A new year has just started, and sometimes this is a special motivation for a change of our behavior such as loosing weight, eating healthier, stop smoking. How do you like the idea of enhancing you environmental awareness once more? As oceanlovers, we encounter the plastic floods on a daily basis – on the beach, in the water, under the water. The plastics originate often from far inland being carried towards the ocean by wind, rain, streams, rivers. Plastic pollution does not only matter in the oceans but everywhere around you.
Sometimes it is obvious how to prevent plastics and we all KNOW about it – but do we also LIVE it? These tips shall be a reminder for our everyday life. Bit by bit, you can change habits – see what you can pick for yourself – and spread the word.
“We believe lots of small individual actions can have a big impact on the planet. The more people who join our tribe and take action, the more we can do for the world’s oceans!“ (take3.org).
USE LESS plastic.
Avoid wrappings when shopping groceries.
Have a foldable shopping bag in your bag for spontaneous shopping on your way from school or work.
Take a reusable water bottle with you. Don’t by bottled water in countries with fine tap water.
Prefer a coffee-to-sit-down to a coffee-to-go, or have a reusable cup with you. If you really need a to-go, avoid the lid.
Skip the straw (they suck).
CLEAN up your beach, your forest, your park. Join a movement or organize a clean up day/week/festival yourself, invite people via social media (picture by 808cleanups.org).
RECYCLE, REUSE plastic waste, repair broken but still functioning things, upcylce.
Whenever there is the possibility to separate waste: separate it.
Please don’t throw plastic things away in order to make your life plastic-free. Think of what you can still use it for and use them as long as possible, then dispose them to a recycle bin.
For interesting upcycling ideas, check out Pinterest.
AVOID MICROPLASTICS – the invisible microparticles are nasty stuff, hidden in cosmetics. Unfortunately, by washing polyester fabric, small particles also peel off. Buy less, choose well.
Though not (yet) scientifically proven, we just don’t know exactly which effect micro plastics might have on us humans, but obviously, there are more toxic components of plastic products that are being released, harming living species. The effects just start to show in the first studies.
More information about microplastics here: Beat the microbead.
SUPPORT NGOs and initiatives and get informed. A small selection of organizations (no ranking):
JOIN the global movement Break Free From Plastic.
It is not about being or acting perfect all the time. Only very few people can probably say this in terms of plastic use. But what can and will make a difference is:
* a greater awareness of the problem
* leads to a behaving more mindfully in everyday life
* constant repetition will eventually lead to a change in behavior
* the ones around you will be inspired – as long as they are not missionized (never a good idea)
* sharing on (social) media will take it to a higher level
“The ultimate goal is to change the mindset about plastics” (Plastictides)