Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
Dr Seuss – The Lorax
Whose lifelong plan includes participating in the many recreational opportunities this natural playground (see images above) has to offer? Mine does so, by showing Regular Acts of kindness, I am taking responsibility for my future enjoyment, promoting positive habits for my children and increasing the chances of their children experiencing the same sense of awe of our coastline. Taking a few minutes to pick up what others have left behind and minimising the use of plastic altogether, is a perfect example of discovering, that actually, what is Good for the Planet, is Good for You.
Here are some solutions to consider which align with the CWMS journey of Keeping It R.E.A.L.
1. Do the Right Thing – Put it In The Bin
A report published in the Guardian newspaper clearly explained how the now five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean directly effects both marine and human life.
“Large pieces of plastic can strangle animals such as seals, while smaller pieces are ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.
This is problematic due to the chemicals contained within plastics, as well as the pollutants that plastic attract once they are in the marine environment.”
“Take3 For The Sea” is our family ‘home time’ mantra when ever we are on the coast (and inland too) and is fuelled by the feeling of complete gratitude with experiencing what Mother Nature provides. Take3 is an Australian Non-Profit Organisation on a mission to encourage us to take a constructive approach to protecting our Oceans and Marine life. You can read more about Take3’s message of picking up three pieces of rubbish each and every time you leave the beach or waterway – here.
This weekend (March 1st 2015) is the 25th annual Clean Up Australia Day, a great chance to support your own community and have a positive impact on our environment. You can read a summary about this inspiring organisation along with the CWMS 2014 Clean Up Australia Day experience here.
Keeping our oceans free from pollution is good for marine life and good for our diet
2. Say ‘No’ to Microplastics
Microplastics measure 0.1 to 0.5 millimetres in size and are used as the grainy texture for exfoliation in beauty products. Many of us are unknowingly washing our face with plastic then send the tiny fragments into the ocean. Never fear, the NSW government is calling for a national ban of any products found to be containing these plastics as an ‘ingredient’.
If washing with plastic which contains no nourishing benefits and sending the remains into the oceans isn’t your thing, show your support by avoiding the brands who use it in their products.
Choosing not to support companies who use plastic as a major ingredient is good for the environment and good for our skin
3. Become a Master Recycler
The Planet Ark website states “Increasingly, our waste is being recognised as a valuable resource that shouldn’t just be landfilled.”
If you aren’t sure about what you can or can not recycle you can follow this link to The Great Divide – 6 Ways to Sort and Conquer Recycling. Did you know you can recycle aerosol cans?
Also, hot-off-the-press, this week the NSW Government committed to join South Australia with the introduction of a Cash for Containers scheme. Now there’s a pocket money incentive for the young entrepreneur! Boomerang Alliance predicts recycling will double (as it did in South Australia) creating new jobs and investments.
Using productive ways to distribute waste is good for reducing landfill and is a good way to provide more resources for us
4. Long term solution – limit your packaging when shopping
- Buying in bulk, in most cases, offers a more economical alternative than paying for single units in a conventional supermarket. Maybe you have a friend who is just as passionate about the benefits of shopping in this fashion (as I do) and you can pool together and share an order. Alternatively there are many health food stores which are now offering the option of ‘filling your own’ which means you can control how much you need and transport it home in a container of your choice.
- Shopping at a Farmers Markets or independent Green Grocers where ‘farm fresh’ doesn’t mean stored and transported for weeks on end wrapped in plastic – the health benefits are self explanatory.
- Carry reusable bags (search for one which compress down and take up little to no room in your bag) like the ones discovered here.
Less packaging is good for reducing the odds of misplacement of it in our environment, minimising landfill and encourages us to buy fresh, which is good for our health and wellness
5. Wrap and store in reusable containers (preferably plastic free)
Although our family still occasionally come home with plastic bags (we reuse them for bin liners) we have successfully lived without glad wrap and resealable plastic bags for almost one year. Instead of single-use plastic in lunch boxes we are huge advocates for using material sandwich wraps, snack bags and old school brown paper bags. We also reuse all take-a-way containers for storage (which isn’t ideal). You can read more ideas on reusables in a previously written post here.
There is no shortage of reports which give an indication on the risk factor associated with exposure to the chemicals found in plastics once entering our systems. Read more from the experts who discuss BPA and links to obesity here and BPA as a risk factor for metabolic disorders here.
Minimising the use of single-use anything lessens the burden of waste which is good for the planet. Reusing is more economical than purchasing single-use items and limiting our exposure to the chemicals in plastic is good for our overall health
The purpose of CWMS has always been to inspire readers by highlighting the small things which, when carried out on a regular basis, add up to have a positive global impact. This blog began talking about rubbish and has now evolved into so much more. A mission to uncover and share ways to Strive to Balance a Happy, Healthy and Sustainable lifestyle.
Have you got any other tips or can you suggest any ideas which I have forgotten?
Join in the conversation!