Happy Earth Day! This year’s focus is on ending plastic pollution. Not to freak you out but Earth Day Network, the folks behind Earth Day, reports that 94 percent of our drinking water and 93 percent of sampled bottled water worldwide are full of plastic particles and chemicals. Scary stuff.
You’ve probably heard about plastic island, but if you’re like many, seeing mountain of garbage in a faraway ocean or reading alarming stats doesn’t exactly spark an immediate change action. But think about the effects that excess plastic garbage can have in your own life. How would it feel to take a family beach day and arrive at the beach to discover you are unable to swim in the water, or if your favourite hiking trail is closed down due to a mass of plastics and garbage?
We’re here to tell you that even small changes can help ensure our earth’s health is a priority. Here are some easy swaps to show our lovely plant the love and care it deserves!
1Switch Up your Beauty Routine
Kick your plastic addiction by changing up the beauty products you use. Those makeup wipes you use every night to remove your makeup are a problem for landfills. A better alternative? Microfiber pads. They’re made from reusable microfiber cloth and require only water to remove makeup. The ones from Face Halo can be used up to 200 times and can even be tossed in the washing machine.
Another beauty threat isn’t as noticeable and could be lurking in your face wash or scrub is micro-plastics. These end up down the drain and in our water systems. Thankfully, we’re smartening up. The U.S. passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015, banning plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products and here in Canada, we’re following suit by banning the sale of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads as of July 1, 2018. Note: The banning of toiletries containing microbeads that are also natural health products or non-prescription drugs will start July 1, 2019.
2Say No To The Straw
That’s right, that seemingly harmless vehicle for your drink is unnecessary and contributing the plastic problem. In cities like Toronto, many bars and restaurants are joining in on the movement of refusing to serve plastic straws to customers. If you really must use a straw, go for a stainless or paper variety.
3Evaluate your Food Storage System
Plastic wrap, plastic bags, that takeout container: A lot of what we use to package our food is wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. Rethink your food storage by investing in reusable glass containers, which are reheat-friendly. And don’t forget the cutlery. Switch out plastic forks and spoons for stainless whenever possible.
4Plastic Proof your Office Space
Just because your office space is usually someone else’s problem, evaluating wastefulness is a benefit for all. Wherever possible, opt for refillable products like tape dispensers, pens and pencils. Whiteboards are great because of their reuse value. Ask people to bring in their own coffee mugs and even dishtowels for the office kitchen. Lastly, a filtration pitcher is a great alternative to bottled H2O.
5Plastic Is Not Fashionable
Not only is major waste a byproduct of fashion, but so are the items that come along with it. Think plastic dry-cleaning bags or fast fashion items that aren’t made sustainably. Brands like H&M and RAW for the Oceans are leading the way towards more eco-friendly options. Lastly, shop consignment or second-hand stores when possible. You can find so many treasures that are original and just as fashion-forward.
And remember… Be mindful when buying or using products. We are all aware of the common ways to reduce waste such as reusable water bottles, coffee cups and fabric shopping bags. All of these small steps can lead to big change. Next time you are at a store, think about the journey the product you are buying is going to take and the impact it will have on our environment.