Two more days to go on Bloganuary and this question couldn’t have been timed better! I have no illusion that I am going to have a huge impact on changing the world, but I believe that if we all do our part, we can make a difference. I try to do my part by being kind and giving to others, supporting local businesses, not owning a car, separating my trash, thinking about my plastic use, not eating too much meat or fish, donating clothes to charity, etc.
These are easy things to do if you want to, right? Then why is it so hard to actually do it? I mean, we are traveling through East Europe right now, and the awareness of separating trash or reducing the use of plastic hasn’t really sunk in here (yet). In this part of the world, there is still a lot to learn when it comes to environmental awareness. Bins are overflowing and trash is just lying on the streets, there are plastic bags everywhere and almost every item you buy is put into a separate plastic bag!
Just an example: I was doing groceries in a supermarket in Skopje. At the fruits and vegetables section people are weighing your items. Of course I had to put my tomatoes in a plastic bag, but I didn’t do that with the bananas and cabbage. They can just put the sticker straight on the product right? Wrong! After I put them on the counter, they still wrapped both of the items in a separate plastic bag! I tried to tell them that I didn’t want a plastic bag, but they didn’t listen. Pfff… frustrating! Fortunately I am a very persistent person, so eventually, after a few visits, they knew and stopped doing it. The good thing is that in North-Macedonia they are slowly making some changes by replacing the plastic bags for fruit and vegetables with paper ones. It’s a start! Awesome!
Yesterday we watched the documentary ‘Seaspiracy’ on Netflix. It was quite shocking and it opened our eyes to a very important problem! According to this documentary the majority of plastic waste in the ocean is not caused by our waste that we throw away, but by used fishing nets caused by overfishing.
Plastic straws only take up 0,03% of the plastic waste. Fishing nets cause the majority of the problems (over 50%!). Of course that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t reduce our plastic use. The oceans are becoming unhealthier every year because of excessive fishing, and this is affecting the overall health of our planet. They even talked about the effects on climate change and problems for the existence of the human race!
The documentary maker showed that we can solve the plastic problem (and other problems) by not eating fish anymore (the same goes for meat of course). Nobody of significance wanted to speak to him, hear about it, or admit that this would solve a lot of problems. Why? MONEY! It always comes back to money. People are fishing illegally for certain types of fish (causing more problems in poorer countries), killing off fish (like whales, dolphins, sharks) because they are a threat to their fishing grounds (and other reasons). It was shocking!
I would never tell anyone what to do, but after seeing this documentary, Paul and I have decided to try to stop eating fish and meat, and do our part to change the world into a better place.
What are you doing to change the world? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.