An alarming number of 8 to 10 million tons of plastic waste are discarded in the ocean every year. This concerning number reflects the plastic-dependent lives of many, the plastic-heavy production of industries, and the lack of regulations for plastic production and management.
The amount of plastic wastes found in the ocean also negatively impacts marine ecosystems. Marine wildlife are forced to navigate contaminated waters, ingesting plastic wastes that can lead to suffocation or infection. Even the combination of plastic and sea waters produce toxic contaminants, furthering its damaging effects on the atmosphere.
But while these distressing effects have already taken its toll on our marine environment, it is never too late to change our lifestyles: from plastic-dependent to plastic-free. This is the mission of the Plastic Free July initiative. Started by the Plastic Free Foundation, their goal is to “work towards our vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste.”
As we celebrate a Plastic Free July, here are three simple tips that you can keep in mind to help reduce the use of plastic in your everyday lives.
Tip #1. Bring Your Own Reusable Items
Avoiding single-use plastic to opt for multi-use products is the key to practicing zero-waste. There are many eco-friendly alternatives out there that come in many forms, such as the following:
- Reusable water bottles
Out of the million plastic bottles purchased each minute, only a small percentage of them become recycled. Choosing to bring reusable water bottles, such as water flasks, can help reduce the numbers of plastic wastes. Find and invest in a durable water bottle that can last years for your everyday use.
- Reusable Eco Bags
Plastic bags are also one of the most common wastes found in the ocean. To help minimize wastes, choose to use environment-friendly alternatives such as eco-bags. These can be folded and kept in your bag, making it convenient to bring around when you go shopping.
Tip #2. Choose Non-plastic Alternatives for Containers
While there are some plastic items that can be reused at home as containers, switching to non-plastic alternatives can be healthier and more sustainable for you. Here are some alternatives to plastic:
- Stainless Steel
For food and drinks, stainless steel containers are good replacements for plastic food containers. These products are durable and easy to clean, which makes it perfect to have at home for everyday use. They also help maintain the product’s temperature, making it also ideal for traveling.
Another replacement for plastic containers are glass containers. These can be used to store food items, laundry products, and any other items. However, be extra careful when handling glass as they are fragile items.
Tip #3. Support Local Conservation Initiatives
While it is important to make individual changes at home, supporting local initiatives also plays a vital role. Be involved with your local organizations, such as the Coastal Conservation Education and Foundation, Inc. (CCEF), which focuses on protecting the marine environment in order to create sustainable coasts and involved communities.
The CCEF continues to partner up with different communities to conduct clean ups in areas of the Philippines. To support CCEF and other local organizations, here are a few ways you can help:
Join and participate in these cleanups. CCEF and other organizations welcome hands-on volunteers from around the country who are willing to share their time for a cause.
Consider making donations to support the conservation efforts of these organizations. As majority of them are nonprofit, they are only able to work through the help of kind donors. A little help is already a big help for organizations to create bigger projects for environment conservation.
Join us in a Plastic-Free July!
As we celebrate a Plastic-Free July, let us challenge ourselves to reduce the use of plastic for a greener world. Through these different tips, we can move closer to a plastic-free lifestyle.
Join us and take the challenge now. Help us protect our marine environment and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer opportunities and donations.