The year 2017 saw more than one severe hurricane, which helped lead to the shocking photos presented in October of the same year. Images of the once striking Caribbean Sea, covered in a layer of plastics, were released by a number of different news outlets. This was not shock news, it was our reality. The images were taken near Honduras by photographer Caroline Power, who posted the pictures to social media with the intention to shock humans into changing our habits.
When these images are placed against the water’s undisturbed image, the shock gets worse. These waters are often so clear that visibility of the bottom of the ocean is possible in shallow areas. However, the images produced by Ms. Power make the ocean look like the mounds of a landfill. Scuba divers dove beneath the trash to snap a few disheartening images from beneath. Both sets of photos will break the heart of anyone who cares about the ocean’s preservation. There are ways to end this massive waste and contamination of the Earth.
1. Buy Reusable Products
One of the most striking images was the image of floating plastic ware. Plastic ware is one of the most unnecessary purchases humans make. Reusable flatware moves easily, packs in coolers, and cleans easily. Consider all the items that are reusable, and skip the throwaway versions. This list includes, but is not limited to:
- Paper towels (use cloth towels or napkins)
- Plastic ware (use metal flatware)
- Plastic bottles (buy reusable water bottles then refill)
- Zip-top bags (use cloth lunch-style bags and reusable food storage containers)
2. Refuse Plastic Grocery Bags
The cost of reusable grocery bags is minute compared to the pollution caused by one plastic grocery bag. Purchase a few reusable grocery bags, including cooler bags, then use them for every grocery trip. Keep a stack in the car for those quick stops after work, and have them on hand for the weekly grocery trip.
3. Skip the Doggy Bag, If Possible
Another big issue in the water was the take-out containers. If you can eat the whole plate at a restaurant, do so. Try to skip take-out and cook food from home instead. This is typically healthier for your body and for the environment. Restaurants are not allowed to let food leave in anything but those wasteful containers in most states, so try to plan before going out or ordering food to go.
4. Wash Your Veggies
Those plastic bags at the grocery store are convenient for your produce purchase, but consider how many of those bags float away to places like the Caribbean Sea. If possible, buy produce wrapped in paper, or simply wash it when you get home. Use a separate washable reusable bag to carry it home. The plastic bag is not necessary for a small amount of produce, especially if paper bags are available.
5. Buy Recycled Items
Some items, such as toilet paper, simply cannot be avoided. However, it is possible to support recycling by buying the recycled versions of these products. Further, some toilet paper brands are packaged in paper, rather than plastic. Look for toilet paper and other products that are not only recycled but wrapped in recyclable material. The paper will break down faster than the plastic, and will not clog the ocean’s natural beauty.
6. Sort the Trash
Many areas have ordinances to make residents sort trash, while other residents do it naturally. However, if you are not sorting the trash, reconsider your actions. Look at the plastic that you do buy and make sure it is recyclable. Send it to the proper recycling facility to make sure it is used again. Check with your local recycle center to find out how to best dispose of the plastics you do find yourself purchasing.
7. Sustainable Purchasing
Sustainable purchasing is putting in an effort to shop for greener, healthier, and more sustainable products. The basic concept is every single purchase has hidden human health, environmental and social impacts and that its possible to reduce said impacts by buying better products. Here at Indelible Lifestyles we carry brands that are actively working to bring clothing and products to fruition you can feel good about. As we like to say style and sustainability do not need to me mutually exclusive! Check out our products at www.indeliblelifestyles.com, atleast 1% of all sales are donated to non profits through out 1% for the planet partnership.