Watch the video and answer the questions:
1) Why should we avoid plastic? How can we prevent plastic pollution?
2) What is the best material to use for coffee cups?
3) Does buying second hand help the environment?
How to save the planet in 3 steps
I’m Audrey. I’m French but right now I’m volunteering in an ecological center, Bellona, in Saint Petersburg.
It’s no secret now that the Earth is getting hotter and hotter every year, a phenomenon that we call climate change. And today, 97% of all scientists agree to say that climate change, or global warming, is caused by human activities, especially by the extraction of fossil fuels. The extraction of fossil fuels is the extraction of oil, for example for cars, and it creates a lot of carbon dioxide. That’s why it’s so bad.
But, no panic, here is a simple method to reduce your impact on the planet, in only three steps.
The first step is to reduce.
You probably know what single-use objects are. You probably drink water everyday from a plastic water bottle, or go shopping and end up with a plastic bag from the store. These single-use items are often in plastic, but why is that a problem?
First, it does not really make sense to put a lot of energy in a product that will be used only once. Second, plastic is not biodegradable. It means that, if the plastic bottle you used ends up outside, in the street, it can take up to 400 years to decompose totally. And third, even if you can put plastic in the recycling bin, most of this plastic will not be fully recycled. That’s why a good tip to save our planet is to reduce your consumption of single-use items, in plastic or in other materials.
And you can with them with items that you will use everyday!
For example, you can use these kinds of bottles, instead of a plastic bottle. You can fill them at home, and bring them with you the whole day.
There are also straws, like this, that you can reuse every time. This avoids using or buying plastic ones.
To do your grocery shopping, you can also use a bag like this. You can bring it with you, and this way you don’t have to buy a plastic bag from the store. And there are the same things for fruits and vegetables. It’s really annoying that you always have to take fruits and vegetables in plastic, so you can just buy this, and this way you don’t have to do so.
You can also think about the packaging of the things you are buying. When you buy a salad on the go in a cafe, is all of that plastic around it necessary? Do you really need this plastic cutlery that they give you? These will be immediately thrown away after you ate your lunch. That’s why it’s possible to avoid using them.
You can bring your own cutlery, so your own forks, your own knives. You can also bring your own straws, and bring your own container, like this. So you can ask the cashier to not give you the plastic but to put your salad in this, for example.
You can also bring your own cup of coffee, like this, everyday with you, so that if you want a coffee but that you’re outside, you can just ask the cashier to put your coffee in this. And, if you live in Russia, just like me right now, there are some places that are willing to accept your container or your cup of coffee, and even give you a discount. If you want to see where you can go, there is a very useful website, called “mycupplease.ru“. It has a list of coffee shops for every city in Russia. There are some coffee shops that will give a discount if you bring your own cup. That’s why in the end, it’s ecological and cheaper, so I really encourage you to do so.
The second step is recycling.
It’s of course possible to recycle in Russia. First of all, you should go to the website “recyclemap.ru“, and choose your city, to find the recycle centre that is the closest to your house. If the recycle centres are not really convenient for you, there are even groups of volunteers that are willing to take your waste for you and bring it for you to the recycling centre*. So you can choose what’s better for you, and search for these volunteer groups on the internet.
Then, you can start sorting your waste at home. Often, you can just follow the instructions on the package, sort it in the right bin, and then bring all of your waste to the recycle centre or bring all of your waste to the volunteers.
Here are some examples. You can separate multiple bins : one for the glass, one for the plastic bags, one for the paper, one for the plastic packaging, or one for the caps of the bottles.
But you have to be careful! Your waste has to be clean, so clean it quickly before throwing it away.
And the third and final step is reuse.
You can reuse many objects, but a good way to start could be to reuse your clothes. If you don’t wear some items of your wardrobe anymore, sort them, but do not throw them away! If they are in good condition, you can either sell them, or donate them.
For example, in Saint Petersburg, there are some charity shops that are willing to take your clothes for free, and will then sell them to finance their charity. So, by donating your clothes, you are making a good deed. In Saint Petersburg, they are two. One called Спасибо, and another one called Благодарю. And they will just accept the clothes that you give them, so it’s really easy and convenient.
You can also, of course, give your clothes to a friend, to a family member, so it’s always really easy to give a second life to your clothes.
And, if you know that your clothes are too old, you can just reuse them. There are many ways to do that. Either you can use your own imagination and create an art piece from your clothes. Or just turn your old t-shirt in a rag for cleaning, or donate it to an animal shelter that will need it.
And if you’re ready to go even further, you can also buy your clothes from a second hand shop. The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, that’s why buying second hand clothes are a huge way to reduce this pollution. And also give a second life to these clothes that would have been thrown away anyway.
So that’s it for me! Remember these three steps: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. Reduce your consumption of single-use items, recycle all your waste, and reuse your clothes (but you can also reuse whatever you want, actually).
So you see? Saving the planet is really easy!
Thank you for your attention, and maybe see you soon for another video. Пока!