Let’s talk brains. The brain is essentially a giant supercomputer that functions both chemically and electrically to form the most complex molecular machine known to mankind. Neuroscience is the beautiful study that aims to brave this mystery that is the brain. Research in this field will undoubtedly be monumental in fields such as medicine and technology. There’s an immense amount of cool stuff surrounding neuroscience, one of most astounding has to be the concept of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the fantastical ability of the brain to physically alter its structure in response to experience. In an amazing reciprocal relationship with behavior, the brain can literally rearrange itself to better respond to stimuli and to adapt to new behaviors.

All of this is relevant because I’m trying to change my behavior. As a part of my sustainability goal this summer, I’m making an effort to reduce my consumption of plastic water bottles, and I believe neuroplasticity can help. If I begin to adjust my behavior and perspective regarding plastic, then my brain may gradually adapt to the new behavior and physically reorganize to a mental state that is more environmentally conscious. It’s a long-shot, but it’s based in science, so I’m willing to give it a try.

Somewhere along the line, my brain adjusted to the understanding that plastic is everywhere. This isn’t totally surprising, seeing that world generates approximately 32 million tons of plastic each year. Out of habit and society’s influence, I’ve become numb to this sea of plastic that surrounds myself and the rest of the world. Plastic is made up of organic materials that degrade very slowly, posing environmental hazards as our nation of consumers use-up and throw-out plastic at ever-increasing rates.

I’ve made the transition to a reusable steel water bottle that is both efficient and fashionable, and I’m beginning to readjust my view on the wasteful luxury that is plastic water bottles. NeuroPLASTICity may be my ticket to fully achieving a refreshed lifestyle of sustainability and conscious consumerism. Healthy habits require consistency, and so I’m eager to “train my brain” into considering the environment more than I’m used to. Thanks for reading,

Mike Salhany

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