TO HELP END MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION, START WITH YOUR ROUTINE
Action speaks louder than words. Nobody can do everything, but every single one of us can do something with every choice that we make. We have the responsibility — and the opportunity — to rechart the present course of human history and redefine the future fossil record. Nobody wakes up in the morning and decides to destroy the planet. At some point, we became detached from the true impacts of our daily decisions. It's not too late to turn things around.
Don’t wait to own your impact. Here are five practical ways to put #ParleyAIR into practice and join the fight against marine plastic pollution.
Step 1. Remove that trash can under your desk.
The average American generates nearly 4.5 lbs of trash per day. You can change your relationship with trash just by getting to know it. The first pillar of the Parley A.I.R. Strategy is “avoid.” The more clearly you understand your daily habits, the easier it will be to prevent them moving forward. Removing the temptation will help you reset your mind and your routine, making it easier to identify and eliminate sources of unnecessary waste.
If you can’t reuse, recycle, or compost it, ask yourself if you really need it in the first place.
Step 2. Get a reusable cloth bag.
Every 60 seconds, about 2 million plastic bags are used around the word. That’s 3 trillion per year. Some versions are marketed as recyclable, but only a tiny portion are actually returned to the loop and recycled. A single-use plastic bag is used an average of 12 minutes before being discarded. It can last forever in a landfill or the oceans, where it becomes a marine life serial killer. Plastic bags were introduced to supermarkets in the 1970s. What did people do before them? They carried reusable bags.
Get used to saying “no thank you" at the check-out counter. It’s empowering to bring your own bag.
Step 3. Invest in a reusable bottle.
An estimated 38 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away each year in the US alone. The amount of water it takes to make one single-use plastic water bottle could be up to six or seven times the water it takes to fill it. This is particularly disturbing at a time when 1 in every 9 people on Earth lack access to safe drinking water. Worse, the amount of oil used to make a year's worth of plastic bottles is as much as it takes to fill one million cars for a year. And scariest, studies indicate plastic bottles can leach cancer-causing toxins into your water. Tasty. An estimated 93% of Americans carry BPA in their bloodstreams. Who's thirsty?
Convenience is owning products that last — that won't make you or the planet sick. Swap the plastic for a reusable steel, aluminum or glass bottle and keep on living a well-hydrated life on the go.
Step 4. Make this your mantra: straws suck.
Americans use 500 million straws per day. It’s not any one person's fault. You go to the restaurant, you sit down, and a glass of water appears in front of you with a pipe-like sipping contraption stuck in it made from a virtually indestructible material. You didn’t ask for it, it just kind of shows up in your drink. Every straw you’ve ever used for minutes still exists in some shape or form. If you're a visual learner and need a reason to never use one again, see what they do to sea turtles in the oceans (Warning: video is hard to watch).
When you place an order, tell your server to hold the straw. Better yet: tell them why. Bonus points if you can convince the management to make a change. If you really need a straw with your daily pick-me-up, there are several reusable alternatives on the market.
Step 5. Talk about it.
It’s true that actions speak louder than words, but we need both to move forward as a society. Don't underestimate your power to affect change. You're not annoying; you have conviction. The more we talk, think, share, and question, the more we all know — and the bigger the movement grows. We need more action. To catalyze it, we need a shift in perspective.
Let’s rise above the waste together. Start by getting informed and asking the right questions.
- Every second breath we take comes from life in the sea. What are you willing to do to protect it?
- Did you know the plastic industry uses more oil every year than the entire aviation sector?
- How much ecological/economic/ethical sense does it make to create 'disposable' items designed for single-use from a material that lasts forever?