START LIVING A PLASTIC FREE LIFE
Just think for a minute: every piece of plastic you have ever used is still on the planet, and will be here long after you're gone. In fact that plastic will be here after your grandchildren's grandchildren are gone. Going plastic free may sound daunting, but it's really not. All it takes is awareness and a tiny bit of planning. Together we can make enormous impact. Following are a few tips provided by the great people at Plastic Pollution Coalition on how to make changes today:
Bottles Built for Life
Bring a stainless steel water bottle rather than drinking water out of disposable plastic bottles. And guess what? You're drinking plastic in your plastic bottle, disrupting your hormones and making yourself sick. Purchase a stylish water bottle at our Pass On Plastic shop at 20 Beak Street in London, or online at Sky.com/POP or grab one at most markets and hardware stores. Choose stainless steel or glass over aluminum. Don’t have your stainless steel bottle with you? Buy a glass-bottled drink. When you finish that beverage, reuse the bottle or make sure to recycle it. Glass is recycled at much higher rates than plastic.
Totes are My Bag
Always bring your own bags whenever you shop, not just for the supermarket. By bringing your own bag, you alone can save between 400 and 600 plastic bags per year. There are lots of cool tote bag companies out there including our own Pass On Plastic brand. Don’t just bring your own tote bags - remember the little bags for your produce and bulk buy items, too!
REFUSE THE STRAW
Consider some easy alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic straws that come in nearly every restaurant and bar glass. When did using a straw become so commonplace anyway? But if you have become addicted to using a straw, considering carrying your own:
Paper straws are becoming common - bring your own or find restaurants that offer them. We love the Aardvark brand
Bamboo straws from StrawFree.org
Chalice sans Malice
Bring your own stainless steel or ceramic mug. Carry one in your car. Some coffee shops will even reward your thoughtfulness with a small discount on coffee or tea. Hot drinks always taste better in durable ceramic, anyway! Like milk cartons, those cardboard cups often have a plastic lining, so in effect they are plastic. All to-go cups have that plastic lid, a major contributor to plastic pollution. Our Pass on Plastic line of products has a gorgeous on-the-go cups.
Forever Forks (Knives and Spoons)
Grab your reusable utensil set at our Beak Street pop up or at Sky.com/POP to bring along your own utensil set. Reusables are much sturdier, cleaner, and better for you than plastic knives and forks! Our Pass on Plastic utensils come in a smart carrying case and can travel with you in the car, on the airplane, or wherever you go
Mind Your Butts
Not that you need another pressure to stop smoking if you already do, but did you know that cigarette filters are actually made of plastic? Every butt you put on the ground or in the bin and don’t recycle is contributing to plastic pollution worldwide. But if you’re not ready to take the step to quit, at least rethink the lighter. Rather than buy plastic disposable lighters, consider investing in a refillable multi-use lighter. The oceans of the world will thank you, as will all those birds and marine life who mistake their bright colors for food. Disposable plastic lighters are one of the most common items found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch trash analyses.
Where possible, buy your milk or juice in a glass returnable/reusable bottle. It may seem old fashioned, but it tastes great, and it’s better for you. You may have to look for it, but many local shops and even some larger ones carry glass-bottled milk and juice. Those oh-so-common cartons may look like cardboard, but they have a layered plastic lining which is a problem not only for disposal and recycling, but also for your health!
There are many excellent substitutes to the ubiquitous stretch plastic wrap/cling film we have been told is essential for cooking and preserving foods - like beeswax wraps. Bees Wax conforms to bowls and containers, keeps sandwiches fresh, and it washable and reusable. Pick yours up at 20 Beak or at Sky.com/POP
Looking for Branded Merchandise
for an Event or Organization?
For large-scale orders of stainless steel cups, bottles, utensils, or other consumer items for an event, we recommended Steelys Drinkware. They can custom brand items around your desired specifics, including design assistance with colors and logos. To-Go Ware and Chicobags are also great partners for larger scale branding of reusable tools made from bamboo, wood, or recycled materials.
In addition to passing on plastic, there are many other ways you can help the ocean today. Here are a few. Together we can make huge impact.
CHOOSE SEAFOOD WISELY
Do you know who needs shark fins? Sharks. Skip the soup. Did you know Chilean Sea Bass is actually a fish called the Patagonian Toothfish that comes from far away places like Antarctica and are vital to keeping their ecosystem healthy? Did you know shrimp and prawns have a huge by-catch ratio – meaning that for each one you eat, many other species of fish have lost their lives and been tossed back overboard. You can help today. There are apps you can download to make ocean-friendly seafood choices including Seafood Watch (US), Good Fish Guide (Europe), and Sustainable Seafood (Australia).
REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
The ocean is the world’s biggest carbon sink. The more carbon we put into the atmosphere, the more carbon goes into the ocean, which causes it to become acidic, corals to bleach white, ocean temperatures rise…bad things. And that jet-lagged Chilean Sea Bass on your plate in New York, London, Paris, or Tokyo has quite the carbon footprint too. You can help today. Walk, ride your bike, take public transportation, switch to florescent light bulbs, turn down the heat or air conditioning, buy locally grown food, reduce your consumption of red meat or become a vegetarian. It all adds up.
WATCH WHAT YOU FLUSH
All roads lead to Rome, so to speak. The oil, trash and debris on the street and in the gutter often ends up going down storm drains and into the ocean. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are really harmful to the ocean, so spruce up your garden using natural products. Never ever flush kitty litter down the toilet – it contains pathogens that are very harmful to marine life. Another biggie - never release aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water. The exotic fish in your aquarium can take down local ecosystems, as the lion fish is doing in the Atlantic and Caribbean today.