Today is World Ocean Day, a chance for people around our blue planet to celebrate and honour the ocean, which connects us all.
Plastic bottles form the majority of litter on our beaches and in our oceans – and when you think about it, they are totally pointless. They are flown thousands of miles across the world to countries which have perfectly safe drinkable tap water. Shops charge you for something which you can get for free at home.
We all want to live in an environmentally friendly way and help protect the planet in anyway we can, but often when there's so much information around you, it's hard to know where to start. To make it a little bit easier to get started, we've come up with ten little changes you can make to your daily life that will make a huge difference to the ocean and its creatures.
Ditch. The. Straws.
We all know this. Everyone is cutting out straws nowadays, they get stuck in turtle's airways, get swallowed by other animals and end up in the ocean by their millions.
Single-use plastic is a particularly nasty form of plastic. These items have a shockingly short lifespan, normally used once and then discarded to landfill. Like other plastics, they never biodegrade and take hundreds of years to break down.
To avoid using plastic straws when none other are available, you can now buy your own reusable stainless steel eco straws, that can be used again and again. Find some of our choices below.
Invest In Bamboo Toothbrushes
Dentists advise that we change our toothbrush every three months. This means however, that if we're looking after our dental health properly, we're certainly not doing the planet any good by throwing away all that plastic.
Bamboo toothbrushes used to be a bit of a novelty, bought only by hipster and old rich hippies, but they've grown into a real environmentally friendly option. These ones below are no more expensive then a regular toothbrush, so you can follow your dentists advice and not worry about where your old toothbrushes have ended up.
Don't Chew Your Plastic
Yep! We're sorry to say that if you're a gum chewer, likelyhood is that you're chewing away on plastic most of the day. Gum when it was first used by humans was made of a substance called chicle. While this was originally the raw ingredient of choice, as the need to chew expanded around the world supply was never going to meet the growing demand and by the 1950’s manufacturers were replacing it with a synthetic product.
Now almost all of mainstream gum brands use a butadiene-based synthetic rubber, a plastic product made from oil, a bit like the stuff we use to make car tyres, for their chewing gum recipes. Do yourself a favour and find a new plastic free brand!
Don't Buy Vegetables Wrapped In Plastics
Why are so many vegetables in our shops wrapped in clingfilm and sat in plastic trays?! Buying our vegetables wrapped up might seem normal to us now, but thats just because it's what we're used to doing.
Buy your vegetable from the loose section of the supermarket and put them straight into a tote bag till your reach checkout, or better yet, source out your nearest local vegetable market and buy them fresh and plastic free.
We all wash our vegetables before cooking them anyway. Ditch the plastic bags and packaging and reduce your plastic footprint straight away!
How much Plastic Is In Your Yoga Pants?
Lycra is a material that we all know is synthetic, but how many of us realise that a tonne of plastic is used in the making on Lycra every year?
Making yoga pants without plastic is possible, with many good environmentally sound brands making that choice, however brands such as Teeki are choosing an alternative route. Instead of getting rid of the plastic in their material, they're taking old plastic that's destined for landfill and using it to make their product.
Even their printing process produces zero waste, the most environmentally friendly process in the industry. Check out their site to find out exactly how much work goes into making a dustbin of old plastic into a beautiful pair of leggings.
Choose Matches, Ditch Lighters
As outdoorsy people, the ability to create a fire is important, if not a necessity. In an ideal world, we would all be making fires by rubbing together two sticks, but failing that - matches are a much better choice than a lighter.
Lighters are now made of plastic and are filled with butane fuel, both of which are bad news for the planet. If you want to use a lighter, it's much better to to invest in a Zippo, to avoid the plastic waste.
Carry A Glass Water Bottle - And Get Used To Asking People To Fill It
If you're anything like us, caffeine and lots of water are two staples that keep you alert through the working day. Problem is however, if we buy these products in a shop or cafe everyday, we're inadvertently paying for a load of single use plastic .
Carrying a coffee flask with you not only saves on all of this plastic waste, it usually means you get a nice discount from the coffee shop that fills it up. Glass water bottles are much nicer to drink from than nasty plastic ones and if you ask most cafes nicely, they will have no issue with filling it up with tap water for free.
Use A Returnable Glass Milk Service
Most areas have local dairies that provide milk in returnable glass bottles rather than plastic or plastic-coated cardboard. Sadly, all cardboard milk containers are coated inside and out with plastic.
In London, you can either join the local council milk run, or if you don't drink dairy, try the amazing Mylk Delivery service who will deliver all types of nut, chai and other alternative milks to your doorstep.