Continuing our “Post A Day” quest– Mondays are “Mindful Mondays” here at the GotPassport household. The article cited above, about a more earth-friendly packaging material is a good reminder that we should be more mindful, at the point of purchase, of where the product and packaging will end up after its useful lifespan. For the product, it might last a few months, hopefully years. For the packaging, the lifespan might be a few hours, or days it takes to ship to you. We cringe each time we order takeaway from a restaurant or street vendor, as so much plastic and/or styrofoam is used, only for those precious few minutes to transport it from there to our apartment.
It’s time we wake up and pay attention to where the waste eventually ends up – landfill, recycled, reused, etc.
We do see a slowly growing green movement by some food vendors here in Chiang Mai, who use banana leaves to wrap the food. However, when they put the food, wrapped in a banana leaf, into a plastic bag, it’s a sign that we have yet to see creative alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic bags used for just about all types of products.
When possible, we choose to do the following, as a way to decrease the wasteful use of plastics:
- Dine in instead of takeaway, especially if the food vendor uses washable flatware and silverware.
- Don’t order more than we can eat. No leftovers, no doggie (plastic) bags.
- Carry our own set of metal silverware – spoons, forks, and stainless chopsticks, too! Disposable chopsticks are wasteful, and it helps us to say “No” to plasticware.
- On occasion, we even bring our resealable glass containers (in our own small cooler) for the food vendors when we order takeaway. Surprisingly, no one ever looked at us weird, and proceeds to put the dish in our ‘dish.’
- Say “NO” to plastic bags and straws at 7-11 stores.
- And… the often mentioned reusable water bottle and cloth grocery bags. This is common knowledge now, but how often do you say “Shoot, forgot the bags…” when you arrive at the market? We try to keep ours in the storage bin of the motorbike or bicycles.
- Also, drinking water dispensing machines are everywhere in Thailand (we think, we know they are everywhere here in Chiang Mai), and costs only 1 baht per liter or less. Refilling just makes sense, than buying jugs of water every day. We also boil our own water daily, to refill our stainless steel bottles.
So, don’t forget the four Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, and our new focus: Refuse.
We Say NO to the Status Quo.
Live Green. Live Small. Give Large. Take Little.
Take Notice. Take Action.