This week we've been participating in a community trash pickup with HoWL, Homer Wilderness Leaders.
It was so fun to work together with other youth to tackle this dirty job. There is really something magical about working with people towards a common goal that unites you together, and I think we all made some wonderful friends this week.
It was deeply satisfying to be taking action for our earth and community. So often we may think about or talk about what could be better, but actually doing something is so empowering.
It was easy to see the difference we were making as we drove past the places where we cleaned and saw how nice it looked. I felt like each piece of plastic I put in my bag was saving it from ending up polluting the ocean or the soil.
So many people honked or stopped by to tell us how much they appreciated us cleaning up. And maybe we even inspired people to do a little cleanup of their own, or help the community in some other way.
Most of the trash we picked up was plastic, and it really got me thinking about ways I can further reduce the amount of plastic I use.
All this plastic trash goes into plastic bags to be put in a landfill (in nature) to sit there for eternity. Just so we can have the convenience of single servings of string cheese or granola bars. Juice or water to go. Or tacos to-go.
It just isn't right.
Most of this stuff that comes wrapped in plastic isn't good for us anyway. Even water that has been sitting in a flimsy plastic water bottle gets loaded with toxins from the plastic. The processed food often has dyes, flavorings, seed oils, or high fructose corn syrup in it.
It's convenient, but at the cost of our own health and the health of the planet.
Homegrown and homemade food using real ingredients is going to taste better, and make you feel better.
I urge you to find one thing that you often buy that comes wrapped in plastic, and make the effort to find an alternative that does not. Find the change that makes the biggest impact with the least effort.
Stores which specialize in zero waste are great places to get some of these things. In Homer we have Sustainable Wares and Woda Botanicals, and in Anchorage I recommend Blue Market and Summit Spice and Tea.
What is ONE STEP you can take that sounds do-able?
What are some other ideas I've missed? Comment below!
For inspiration, here's an awesome Granola Bar Recipe for you!
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9" by 15" pan. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter, honey, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Add in the vanilla and blend well. Then add in the dry ingredients. Add in the mix-ins. Press batter into buttered pan and smooth down with a fork. Bake 20 minutes until the top is light golden. Let cool and cut into bars. Freeze individually in wax paper bags, or in reusable plastic containers for camping or other special trips.