Here at The Happy Sea, we do our very best to live as environmentally friendly as possible. But... what exactly does "live as environmentally friendly as possible" even mean? How environmetnally friendly is truly environmentally friendly? That is the question we are basing our 2019 intentions on. 

For the past few years I have been following the coolest plastic free advocate Kate Nelson (other wise known as @plasticfreemermaid) She has been disposable plastic free since 2009 and I just think that is the best thing. I’ve recently been going through her blog and reading all of the things she has to say on plastic. And W O W, she is truly an inspiration. I found some of these statistics through her page that actually made me cringe. But awareness leads to activism so let’s make a change! 

  • Worldwide we use approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year. AKA a million bags every minute or 150 bags a year for every human on earth. Joining the bags end to end they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times. Despite bag bans, the number is rising.
  • Humans make more than 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% is for single use items.
  • World wide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day. Over 8 million tons of plastic gets dumped into our oceans every year,  AKA 1 rubbish truck of waste every minute.
  • An estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic float in every square mile of ocean.
  • In 2014 the plastic to fish ratio by weight in the ocean was 1:5. In 2050 the plastic to fish ratio by weight in the ocean is expected to exceed 1:1.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds die every year from plastic.
  • Plastics kill so many animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from plastic will decompose yet the plastics remain. Eventually wash away and another animal could fall victim to the same plastics
  • There are 5 ocean gyres in the oceans where plastic gathers due to current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.
  • It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. Recycling has never been a complete solution. It was created to make us feel better about the waste we created as we consumed more and more convenient plastic items. We cannot rely on Recycling, we must simply use less plastics.
  • For decades China has been the global buyer for recyclables, including all of the US and Australia’s plastics. China stopped accepting our recyclables in December of last year. Most plastics that could be recycled are now ending up in landfil. 

So... what can we do to make a difference? Be responsible with your impact and be intentional with your purchases. 

Below are some tips that you can use to coast a little lighter on this planet.

 

Carry your own reusable water bottle.

Plastic water bottles take over 450 years to degrade and often end up polluting our waterways and oceans. Buy reusable! There are so many reusable water bottle companies out there that make long lasting (& might we add really cool looking) water bottles out there. Attached below are a few of our favorites! 

Link: Swell, Hydroflask, Klean Kanteen

Swap cling wrap for beeswax wraps.

Choose not to use plastic cling wrap (another unnecessary disposable plastic) by swapping to some beautiful beeswax wraps — you can make your own or buy them at most wholefood stores. When used correctly you can reuse them for about a year!  Attached below is a link to our favorite brand.

Link: Beeswax Wrap.

Choose to buy organic. 

When possible, choose to buy organic fruit and vegetables. Organic grown produce is not only healthier for you, but it’s healthier for the land on which its grown, meaning that there have been no toxic chemicals or pesticides used. Even better, find your local farmers market and buy from the growers themselves — there’s so much we can learn from our farmers and they always have the best cooking tips.

Start buying your food package-free. 

Packaged food is the easiest way to increase the amount of plastic going into the trash every week. Choose to shop at bulk wholefood stores to cut down on packaging in the kitchen. Save all of your glass jars to store all your new food in! 

Say PEACE OUT to plastic straws. 

Straws are used for only minutes before ending up in landfill where they’ll take up to 200 years to degrade. Say ‘No thanks’ to a straw next time you’re out, or take your own with you. There are so many options for reusable straws in a variety of materials such as glass, stainless steel, and bamboo. 

Take your own bags shopping!

Plastic bags are one of the most common things that we use everyday in our society. It is so easy to bring your own reusable bags or totes when shopping. Leave them in your car so you always have them on you! 

 

There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. That is appalling. Let’s be gentle on our planet, she deserves it. 
Do you have any plastic free tips? Drop us a comment below! We love leanring new tips and tricks to help do our part. 

 


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