Ban the Bag

 

Plastic shopping bags often find their way into our oceans. Marine life mistake these bags for food (sea turtles think the bags are jellyfish) and will die choking on them. You can help keep plastic bags out of the ocean and help protect not only the ocean but the planet by carrying reusable bags always for shopping and other purchases/uses. Leave one or two in your car, so you always have them on hand. Here’s some facts on plastic bags and how they are impacting our Oceans! Ban the bag! 
  • Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, thats more than 300 bags per person per year.
  • Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but a single plastic bag has a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years.
  •  High amounts of plastic material, especially plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles.
  • 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based waste, and the most direct route to the Great Atlantic Garbage patch is from the east coast of the US.
  • Retail businesses spend more than $4 billion per year to provide plastic bags.

Stop Single Use Paper Products

 

Reduce the amount of trash you create by replacing single use paper towels with reusable cloth napkins, sponges and towels. I like to use cloth napkins for meals, and keep a sponge for cleaning surfaces. Each item can be reused multiple times, there for reducing the amount of trash created. It’s a simple solution for a BIG problem.

Crush Plastic

I recently came across a great article on the website One Green Planet with some great information on how plastics damage the oceans and marine life. The article also included some great inforgraphics that I thought I’d share, with some tips on how you can reduce the plastics being found in our oceans. It takes a little more than recycling, as the article states that more than 85% of plastics are never actually recycled. That’s a pretty shocking statistic. Take a few small and easy steps to reduce the amount of plastic you use. You can read the full article here
Carry a reusable water bottle made of glass or other materials instead of buying single use plastic water bottles. Bring your own reusable coffee cups to work or in the car. I love my Starbucks drinks and use their reusable mugs and cold cups. As a bonus, they have reusable straws for the cups as well.
Bring cloth bags on all your shopping trips. Use reusable cloth bags instead of the plastic ones. I like to keep a few in my car at all times, to have them on hand for those impromptu stops at the store.
Try using solid shampoos and conditioners to reduce the amount of plastic shampoo bottles that wind up in our oceans. Lush has some great ones and you dont need any container to hold them in.
I think this one is the most shocking to me. The amount of straws we use that then wind up in the oceans. And its so simple to stop this one. Just dont use straws, drink out of glasses without them, or as I mentioned buy the reusable cold cups with the reusable straws from companies like Starbucks. At restaurants avoid using the straws and tell your server to not bring them to the table.
If you tend to eat at places that offer plastic cutlery, bring your own set of stainless steel ones. Keep a set in your car to always have on hand
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