I recently read an article about a Pilot Whale in Thialand that died after a five day rescue mission. Once the whale had passed, an autopsy was performed that showed over 80 plastic bags in its stomach. Not to mention the countless other pieces of plastic that basically caused the whale to starve to death. It got me thinking, what does it really mean to be an ocean conservationist? I also started looking around in my home at all the plastic I have accumulated over the days, months and years.
We live in a world that the harm of plastic is severly overshadowed by its convenience. It’s hard to fathom going to the grocery store and not using plastic bags to get produce or to carry out the groceries. I certainly can’t grab 10 paper bags at the same time, so now I’m looking at multiple trips from the car (the horror!). And how do I sip on my delicious sweat tea from Chick-fil-A without a straw? Surely this one straw does not make THAT big of a difference. As I researched, I couldn’t help but think, do my actions alone really make an impact? The answer is yes.
Did you know that there is a trash island in the Pacific that is literally twice the size of texas? Or that in the US alone, we go through 100 billion plastic bags a year. Or that almost every single piece of plastic ever created is still on the planet? Plastic is so durable that it can take over 1000 years to decompose. But not all hope is lost. There might not be a whole lot we can do about the plastic we’ve already consumed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference for the future. So i’ve put together 4 very simple suggestions on ways to slim down personal plastic use.
1. Don’t Ditch the Straw
Well at least not these! I love straws, I hate taking a sip of a drink and the ice comes toppeling down on my face, or the water hitting above my lip and ruining my lipstick. But don’t worry ladies, and men too if you like the sissy straws, I have a few alternatives! Check out this straw on kickstarter! It’s not out yet, but I’ve already reserved mine (expected delivery in November). And these metal or paper straws (not my favorite, but a better option for birthday parties!)
2. Glass Containers
In case you didn’t know, microwaving plastic can also be harmful for your food, and for you. If you like to do leftovers like me, these glass containers are a great option.
3. Bees Wax Paper
This is new to me and something I just ordered to try out. The paper is natural and reuseable and it’s made of organic fabrics covered beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Not only does it reduce plastic in the kitchen, it’s also better for you! It can be used to cover bowls, wrap a sandwhich, cover produce or anything else you’d use plastic wrap for.
4. Upcycled Plastic Bags
One of my favorite things about this blog is I found some awesome companies out there that are turning plastic trash into reuseable items. Like these upcycled bags in India. They use plastic bags to create more stylish, reusable bags. Other options include canvas bags, or these eco friendly bags. Whatever the option, say no to the plastic bags in the grocery store or the mall!
A lot of companies have started to tackle this idea of conservation. Some states have begun charging a ‘plastic bag tax’ for anyone who choses to use a plastic bag. And some retails shops also charge customers of utilizng a plastic bag. While these efforts are only scratching the surface, they are a great step in the right direction. What will you do with your plastic consumption?
Stay tuned for next blog that focuses on companies who are dedicated to their fight against plastic waste!