In this post, I’m sharing with you what I find to be the easiest way we can all help reduce plastic pollution (how you can remove 1 pound of trash from the comfort of your couch) as well as 6 other tips on how to lower your plastic consumption and live more sustainably.
I started this blog to talk about topics close to my heart, and caring for our planet – nature, oceans, animals – is definitely one of them.
Speaking of oceans, let’s talk plastic.
I grew up in the 90s. Plastic was everywhere, from plates and cutlery to toys, food storage, and packaging. We never realized back then what we were doing to our planet, or maybe we did but didn’t have the power of social media to spread the message. I do remember watching Captain Planet (one of my favorite cartoon characters back then) trying to save the world from pollution, one of the few programs bringing awareness on this topic towards us kids.
Unfortunately, the issue grew bigger and bigger, and we are now at a point of reaching more plastic than fish in the oceans in less than 30 years.
It’s really horrifying to see what plastic pollution is doing to our planet: those once beautiful beaches in Bali or Indonesia, packed with plastic bottles, those waves of garbage coming to shore, and the disastrous effects on the marine wildlife.
I’m trying to do my best when it comes to recycling (to be honest, I always feel like I’m not doing enough) but that doesn’t really solve the actual problem of the enormous plastic pollution that currently exists in our oceans.
Luckily there are a few organizations that focus deeply on ending the ocean plastic crisis and one of them is 4Ocean.
I came across 4Ocean about 2 years ago I’ve been such a fan & supporter ever since. Their mission is to clean up the oceans and coastlines while at the same time trying to stop the inflow of plastic by changing consumer habits. They are funded by the purchases of their products, all made from recycled ocean plastic.
The way it works is, if you buy a bracelet or any other item from their website, your contribution helps remove 1 pound of plastic from the ocean. They’ve got projects worldwide and have recently reached an impressive milestone: 10.000.000 pounds of plastic removed from the sea! How’s that for work fulfillment btw?!
You can choose for either a 1-time purchase or a subscription- meaning each month, you will receive a bracelet, and your contribution will help remove 1 pound of plastic from the ocean. Each bracelet supports a cause of a different marine or wildlife species, and it’s made from 100% recycled marine plastic. To me, this is THE easiest way we can help reduce the massive plastic pollution in our oceans, removing 1 pound of trash from the comfort of your couch.
I’ve recently joined their subscription program, and I’m receiving the bracelets every month. I really like them, and I am so proud to wear them! Here is my collection so far:
I love the idea of creating a bracelet for this purpose –it’s such a great conversation starter and helps us spread the word. On top of that, it’s really cool when you spot someone else wearing it – you know they’re your people, caring for the planet & our oceans just as much as you do.
So if you have the means and are wondering how you can help, definitely go check them out.
I’ve also put together 6 other tips to consider if you’d like to reduce your plastic consumption and live more sustainably:
1. Wear a reusable face mask
The covid-19 impact is felt at a human level and in the world around us– all these single-use face masks, while they are protecting our loved ones and us from the virus, they are causing significant damage to our environment. Many of them can now be found floating in our oceans or lying on our cities’ streets.
Wearing a mask is extremely important in preventing the spread of the virus, as advised by the health authorities, so please do wear one. What I’m suggesting is considering a reusable one – like this N99: it has a filter you can change after several uses, a thicker fabric, and offers the highest level of protection. It can easily be washed by hand. Bonus point- looks more “fashionable” than the regular ones.
2. Bring your own bag to the store
Say no to free plastic bags in the supermarkets (if they still offer them in your country) and bring your own. Those cute sea lions will thank you.
3. Avoid plastic packaged fruits & veggies
Since we’re on the supermarkets’ topic, also consider avoiding the plastic packaged fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Many Amsterdam stores have these special smaller bags designed for weighing and safely carrying them in your shopping basket. They only cost a few cents and are reusable.
4. Stop buying bottled water
You can use a filter at home and take your own water bottle when traveling.
5. Say NO to plastic straws & cutlery
I’m sure you know this saying by now: It’s only one straw, said 7 BILLION people. So if you still want to have that awesome cocktail with a straw, how about a metal one – check out this great option:
6. When it comes to clothes, choose natural fabrics
When buying new clothes, choose natural fabrics, like wool and cashmere, as opposed to polyester. Synthetic fabrics release a massive quantity of microplastics into the water with each wash and harm the environment. Natural fabrics might be a little bit more expensive, but they will last you much longer (also a plus from a sustainability standpoint as well as financial – the cost per wear goes down).
I hope you found these tips useful. If you’d like to read more about other ways of helping our planet, you might also like:
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