Today is World Oceans Day, while Oklahoma doesn’t have any oceans to enjoy, we do still have an impact on the health of the world’s oceans. Plastic waste is one way that we are all having an impact. Around 10 percent of the plastic produced each year ends up in our oceans. That’s around 10,000,000 tons of plastic each year. This plastic isn’t floating around in large pieces in the ocean that would be able to be cleaned up, they are photodegrading and turning in to tiny pieces that would be impossible to clean up.
So what can we do to help the problem? We should be rethinking the items we buy and reduce our use of plastics. Since plastic is everywhere this can seem overwhelming but with some simple steps you can make a big difference.
- Stop using bottled water. An estimated 25% of bottled water is just tap water. If you are worried about your tap water invest in a good filter and fill your own stainless steel reusable bottles at home.
- Use reusable bags. Plastic bags are one of the items often seen in the ocean. Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion plastic shopping bags and few are recycled. Reusable bags are easy to use, come in many great styles and often stores offer discounts for when you use them.
- Use real dishes. Using real dishes will help save you money and greatly reduce your waste. You can even use neat products like To-Go Ware utensil sets to help reduce waste when away from the house.
- Use a reusable mug. When you get coffee and other drinks out bring your own mug. Many insulated mugs will keep your drink hot or cold for several hours, unlike disposable cups.
- Think before you buy. This is one of the biggest things you can do. Ask yourself these questions before you buy a product. Is it something you really need? Is there a better option that will last longer and has less waste? These are good questions to ask not only to reduce your waste but also keep more money in your pocket.
- Recycle your plastic. When you do end up with plastic do your best to recycle it. You can find places to recycle your plastic on our recycling page.
And remember take it one step at a time. If you do these things slowly they become habits and you won’t become overwhelmed. And if we each do our part we can help save our oceans.
About the Author
Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.