Changing our habits …
Changing our habits beyond reusable cups and containers is what will really help the environment
Posted on 18.06.2019
Like many Australians, I try to do the “right thing” for the environment while still living a regular lifestyle in (the increasingly hipsterfied) Hobart.
I use a reusable cup for takeaway coffee, have a selection of non-plastic bags I take grocery shopping, and try to make choices to buy things with as little packaging as possible.
But a quick look into whether these behaviours are really the “right things” to be doing left me depressed, discouraged and feeling defeated.
Australia’s recycling systems still rely heavily on shipping our waste to other countries for them to deal with.
Since China largely stopped accepting our waste in 2018, this has meant much of what could be recycled is being sent to landfill or is sitting in stockpiles, waiting for something to happen.
While we know single-use plastics contribute to pollution and have been linked to killing seabirds (and just about everything else), replacing one plastic with another without thinking about how we use these products isn’t necessarily much better in the long run.
Trevor Thornton, from Deakin University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, has written about the commonly asked “how many times do you need to reuse a shopping bag” question for The Conversation.
“There’s no black and white answer,” he says.
While I now know my reusable coffee cup isn’t saving the planet, at least I can do some small things to start making a change.
Maybe we’re not quite so doomed after all. If we can change our coffee habits, who knows what we else we can do.
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