I'm not sure what finally clicked in my brain to make me hyper-conscious of all the single-use stuff I toss into the trash can without another thought. I mean, I'd been environmentally conscious, but only insofar as it didn't interfere too much with convenience. But recently, I've been thinking a lot about human impact on the planet, and more specifically, my own impact.
Maybe it was the thing that said that every plastic bag you have ever used at any time in your life... still exists. The sandwich bags my mom used to pack my lunch in second grade still exist in a landfill in Alaska. The sporks I used in junior high, the shopping bags I got at the BX in high school still exist in a landfill in Germany. I'm midway through raising kid #3 and have packed a whole lot of lunches using a whole heckuva lot of sandwich bags. Every single one of them still exists. Every piece of plastic I have ever touched... still exists.
Maybe it was easier to justify when I lived in a community that had a recycling program. Being able to toss stuff into a recycling bin is perhaps a salve to the conscience, allowing you to believe you're actually doing something good for the environment, rather than less bad. My current community has no recycling program.
Whatever it was, the result is that my 2020 end-of-decade resolution is to USE LESS. And use less plastic in particular. Not quite zero waste, but definitely a step or two in that direction.
I'm writing this down to keep myself accountable. I hope to update at least monthly.