liked to admit it or not. I told you so…
The Plastic Age
People realised that they were guilty. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Suddenly people are starting to panic. Once-upon-a-time, they knew it was going to happen just ‘not in their lifetime’, but now the effects were being seen. It was going to affect them in this lifetime and it seems to be happening so quickly. In the year where plastic was discovered at the deepest point in the ocean, people were suddenly being told that while recycling is needed, it wasn’t going to fix the problem. We all needed to do more. We need to not create all of this waste in the first place. Recycling was the last resort. As 2018 came to a close, the plastic conversation was more intense than ever before. Instead of recycling all of our rubbish, lets just not make it to begin with!
Manmade plastics have now contaminated every inch of our earth. While it is easy to throw the word ‘Millennial’ around with somewhat of a piss-take (apparently I am a Millennial, born in 1989, but I do feel a little old for that term) these Millennials are the ones who are waking up and doing the hard work. They spend hours on social media, sharing the shit out of inspirational videos, blogging about making a difference (oh shit! I really am a millennial) and getting the message out there. These people are heroes in my opinion. It’s the older generation that has made this mess, and they sit there not really caring about it either. They laugh at the vigour of these Millennials, they expect us to fail and they take very little responsibility for the mess that they have created. They just keep on adding to the problem, and taking the piss out us for trying to fix it.
Millennials are fucked off. Yeah they can be a bit of a weird bunch, attending raves, piercing every inch of their bodies, drinking strange coffees and eating off lumps of slate in hipster restaurants, but they know exactly what’s going on. I always considered myself an old soul, having an interest in gardening and house plants before it was cool. I grew up self-sufficiently and spent my 20’s being considered as quite a radical hippy, but now I stand shoulder to shoulder with these Millennials, excited that I am no longer one of the minority and excited that we are about to see the world change.
My predictions for 2019
Now that the world has started to wake up, I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen next. Some of you may read my predictions and think ‘Ha! Not a chance in hell!’. 3 years ago I told people that I was going to eliminate plastic from my life (often in extreme ways) and teach others how to do the same. People told me that there was ‘not a chance in hell’ then too, and that others would never jump on the band wagon. Well… I guess they were wrong and I was right.
I think that more people will grow their own food. It’s really hard to buy food that hasn’t been involved in the plastic pollution at some stage of it’s life. If people are going to eliminate plastic from their lives, it’s going to have to be in the strictest way and not just from the final stage- when it’s bought. Eliminate the need of plastic packaging, plastic shipping containers, plastic machinery. People will grow their own food in soil, with seeds posted in paper, grown only in soil. Plastic free in all stages of it’s life. 2019 will see a lot more people live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it’s easy to be vegan when the only food you eat can be grown in your back yard.
The way people eat will cost less and contain less chemicals. People will be healthier. Obesity and diet related illnesses will dramatically fall. For those who can find space to grow their own food, they will be so lucky. They can say goodbye to stale, mass produced and dirty food and say hello to food that is pure and will make them feel great. You only need a few plant pots to make a difference and with clever planning you can produce the majority of your meals from just a few square feet of space.
I believe that the self sufficiency movement will boom– not just self sufficiency for food. Back in the 1970’s John Seymour led the movement, which saw people churn up their back gardens, keep chickens and grow their own food. I suspect this was due to the children of the war missing the ‘good old days’, but now we have the power of science behind us and know that this lifestyle is needed once again to regain our health and save our earth. No longer do we need to rely on the powerful supermarkets or the mainstream way of life, instead we can do it ourselves. It’s easy. Its good for our wallets, our physical health and our mental health too. A good place to start is by watching the 1970’s sitcom, The Good Life.
Single-use plastics will certainly be a thing of the past. Plastic straws, cotton wool buds, disposable cups, plastic coffee stirrers I hope shall be eliminated by law with alternatives easily available for the same cost. I know full well that some single use plastics will never be eliminated (such as the plastic found in sanitary towels and nappies) but I hope that the amount of people who use them and have the option to switch will do so. The last few years have seen a huge rise in the number of women choosing to use reusable sanitary protection and I hope to see these numbers rise. Switching is better for the environment, women’s health and our purses too.
I would love to see a widespread bottle deposit scheme in place across the country in most supermarkets. Plastic bottles can be deposited back into the machine, for money. We all know that people are driven by the reward of cash and for those too lazy to recycle, I am hoping that the promise of cash will encourage them recycle too. Personally, we have made the switch to glass bottles. Most plastic can only be recycled once or twice before it’s properties are so warped they can never be recycled again, but glass is never compromised and can be recycled with no negative effects on the glass. But, a bottle deposit scheme for plastic bottles would be better than none.
We are already seeing rising numbers of people boycotting supermarkets. I expect this figure to rise due to people refusing to shop where plastic is so unnecessarily used, and due to more people choosing to shop local and growing their own produce.
What predictions for 2019 do you have? Is there anything that you would like to see happen this year? What differences are you going to be making this year for a better future? Let me know in the comments!
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