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Plastic pollution is dire, and we need to start doing everything we can to cut-back on single-use plastics. Earth Day explains that a horrifying 8 million tons of plastic is dumped in the ocean every year, a large portion of which is micro-plastic – which fish and marine life mistake for food. Last year I treated myself to a 4Ocean bracelet for my birthday – not sponsored, just a wonderful company who remove 1 ton of plastic from the ocean for every bracelet sold, and the bracelets are made from recycled materials. Most of the ocean hasn’t even been discovered yet, but plastic has made it’s way down to the depths we’ve never swam. Although we’re not gonna find Ariel down there, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protect it.
Marine life is starving because they mistake items such as plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them, which means they’re full of undigested material. They also get stuck to, poked, and prodded by our plastic straws, cotton swabs, and more.
I’ve been cutting down on my single use products, by using reusable coffee cups, water bottles, alternatives to cling film or tin foil, lunch boxes, and tote bags. I’ve been trying more and more zero waste products, like Lush’s shampoo bars and henna dyes – not sponsored but I adore their Godvia shampoo. Or finding new uses for old and broken products, like my cactus series where I used my old broken coffee cup as a pot.
I knew I had to get involved when I saw that WAKECup and The Marine Conservation Society were holding this challenge. Donations can also be made to The Marine Conservation Society, here even the cost of a cup of coffee, £2, will help them to protect or oceans and wildlife – in their own words: “We act because everyone relies on the ocean to survive, from the air we breathe to the food we eat.”
All the news stories about climate change and plastic pollution are terrifying, they keep me up and night, and sometimes it seems hopeless – but if everyone on the planet was too scared to do something, then we’d lose our chance. What’s even more scary is that it’s a story that’s not even covered enough.
Founder’s of WAKECup, Nick and Buffie perfectly explain that: We believe small changes to our daily routine when multiplied across the globe can make a huge difference to our shared Oceans…”it‘s only 1 plastic straw said 7.7 Billion people” is a line that has helped inform our thinking and also “If you can‘t reuse it, refuse it“.
Although today, March 11th, is the official challenge day, anyone and everyone should do this more often – and hopefully one day every day can be no single use plastic day!
Here’s how I did:
WAKECup were kind enough to gift me a tote bag. Which is adorable, high quality, and made from ethically sourced cotton.
I try to keep a tote bag in each of my handbags so if I buy something, I don’t need to rely on single use paper or plastic shopping bags, so it will come in handy and the artwork will help spread the message!
I pre-made lunch the night before and stored it in my cute flamingo bamboo lunch box, and took my water bottle and coffee cup with me.
I often bring my own lunch to college or work, but sometimes rely on snacking, when I do, I try to go for options that are recyclable -but it’s difficult, especially when looking for vegan, palm oil free, healthy treats – they’re basically non-existent on college campuses! My mam happened to make banana bread the night before so it was a perfect snack to take with me on what was a very busy day!
This is called a challenge for a reason as it’s disappointingly difficult to avoid plastic. Thankfully there’s plenty of water fountains and cafes in college so it’s easier to avoid buying drinks in plastic, but food is tricky. Most ingredients that go into making lunch are also coated in plastic, but a simple change is to take a mesh bag grocery shopping to avoid wrapping loose fruit & veg in plastic bags, and look around for stores that allow you to fill your own container with grains and nuts.
On the bright-side, this is something that looks like it will get easier over time. More and more businesses are becoming sustainable, and the more pressure we put on the rest, the more likely they are to follow suit. The likes of Down2EarthMaterials sell biodegradable “plastic” so it’s absolutely possible for ordinary people and establishments to go plastic free.
WAKECup was kind enough to give me an affliate link, which you can use to get started on your own zero-waste journey here, I earn a percentage of commission, which helps me keep this blog alive and thriving so I can continue to raise awareness to the climate crisis.