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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Plastic, Politely Discouraged: What We Can Do to Build Change

    Carried from one shore to another, twisted in tangles and entwined around the seaweed, plastic litters our oceans, beaches, and wildlife. From grocery bags to soft-drink bottles, plastic has become a convenience for us as individuals, but at what cost? It’s not just the visual impact of pollution that’s the issue, but the effect plastic has on animal and human health as well. Taking small steps to reduce the amount of plastic we come into contact with is essential in combatting the issue, however, learning how to politely and proactively refuse plastic can be difficult.

    Rather than being complacent in using plastic, our attitude should move towards respectful denial when it’s offered. Whether in day-to-day life or while grocery shopping, there are numerous opportunities to practice plastic avoidance without being impolite. The best rule of thumb is to remember that every single decision matters, particularly when speaking with those who still willingly use plastic.

    Create a Conversation

    When attempting to politely refuse plastic, creating and promoting an internal conversation is a great initiation step. Seeking to understand both why plastic is so appealing and why the world is trying to reduce its usage can help break the ice and open people up to talking about why plastic pollution is important. Not only does this elevate newsworthiness, but it also helps create emotional connections that form engagement and advocacy. In addition, getting a conversation going is a non-confrontational strategy that still actively brings changes to people's lives.

    Enlist Allies

    Offering assistance to encourage others to make changes to their lifestyle is an effective way of bringing positive change. Signing petitions, joining virtual marches, and taking part in community efforts are all ways of demonstrating action. Reaching out to family and friends who you know have similar environmental viewpoints is also a great way of lending a hand. Friendships should never contain pressure, but instead should help provide support and assurance.

    Educate Yourself

    Finally, staying informed on the issues surrounding plastic usage is critical in achieving understanding. Taking the time to research and understand the issue is essential in feeling empowered enough to make a stance. Alternatively, signing up to receive emails from anti-plastic organizations can make the process even easier. Making a commitment to maintain current knowledge on the situation puts you at an advantage when it comes to advocating for plastic reduction amongst your family and friends.

    When it comes to plastic usage, we often take it for granted. However, learning how to politely decline plastics offers us an opportunity to make an example for others and create a safer and cleaner environment for generations to come. Drawing attention to the severity of the situation offers an opportunity for thinking beyond a short-term solution, and creating real, lasting change.

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  • Notice: Some articles on enotalone.com are a collaboration between our human editors and generative AI. We prioritize accuracy and authenticity in our content.
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