Plastic-free living can change the world in monumental ways
#theplasticdiet challenge served as a gentle introduction to plastic-free living – a fun way to give up plastic and get creative about how we live our daily lives. Swapping a plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush or picking out stylish, new reusable shopping bags introduced you to new products while chipping away at the plastic pollution that fills our oceans. But there’s more to these simple swap outs than meets the eye.
By reducing our usage of plastic straws alone, we reduce plastic litter in the ocean by 4%. That’s just by reducing a single item! Plastic straws account for nearly 2,000 tons of waste and are one of the top 10 items found in beach cleanups.
Swapping out plastic water bottles for reusable bottles or canteens can have a similarly powerful effect. Recycling a ton of plastic water bottles frees up 7.4 cubic yards of space in landfills. Using less plastic water bottles also conserves natural resources, as crude oil is used in the production of these bottles.
Plastic-free living can also save wildlife. Last year, a viral video showed a volunteer removing a straw from a sea turtle’s nostril. Plastic litter hurts animals that live in the ocean or along the coast.
Plastic swap outs can have an impact that reverberates far.
So, how do you move forward?
- Continue the changes you’ve made during #theplasticdiet challenge. Keep buying metal straws. Keep reusing your new bottles. Ensure plastic-free living becomes a habit.
- If you’ve fallen behind, fear not. Start with replacing straws and bottles, and then move on to bigger items.
- Think critically about your plastic use. There are several common plastic items in all of our households. If we take a moment to carefully assess our daily use and adjust accordingly – by swapping out at least 10 plastic products – we can continue to make a long-term difference.
Let’s keep #theplasticdiet going year-round so we can create a cleaner, more humane planet for us and our children.
Kristi & The Hive