Last week a friend of mine published a great documentary report which she worked on called ‘Plastic pollution in our oceans’. Plastic pollution and the impact on our Oceans is only just starting to get the coverage it needs so if you don’t know much about it already inform yourself as this is a global issue we cannot ignore…
The only problem is once you’re informed you may have no idea what you can do to make a difference. Luckily Plastic Pollution in our Oceans featured uplifting stories of community action however the articles, documentary’s and papers I normally read often leave me completely overwhelmed at the state of our planet rather then empowered to make a change. Therefore I have created a practical guide to saving our Ocean from plastic pollution. Here are 5 ecofriendly changes in bold that you can make. Each change has links to further information and products I have either used or researched.
So I hope you find this short starter guide as helpful as I did researching it.
Single Use Plastic Items = Find alternatives.
- Face Wipes/Baby Wipes
Alternative: I do not use face wipes but after researching and calling a few companies I recommend Beauty Naturals which my family buy from. They have a range of products and are a small UK based company with very high environmental and ethical standards.
- Plastic Bags
Alternative: Always carry a multi use bag.
- Takeaway Cups
Alternative: I use one of these Bamboo cups and its great!
Alternatives: If you really need a straw find alternatives on The Last Plastic Straw. When you order a drink request that it comes without a straw.
- Water Bottles
In countries you can drink tap water carry a reusable bottle. If your from Europe (that includes the UK) or USA I recommend the Chilly Bottle. Whilst living in countries with out drinkable tap water I tried to buy the largest water container I could carry which I reused to refill my bottles each day.
- Food on the Move
Alternative: Use tupperware and see if you can reduce the amount of takeaway containers you use by using your own.
- Razor Blades
Something I didn’t consider. I found sustainable baby steps with tips for shaving alternatives. But first things first don’t use flimsy disposable razors!
Microbeads = Make sure your cosmetics don’t contain Microbeads.
Many countries are on their way to banning these but in the mean time here are some helpful resources. In the UK I use Beauty Naturals who I called today and they confirmed that none of their products use Microbeads. I also found ‘Beat the Microbead’ website which has a product microbead rating page broken down for individual country’s.
Microfibre = Buy clothes made from natural fibres.
Microbeads, are a better-known variety of microplastic, but recent studies have found microfibers to be even more pervasive. Since September I have been buying fewer but higher quality clothes, after finding out about microfibres I shall be trying to only buy clothes made from natural fibres.
I actually hadn’t considered that fibres from our clothes are affecting the oceans so if like me you want to learn more read ‘How Your Clothes are Poisoning our Oceans and Food Supply’ for the basics.
Responsible Shopping = Demand change through actions.
Show the big supermarkets we want less plastic packaging. Bepakt is developing a global index of packaging free supermarkets! This literally made my day!
This also links into microfibre…If we show fashion retailers we are shopping elsewhere they may start producing products made from better fibres. Retailers such as Patagonia are dedicated to this and although shops like this are expensive surely all we need is one good winter coat rather then 5 cheap ones.
Plastic Litter = Pick it up.
Every dive centre I have worked in has always encouraged and organised beach clean ups and cleaning dives. One great example of this is the work a group of divers are doing to tackle ghost fishing. This is one way the diving community is really trying to make a difference and through doing so educates others. I aim to dedicate more of my time this year to beach clean ups. One I hope to join is the Marine Conservation Societies Great British Beach Clean September 15- 18th 2017. Everyone is welcome and I shall be organising a group to get involved so keep an eye on That Fish Blog facebook page. They are easy to get involved with and raise a lot of awareness whilst protecting the environment.
I have also started to pick up more litter on my walk to and from work. Each piece you see on the floor could find itself in the ocean.
So there you go my practical guide to reducing plastic pollution. I shall be making some changes and enforcing them on my family (sorry guys) but for the rest of you I hope this was helpful and let me know your thoughts.