World Ocean Day 2016 was when I moved from awareness to activism both personally and in business. Thanks to a FaceBook post by the Lonely Whale Foundation. It was the handsome face of Adrian Grenier who played Vince on the TV show Entourage that caught my eye. Of course, there is always that disconnect between a favorite character on a TV show and the actual actor. In Entourage, Grenier plays an up and coming celebrity who definitely buys into the consumption lifestyle. It was a pleasant surprise to see him talking about plastic straws and his passion for the ocean.
The truth is our oceans are being polluted with needless plastic. This includes water bottles, straws, plastic bags, drink cups, coffee lids and balloons. Everyday items that most of us don't think about using. The problem with plastic compared to other materials is it really never goes away. It just keeps breaking down into tiny, little pieces. Often these pieces look like a tasty morsel to a jellyfish, turtle or seabird. That's the problem our planet is facing.
A few simple steps can make a difference.
Stop drinking water from plastic bottles- Invest in a reusable water bottle and use it. For more info check out Ban the Bottle.
Say "NO" to plastic straws. We use 500 million straws daily in the USA. Companies now make stainless steel or bamboo straws both washable and reusable. Checkout the Strawless Ocean for more plastic straw data.
Purchase a refillable coffee cup- You can use a refillable cup anywhere, this includes independent coffee shops, gas station quick shops and even big franchises including Dunkin donuts and Starbucks. Even the Starbucks in the busy Kennebunk Rest Stop will make whatever yummy coffee drink you want in your refillable mug.
Skip the lid- if you have to use a single use coffee cup don't use the lid, it's one less piece of unnecessary trash.
Celebrate naturally- The problem with balloons is the bits and pieces often look like food for hungry critters and the strings often entangle and even kill wildlife. Our joyous celebrations shouldn't harm wildlife or pollute our planet. The organization Balloons Blow has over 20 environmentally friendly alternatives to balloons. My favorites are bubbles and ribbon streamers.
I know how hard it can be to make changes. Sipping from a straw is something we don't think about- you have to make a conscious effort and expect to fail at times. One of the best ways to move from awareness to activism is to pick up trash. Next time you are out for a walk or hike, notice what trash is around. Chances are it's water bottles, fast food cups, lids and straws and other types of connivence foods. It's actually shocking. And document your find by taking a picture and posting it with Just Grab Bits and you'll be entered to win cool, eco-friendly prizes including our own plastic free Dulse & Rugosa shampoo bars.
Start your zero waste journey today- small steps lead to big changes.