If you jog regularly, why not pick up plastic litter while you run and join the thousands of people plogging (a combination of ‘jogging’ and the Swedish word for ‘pick up’, plocka upp). The plogging movement was started in Sweden in 2016 but is now global with plogging groups and events in many countries. Go on, give it a go. It’ll take just a second to pick up that piece of plastic but think of all those extra muscles you’ll be using.
If you live near a coastline, why not find out if there are any beach clean-ups in your area and join in? Or take your family along on your beach walk and start your own clean-up.
You don’t live near a coastline? Not to worry! 80% of marine litter originates from land and rivers drain a considerable amount of plastic waste into the oceans. If there aren’t any river clean ups near your area you can do your own river clean-up. Not only will the river look nicer, but it will ultimately benefit it’s ecosystem and the world’s oceans.
We are all aware of the noxious health effects of smoking but did you know that by smoking, you are contributing to the plastic that enters the ocean? Every day, 18 billion cigarettes are bought around the world, each containing plastic filters and toxic chemicals. These eventually end up in landfills — polluting and damaging the environment — or in the sea where they threaten the life of all marine species. Consistently, for over 25 years, cigarettes butts have been the top item collected during the International Coastal Cleanup.
When you are out shopping, try to reduce your plastic waste and your overall effect on the environment by only buying the food you need, choosing food with no plastic packaging, carrying a reusable bag, buying locally produced food and if possible, refilling containers instead of buying new ones.
Go one step further and become a zero-waste champion. Invest in sustainable, ocean-friendly products such as reusable coffee mugs, water bottles and food wraps and consider options like menstrual cups, bamboo toothbrushes and shampoo bars. These choices will help save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to keep buying disposable products. And you’ll be saving the ocean too. It’s a win-win.
When you are on holiday, try to watch your single-use plastic intake. Refuse miniature personal care bottles in hotel rooms, take your own reusable drinking bottle and use reef-safe sunscreen, which doesn’t contain microplastics.
“Fast fashion” is so last year. Consider sustainable clothing lines, vintage shops and keeping your clothes for longer by repairing them when possible. The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions. This is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. So do your bit and go slow with your fashion.
It is easy! Most of the cities have already developed domestic waste recycling systems. Some municipalities have even implemented recycling depots for waste electronics and old clothes and shoes as well as old furniture re-use centers. Take advantage! It is free and the satisfaction of helping nature is priceless!
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